OREANDA-NEWS. Since 2010, east China's Anhui Province has invested 26.16 million yuan (USD 4.3 million) to build activity centers for left-behind children in 1,308 villages and towns and established 855 activity rooms equipped with children's books and sports equipment.

Women's federation organizations, the communist youth league and education administrative departments of all levels in Anhui have been organizing all kinds of activities to help these children, whose parents have left them in their hometowns to work in the cities. The province has set up activity centers, assigned surrogate parents to the children and opened Anhui Opera training courses for them.

"Wenjin used to feel lonely and would often cry when she missed her mother. But she's more confident and happy now after studying Anhui Opera for the past three years," said Shao Guanjuan, 55, about her granddaughter Zhu Wenjin. They live in Fuling Town in Jixi County.

A total of 5,000 Fuling residents have left to become migrant workers in other cities, leaving behind 306 children, over 90 percent of who live with their grandparents.

As a way of preserving the traditional cultural heritage of their hometown and to keep the children entertained and occupied, the Jixi County Women's Federation has been working with senior folk artists to set up Anhui Opera training classes.

"Wenjin used to have no friends and would just stay at home alone. But now that she's been taking the classes, she often goes to the center to read books together with the other children," Shao said.

There are 3.6 million children like Wenjin in Anhui.