Mission 21 supports the population in China through projects in the educational sector. Our involvement focuses mainly on the provinces of Yunnan, Shaanxi and Guangdong in the south-west of the country. Additional projects are located in the Hong Kong S.A.R.
China: a country in transformation
China is an emerging industrial nation. This means that massive social and economic upheavals are taking place there within a short period of time. Social and family structures are being impacted and broken up by migration movements towards the major industrial centres. This is creating uncertainty among the population. At the same time, even tighter restrictions are being imposed by the Chinese government on churches and organizations in civil society. The government fears the increasing influence of these institutions on Chinese society.
Good qualifications are important
Many Chinese – including young people in particular – are turning to religious and spiritual groups as a source of support, as is attested by the growing numbers of church members in China. Both the Protestant and Catholic Churches in China are among the fastest growing religious communities anywhere in the world. This is also leading to increased demand for well-trained specialist staff. These individuals will play a key role in the development of church and society.
Better future opportunities for everyone
Mission 21 has maintained a longstanding partnership with the three theological seminaries in Guangzhou (Guangdong province), Xian (Shaanxi province) and Kunming (Yunnan province). These three provinces include very poor areas where many disadvantaged ethnic minorities live. It is especially hard for them to secure good prospects for the future.
Mission 21 funds scholarships for students from poor backgrounds, most of whom belong to an ethnic minority. In this way, young people are given opportunities for a good education and better prospects for the future. At the same time, Mission 21 is strengthening equal opportunities and ethnic diversity in China through this programme.
A future for poor areas
Many people in China leave their villages to study and work in the major industrial centres. This prevents development in rural areas, increases the isolation of people in those areas and reduces them to poverty. So it is all the more encouraging that (for example) 96% of graduates from the theological college in Yunnan return to their home villages, where they make use of the skills they have learned to assist the region's development.
Professional support from Mission 21
Mission 21 collaborates closely with its partners, guaranteeing that they receive professional support. The various educational establishments are in close contact with each other. Dr. Tobias Brandner, a member of Mission 21's international staff who lectures at Chung Chi College in Hong Kong, provides on-site support for the three colleges.