Bringing Angel Love to China’s Children
In megacities and rural villages, Missionary Oblates are improving the educational opportunities for some of China’s most vulnerable children.
In the city of Guangzhou, population 14 million, the Oblates have opened the Angel’s Love Center. Angel’s Love provides a place for children of migrant workers to study and complete their homework.
In recent years, about five million migrants have descended on Guangzhou. They come looking for work. Those that come with their children have a major problem. Because they are from the countryside, they are not registered as legal residents in the city. Education is free for Guangzhou residents, but outsiders must pay, and most families do not have enough money for tuition.
For several years, the Oblates serving in Guangzhou have worked with a group of religious sisters to care for pre-school migrant children while their parents are at work. The Oblates decided to expand their role by creating educational opportunities for elementary and middle school age students.
Angel’s Love was opened last Christmas. The Oblates, along with volunteers from Oblate Youth China, provide tutoring and educational activities at the center for the children of migrant families.
In rural China, the Oblate China Education Service is partnering with programs to help some of the poorest children in the country.
“We have supported school rebuilding and renovation projects, and education allowances for children who would otherwise not be able to afford an education,” said Fr. Ronnie Gicalao, O.M.I.
The Oblates, along with a team of volunteers, visit schools and students’ families to identify their educational needs. They also review progress on the projects which are being funded, and investigate the results afterwards.
“Our volunteers not only devote their time and energy, but also give their own money,” said Fr. Gicalao. “The group has no administration fee to ensure that every penny goes to the school and children in need.”