In 1997, Jenny and Richard Bowen adopted a toddler from a welfare institution in southern China. From that day, they received a harsh, first-hand education about the harmful effects of institutionalizing small children: their little girl suffered from severe delays and, most worrisome, she was emotionally shut down. Vacant. But after just one year of non-stop loving attention and care from her new family, she was transformed. They thought : What if you could do the same for the many children in China who wait for families – and for those who will never be adopted? It was a simple idea. Why not? And so, in 1998, Half the Sky
, named for the Chinese adage, “Women hold up half the sky,” was born.
Half the Sky was created in order to enrich the lives of orphaned children in China. They provide model programs and caregiver training designed to offer loving, family-like care to children of all ages and abilities. It is their goal to ensure that every orphaned child has a caring adult in her life and a chance at a bright future. Half the Sky’s responsive, child-centered approach focuses on nurturing the whole child. It draws from the Western Reggio Emilia approach to enhancing each individual child’s development and from the Chinese educational mandate that children learn about the arts, the sciences, language, social development and health.