During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, China experienced decline and stagnation, civil unrest, major famines, major military defeats, and even foreign occupation.
Post-World War II Communist leader, Mao Zedong imposed a strict autocratic system that resulted in the deaths of many millions of people. He was, however, succeeded in 1978 by the economically oriented, capitalist-endorsing Deng Xiaoping. Since then China's economic output has quadrupled. It remains, nonetheless, a very poor country. In fact, 16% of China's 1.3 billion people live on less than 55 pence a day.
The people of China are in great need of the life-changing hope that child sponsorship can bring to their families and communities. You can sponsor a child in China  through ActionAid, one of the world's leading relief and development agencies. They have developed a child sponsorship scheme which links people in more affluent countries with individual children in developing countries around the world.
ActionAid has worked with communities in China since 1999, and it established a permanent office there in 2001. Improving access to basic sanitation, health and education facilities, and the training of health workers and the provision of health services are top priorities. It also supports micro-finance companies that make small loans and credit available to business start-ups.
ActionAid invests in the improvement of education facilities, and it has championed the need for poor people, especially women, to know their rights, and to come together to fight for them. Gender equality is of great concern, and ActionAid staff work hard to build the self-esteem of women in order that they become active in society. At times of natural disaster, such as the earthquake of May 2008 which killed 87,000 people, ActionAid has been on hand to provide emergency relief.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth of expertise in fighting poverty. The charity partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not impose solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to affect a lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in China  today will cost you only 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money.
As a child sponsor you will be able arrange a personal visit with your child and to communicate with them. You can also look forward to receiving special letters and drawings, including a new photograph every two years. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent by keeping in touch with your child's local ActionAid office, and through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.
You may also like to consider sponsoring a child through the following trusted agencies:
Sponsor a child in China with World Vision