Global Reach: Past Grantees

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According to the 2010 national population census, 22% of the children under 18 are left-behind children (parents have migrated), and an additional 11% are migrants themselves. 33 million children attend rural boarding schools across China. Studies show that the learning level of rural left-behind children lacks behind their urban peers. Likewise, the situation of migrant children gives rise to concern. Because of the hukou (household registration) system, they are ineligible for many benefits that normal residents have. As an example, they often cannot access public schools in cities, and many have to return to their hometowns after primary or middle school. A study from Jiangxi showed that about 60% of the left-behind children exhibit mental health issues while 56% lack confidence and communication skills.


Established in 2001, Lighthouse provides support to youth living in rural areas near Guangzhou and in more remote areas such as Guangxi or Hunan, and also to migrant youth living in Guangzhou. Lighthouse empowers migrant and left-behind students by building their confidence and skills. From 2001 to 2014, Lighthouse trained and organized groups of undergraduate student volunteers and of working adult volunteers to teach 6,500+ left-behind and migrant children. Their work has been the subject of two external evaluations (2012) showing evidence that participants had more confidence, interest in studying, self-confidence, vision, and interpersonal skills.

Current Grant:

EMpower’s 2nd grant to Lighthouse enables migrant youth in Guangzhou to develop life-skills (confidence, problem- solving, resilience etc.) relevant to their urban situation. It focuses on self-motivated, problem based learning of young migrants on topics related to their lives and communities. This program also puts a special emphasis on gender issues to encourage youth to adopt more gender- equitable behaviors.

Where is Lighthouse?

Primary Location: Guangzhou


Funded Since: 2015

Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.