Pictures: Rae Hu
Tian Liping is one of the millions of Chinese migrant workers who have moved from the countryside to a city for work. She only gets to see her sons, who are 11 and 13, once or twice a year. The boys live with their grandparents in the Henan province, while Tian Liping works at a lamp factory in Ningbo nearly 1,000 kilometres away. Although Tian misses her sons, she has never taken leave from work in order to go and visit them.
The Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR CSR) has created a Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) initiative to help families such as this one. The aim is to offer Chinese migrant workers who have moved to cities children’s day care close to their place of work. Most of the CFS day care facilities are open during the summer. The day care set up in Ningbo in July is one of over 70 facilities established around China.
Summer day care brought smiles to children’s faces
This summer, Tian has been able to live with her children in Ningbo. The children attend day care while she is at work, and the family enjoys time together in the evenings and weekends. Tian says that her sons have been happy at day care, and she has not had to worry about anything.
“I decided to bring my children over here to see what it is like. Also, I had not seen my children in a long time and they have gotten so much bigger. I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and unite our family. What’s more, with the children in the CFS, I can go to work without worrying about anything. Since my children have attended CFS, they have learned a lot of new things and made new friends. My son even said to me that he wants to come again next year because he is really happy. As a parent, I am very pleased.”
The factory’s management was also very pleased with the project. Says factory head Chen Jianfeng:
“A lot of children are being cared for by their grandparents and during the summer holiday, it’s not convenient for parents to return home. Therefore, we brainstormed ways to allow workers to reunite with their children – having them bring their children here was the only way. CFS opens before workers start their shifts. Workers can drop their children off and go to work. At noon, workers take their children to the canteen for lunch and in the evenings, they come to the CFS to pick up their children. During the day, the children can read, do summer holiday homework exercises and play games. We were very willing to invest in the care of our employees. Only when our workers are taken care of, can we serve our clients better”, says Chen Jianfeng.
K Group wants to invest in corporate responsibility and address global themes
K Group was the first Finnish company to take part in the Child Friendly Spaces initiative. The day care facility is located at a factory that supplies LED site lighting to K Group’s K-Rauta stores and Onninen. Matti Kalervo, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at K Group, stresses that it is important that responsibility and human rights are realised in the supply chain.
“At K Group, we want to bear more social responsibility in our global purchasing chain for the wellbeing of the employees of our business partners. Improving working conditions in factories is an important part of our corporate responsibility work, and our collaboration with CCR CSR gives us a great opportunity for this. Even little deeds can have an impact,” says Matti Kalervo.
Read the earlier news.
See the families in Ningbo describe their experiences.