The One Foundation, the charity founded by film star Jet Li, announced on Thursday the creation of a program to help the country's orphans and other children whose parents are absent.
Thursday's announcement came at the China Charity Fair in Shenzhen.
Chen Hongle, the foundation's project director, said the new program seeks to help the 573,000 orphans under 18 years old and 570,000 other children who have no parents raising them.
The other children include those who lost their fathers and whose mothers remarried but didn't keep them; and those whose parents are both in prison.It's always good to get a reminder that it's not just Western adoptive parents who are supportive of orphan care initiatives in China. Despite Jet Li's prominence in the West, the foundation is China-based.
Chen said 86 percent of the affected 1.14 million children are in rural areas, with the majority being in western regions such as the Tibet autonomous region and Qinghai province.
Chen said the foundation will provide children who don't live in orphanages or welfare houses with a schoolbag, which they call a "warm bag", with stationery, daily necessities and an e-book reader. For children in orphanages or welfare houses, the program will concentrate on their mental health and will give psychological support and advice, especially to those 15 to 18 and about to look for work.