The project was set up to provide poor families in Qinghai Province with their own greenhouses. In certain rural villages within this part of China many families scrape together a living by growing their own produce – but most struggle to make any profit, on average bringing in less than 6,000CNY (around 900USD) each year.
This limited income makes it hard for families to afford basic necessities and healthcare. Parents here also struggle to send their children to school, preventing them from getting a good education and attaining higher paying jobs.
The Greenhouse Project is managed by Captivating’s Bason Lhamo and is partnered with SHAMTSE. This Qinghai-based charity works with the poorest villages in the region, all of which sit at an altitude of more than 3,000 metres, making living conditions for the families there even more challenging.
Not only does a greenhouse enable a family to cultivate fresh produce for their own table, it’s also a fantastic way of bringing in extra income. Our hope is that, as the project continues, parents will be able to save up money and send their children to school, keeping them in education for longer than they would otherwise be able to afford.
In addition to receiving a greenhouse, families are trained on how to grow quality vegetables, and taught about pesticide-free pest control and growing organic produce for the market.
Beyond that, the Greenhouse Project is just a fantastic way of bringing communities and families together. We hear that local kids get involved in the building, helping their parents to lay the bricks for their own greenhouse!
Our partnership with Captivating first started in 2013 when we supported the charity’s second annual Kidz With Heart Mini Olympics. Two years later, the Greenhouse Project commenced, with funding from GPA. We have continued to fund 50% of the project since 2015, matching donations to ensure that as many families can benefit from the initiative.
The following is a rundown of how many people have benefitted from the project each year since it began:
• 2015: 43 families and an estimated 86 children
• 2016: 84 families and an estimated 168 children
• 2017: 159 families and an estimated 318 children
• 2018: 130 families and an estimated 260 children
This year, funding for a further 111 families and 222 children has been secured, although the greenhouses themselves are yet to be constructed.
In total, 527 families and over 1,000 children have benefitted from the Greenhouse Project, allowing them to live better and more financially secure lives.
The trickle down effect is that 1,000 children growing up in Qinghai will have improved access to education, and later on, higher paying jobs. As these children become parents themselves they will have the capability to support their families and send their own children to school – and it’s all thanks to a simple greenhouse.
Since the GPA Global team committed to funding the project in 2015 we’ve been receiving regular updates on its progress.
Families who have received their greenhouses have already begun to report excellent results. The crops yielded from these greenhouses have netted participating families profits of 4,000-5,000CNY per year (600-750USD).
The project has particularly led to improvement in the lives of single mothers, and parents struggling to send their children to school.
With each year that the project continues, we are learning more and more about how to implement these greenhouses efficiently and on budget – in short, things are only getting better!
Captivating International is a Hong Kong-based charity committed to helping children and families who have become trapped in poverty, or found their lives negatively impacted by injustice.
Started by Andrew and Julie Colquhoun in 2006, the charity initially focused on poverty and inequality in China, but soon expanded to cover Kenya, Nepal and the Philippines.
Captivating’s three focus areas are:
1. Educating girls
2. Ending poverty
3. Stopping human trafficking
We’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with such a fantastic charity, and to have supported a project that is already having a tangible effect upon the lives of hundreds of men, women and children.
Visit the Captivating International website to find out more about the vital work they do.
Author: Ivona Baxter
Published: 17 August 2019