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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

OneSky (Half the Sky Foundation)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, International, International Relief, Preschools, Youth Development Programs

Mission: OneSky believes in the vast potential hidden in our world’s most vulnerable children. We create and implement simple, replicable early learning programs that provide nurturing, responsive care, transforming the lives of thousands of at-risk children every day and ensuring that those most in need have a second chance at childhood.

Results: We have directly transformed the lives of 126,000 orphaned and abandoned children and trained 13,000 caregivers. Our model has become China’s national standard for orphan care.

Programs: OneSky operates Orphanage Model programs: Infant Nurture, Preschools and Family Villages. Its national training program is now integrating with China's own welfare training system to become the national standard for orphan care in China. OneSky's Infant Nurture Centers employ OneSky-trained nannies--retired or laid-off workers from the local community, to cuddle, love and provide babies (0-2 yrs) the physical and emotional stimulation essential to the normal development of the brain and psychological well-being. In OneSky's preschools, OneSky-trained teachers use a unique and progressive curriculum that blends principles of the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education with contemporary Chinese teaching methods. The program is designed not only to prepare the children (2-7yrs) to succeed in Chinese schools, but also to help develop the 'whole child', to help her attain the positive sense of self so often missing in institutionalized children. OneSky also provides permanent foster families for disabled orphans on or adjacent to orphanage grounds. This project enables children who will never be adopted to grow up knowing the love of a family while also receiving the support services that the welfare institution and OneSky programs provide. In 2015 OneSky launched its Village Model to serve left-behind children 0-6 years old. It's programs include: Parenting skills and responsive care training, benefitting infants, toddlers, and their preschool-aged siblings, which is delivered to primary caregivers through group trainings at the OneSky Family Center and via weekly home visits. The focus is on providing nurturing care in daily life, with an emphasis on attachment and bonding, brain development and stimulation, and on fostering early communication. The establishment of an early learning center provided for all children in the village, ages 3-6, irrespective of the family’s ability to pay. The child-centered curriculum emphasizes using responsive care to improve cognitive, social, emotional development and school readiness. Community engagement geared toward strengthening now disintegrating rural communities and providing a nurturing home for young children despite parental absence by offering trainer-facilitated village gatherings, monthly community projects and cooperative childcare.

Community Stories

117 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 Laura304

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can not overstate the impact that OneSky (Half the Sky) had on the lives of my two daughters, both adopted from China. During their first 18 months of life, lived at two different orphanages in two different provinces (Sichuan and Hunan), they both had the love, affection, and care of their "special nannies" from Half the Sky. We will forever be in their debt. They taught our daughters how to love, how to trust, and how to bond with a loving, caring adult. I do not hesitate to say that our younger daughter may not have survived if it weren't for Half the Sky. She was born with a severe cleft lip and palate, and her orphanage struggled to feed her and keep her healthy. We know that if it weren't for her Half the Sky nanny, her chances of survival would have been minimal in such a poor orphanage in a small Chinese city.We love OneSky, and we will forever be in their debt for the lives they gave our daughters before they became part of our family.Laura SmithOak Park, IL

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported this charity for almost 15 years. The work they do is amazing. My two daughters were adopted from China and both benefitted from the programs One Sky had instituted in their respective orphanages.

Connie Veldman J.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been supporters of HTS for over ten years. We had the joy of meeting Jenny Bowen, an angel on this earth. She has moved mountains for orphans and continues to be driven to help the least fortunate children. This is one of the very best charities we have been associated with.

Donor

Rating: 5

Ever since we came home from China with our daughter, we knew we wanted to do more to help all the kids left behind. Half the Sky (and now One Sky) have provided wonderful services to those children, giving them love and fun and new learning. They've found new ways for parents to be near their children and helped whole communities.

1 Vera R.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Where to start? How about in China, in a village, with people like you and me. And children who need care, and then Jenny Bowen. A woman with a vision.
I am merely a citizen of this world and can only do so much, but every one of us can contribute in our own way.
Bullet points:
My family adopted 2 children.
We learned about Half the Sky/One Sky.
I got to witness 2 preschools and foster famiies set up firsthand in 2005.
I watched children like mine get a new chance.
I cried and I laughed.
I helped a little I hope.
I still hope.
I still help.
Thank you One Sky. xxx

Donor

Rating: 5

As someone who was an orphan adopted from China, this nonprofit is pretty close to my heart. I did research initially on charities that helped orphans in China and they seemed very reputable according to charity navigator. I've been sponsoring a child monthly and I appreciate all the work they've done so far including the new child learning center in Vietnam.

Donor

Rating: 5

One Sky is an incredible organization. They train caregivers to give the kids the best possibe care. They also provide additional caregivers so that kids get more individualized attention. They build schools in the orphanages they sponsor, and train the teachers. They also find housing for foster parents, and furnish their homes. Really great work, with profound results.

1 Jeannette Ewing L.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've followed and supported the work of One Sky - formerly Half the Sky - for over ten years now. I've seen their enormous impact up close, having visited their centers on several trips to China. They are driven by love and compassion, but they operate with killer efficiency and focus. As an adoptive parent of two Chinese daughters, I am immensely grateful for the work of this amazing organization.

1 Karin H.1

Donor

Rating: 5

My daughter was orphaned in China. She was very fortunate to be able to attend One Sky's Little Sister Preschool program so that she was able to have joy, the sense of love and appreciation from a caregiver, and learning experiences until we bright her home at almost age 4. When she arrived in America and learned that her big brothers were registering for school, her expectation was that she would be attending school too even though she hadn't been home long. For bonding purposes, the school even let Daddy attend school with her until she was ready to be dropped off and picked up. Her joy for learning, courage, confidence, language skills, love for projects, and resilience all seem to be related to the support she received through One Sky. We have continued to support this program and others for the past 6 years and are thrilled that so many more children will benefit from loving caregivers and supportive learning environments. Thank you OneSky!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My girls were adopted 17 and 19 years ago from orphanages in China. They did not benefit from Half the Sky's work and the developmental delays they both suffered were alarming. I visited their orphanages at the time of adoption and saw the institutional issues which contributed to their problems. I was confident that their adoptions were life-saving. Having seen the institutional despair first hand, I became an early sponsor of Half the Sky Foundation in hopes of improving the outlook of my daughters' friends that were left behind. I sponsored individual children and also donated to the general fund. I was thrilled to witness first hand the transformation of the institution that my first daughter came from when she and I visited it 10 years ago. After Half the Sky moved in, it was a happy lively place and the benefits were very obvious. OneSky is my main charitable organization at this time as the benefits are fast, measurable, and seem to grow exponentially as each teacher becomes trained.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Making such a great effort to give kids a better start in there life. Done with so much passion, love and dedication with a small team.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son now 6 years old had his first two years of love and care from half the sky ladies in a Chinese orphanage.

It really helped him a lot!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been OneSky sponsors ever since this charity's inception as Half the Sky. Jenny Bowen is one of my most admired women for creating, sustaining, and constantly improving the scope, reach, and effectiveness of the work that is being done for these children. She partners with the government and the people working on the ground to bring the maximum benefit to the children, and the maximum value from our donations. This is a remarkable organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to OneSky for over eight years. Their programs and outreach are outstanding.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family will forever be grateful for One Sky and the care our son received in their orphanage foster home. Our hope is more children worldwide will have the blessing of being cared for through One Sky.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our son back in 2010 and he was cared by the nanny program due to his clef lip and palate. He was so well cared for and loved, he was healthy and because of the love he received we never had any separation issues. Even his lip surgery was so well done that our surgeon did not have to touch his lip ehen he did his palate surgery.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

They put into practice the value of physically expressing love, compassion, and respect, and it is invaluable.

3 ChinaMom23

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization providing desperately needed training for caregivers and services for orphans! Our son was adopted before this organization began. He suffered effects of long-term malnutrition and neglect that will stay with him forever. Lying long days alone in this crib, his brain did not develop properly. Crucial developmental milestones were missed. No amount of therapy can undo some missed connections in brain development! As a consequence, our son will forever have developmental delays. With proper infant nurture and stimulation as advocated by OneSky, this would not have happened. But now, if the family of every adopted child could reach back through One Sky and help just one child left behind in an orphanage, the future for all orphaned children would be so much brighter!

2 Misty16

Client Served

Rating: 5

One Sky is a wonderful organization filling an often overlooked need. They provide as close to family care as you can get in an orphanage. It is extraordinary and we are so thankful for One Sky.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Half the Sky has a partnership at the orphanage our daughter is from. They took excellent care of her and was clearly well loved by the nannies and director. The director knew each child well and cared for each child as an individual. The mission of Half the Sky empowers workers and orphans alike. We're very thankful for Half the Sky and the work they do, our daughter benefited greatly from their program.

2 Sarah82

Donor

Rating: 5

Like Jenny Bowen, I adopted a little girl from China. I poured everything I had into her and saw her light up and flourish in her new life. Like every other adoptive parent, I agonized about all the other children I hadn't brought home. They haunted me. Jenny Bowen took these experiences and acted on them. She taught and reminded people that love and care lavished upon young children by one, consistent caregiver does the most incredible things for them. I am so impressed with how far Jenny Bowen has taken this non-profit so far. She has gone right to the leaders of China and convinced them to use this new model of care! I am so amazed and grateful for her work. She inspires me every day and I think of her as I raise my daughter and teach my kindergarten students. Love will help them all to grow strong, as they should. They all deserve this care.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

Like most parents who adopt from China, I am haunted by all the children still in orphanages. I could only help one directly. The organizers of Half the Sky are also adoptive parents, but they have done what the rest of us only wished we could do. They have created a wonderful organization that creatively and directly helps little children in institutions and gives them a special someone to love them, encourage and teach them, and even to keep a life book for them to document their early years. They train nannies to nurture rather than to merely feed and clothe the children. They use love and art to fill these children's lives. They work with the Chinese government to spread their method further and further. They see problems in particular orphanages and address them. A few years ago they invited me to give them some input. I mentioned that there are many sports-a-thons but as a non-athletic person I did not feel I could do much. What about art? Something I and others can do. They took this idea and created Art from the Heart, an art fundraiser which also celebrates and encourages both the donors and the children in China's talents. They also have pages on their site for adopted children to connect with children in China and for children here to use their ideas to fundraise as well. My daughter has asked for donations to Half the Sky instead of receiving birthday presents and many other children have done this as well. Half the Sky is an amazing organization and deserves all the support we can give them!

2 Cristy G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In July 2014 my daughter (adopted from China in 2003) and I were able to go back and visit her orphanage in Changsha, Hunan. The changes brought by OneSky/Half the Sky were breathtaking! We visited multiple rooms, from infants to toddlers and preschoolers. We were able to spend nearly an hour with toddlers in a playroom. We could see babies receiving cuddling and massages in the neighboring room. The toddlers were playing with and being snuggled by adults the whole time we were there. The soft flooring allows for playing sitting or laying down. The preschoolers were having snack at a little table and each of their cups had their photo on it. The room was full of preschool lessons. When we visited in 2003 all the floors were tile and the babies were in walkers, there were very few toys for the toddlers to play with, and only older kids when to school. All of the children in the orphanage in 2014 had special needs and previously these children were often underestimated & underserved. We personally saw dozens of little lives made brighter...and I know that hundreds upon hundreds have benefitted from the training and programs introduced into orphanages all over China by OneSky.

1 Emma24

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer I went to China, volunteering with Onesky to help the nannies at the care home with the babies. I has so much fun spending time with other adoptees and seeing first hand what it was like on the other side of the adoption side now that I'm older.