SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages China).

The city of Urumqi is the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in north-west China. Urumqi city is home to an estimated 4.7 million people, most of whom are Han but there is a significant Uyghur minority and other ethnic groups also present. Urumqi is an important industrial and economic centre. A decade ago, tens of thousands who had migrated to the city for better work opportunities had lived in slum areas. The government has since committed to investing in improving their living conditions and access to health, education and other services.

Since 2000, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Urumqi.

Domestic migrants in China

Social exclusion

The 2020 census recorded 376 million domestic migrants in China. When people move from rural areas to the bigger cities, they are assigned temporary status. This restricts them from accessing a range of services, including healthcare, housing funds and unemployment insurance. Local governments may also prohibit migrant children from accessing quality education and from participating in college entrance exams. For Uyghurs hoping to move to other cities within Xinjiang, obtaining a household registration is more difficult than it is for other groups.

Of children are malnourished in China

Malnutrition and poverty

Children are often the first to suffer the consequences of economic and social changes. For example, they suffer from a high incidence of sickness and malnutrition. In Urumqi and other rural and poor areas of China, 19.2% of children are malnourished. Child malnutrition includes not only undernutrition, but also ‘overnutrition,’ i.e., overweight and obesity. Malnutrition can lead to stunting, that is when children are too small for their weight. This affects children’s brain function and their immune system, leading many children to perform poorly in school.

Your support makes a difference for children in Urumqi

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Learn at our kindergarten
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
In SOS Children’s Village Urumqi, children spend a lot of time playing. As they grow up together, they often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages China).

How your support helps in Urumqi

Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.