Amity Foundation

The Amity Foundation is an independent voluntary organisation established by Chinese Protestant Christians in 1985. Although founded by Christians and closely associated with the Chinese Protestant church, Amity itself is independent of the church and includes Christians and non-Christians among its staff.

Churches in Britain and Ireland have worked with Amity since its inception, particularly on English teaching programmes for universities in China's developing western provinces. Teachers are recruited on a two year contract, presenting a unique opportunity to discover Chinese culture and contribute to local church life. Short-term voluntary opportunities are also possible to arrange.

The Amity Foundation has also undertaken many rural and urban development projects, ranging from micro-credit schemes to providing care and equipment for people with disabilities. Forum members have been regular contributors to this much-needed work.

The Amity Foundation runs a number of programmes to aid people in China's rural areas who are suffering through poverty, disability or from natural disasters. Amity has also established several urban projects to work with migrant workers and their families, who frequently find it difficult to access vital social services.

Amity's Blindness Prevention and Special Education Division provides skills training for people with disabilities. It also provides mobility aids, job placement services and helps refer clients for medical assessments. The division also seeks better schooling opportunities for children with disabilities and monitors schools to see that the rights of children with disabilities are being upheld. Most of the work is done through over 50 trained field workers who have reached over 3000 families. Amity's Community Based Rehabilitation programmes started in 1994, and were the first of their kind in China.

The Amity Foundation is involved in ten schools for the children of migrant workers in Nanjing. Admission is usually free or for a nominal sum, and Amity has worked hard to raise teaching standards and provide pedagogic equipment for the classrooms. Teacher training and leadership development are also essential components.

 

Amity Foundation plaque
© Churches Together in Britain and Ireland 2010