Lululemon is teaming up with Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation to provide support for China’s “left-behind” children.
The partnership will see Lululemon offer children’s mental health courses to parents and education workers involved in looking after left-behind children. The project will take place over 6 months and be divided into four segments, though details of the content of these segments have not been shared. In August, 40 left-behind children and educational workers will be invited to participate in a summer camp in Beijing as part of the project.
At the launch ceremony on June 15, Vice-president of Lululemon China Retail said, “We hope that through our joint efforts, we can not only bring our expertise and skills to the frontline workers and parents involved in children’s education, but also help them to improve their physical and mental well-being, and together help children to grow up healthy.”
Left-behind children are rural children whose parents have migrated to cities in search of better job prospects. In a UNICEF report from 2015, this demographic was estimated to comprise a staggering 70 million children, most of whom are in the care of grandparents or other relatives.
Reduced mental health is major issue among this demographic, with a research paper published in 2020 finding that left-behind children suffer from academic stress, loneliness, sadness, insomnia, and self-harm behaviour at a significantly higher rate than their counterparts with conventional guardianship in place.
The partnership with Soong Cing Ling Foundation will help Lululemon reach its goal of influencing the lives of 10 million people by 2025. This objective was formed at the launch of the brand’s Centre for Social Impact, which aims to improve the wellbeing of disadvantaged people through investment and advocacy.