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Care for left-behind children in east China
update:June 02,2020
June 2,2020 -- On Monday, Lan Ruoxuan received a gift from volunteers for International Children's Day.
It was a gift from the volunteers of Care In 365 Days, a volunteer group in Jingning She Autonomous County, east China's Zhejiang Province.
"I'm so happy," said the 12-year-old girl.
In China, many children are left behind in vast rural areas because their families are poor and their parents are migrant workers working in big cities.
According to statistics from China's Ministry of Civil Affairs, by the end of August 2018, there were 6.97 million left-behind children in the country's rural areas, though the number was down 22.7 percent from 9.02 million in 2016.
Without parents to guide and support them, many rural left-behind children have developed psychological problems, and some children even have difficulty communicating.
Facing these issues, Jingning She Autonomous County integrated administrative and social resources to build a comprehensive network around left-behind children and children in difficulty.
Local authorities launched the Care In 365 Days program, with every left-behind child paired up with a policeman, a doctor and a volunteer.
Should the children face any security problems, they can directly contact their assigned police officers and receive instant protection. Doctors are responsible for educating these children on how to live healthy lives and providing them with regular examinations, while the volunteers provide companionship, help them with their studies and cultivate their interests.
After Lan lost her mother, she lived with her grandfather in the village. Smiles were rarely seen on her face until she joined the company of her volunteer friends.
One year into the program, the once shy and silent Lan fell in love with music and developed a passion for singing and dancing in her ethnic clothes.
In recent years, the government has implemented a variety of measures to care for and protect left-behind children in rural areas.
According to official figures, there are 48,000 guardians for children in villages and townships, in addition to 663,000 village-level children's directors. 
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