China Memory Book Project
Rural Central China
Chi HengChi Heng
China Memory Book Network is supported by the Chi Heng Foundation
China Memory Book Project
The making and possession of memory books serve both practical and therapeutic purposes. Through child-centered art and story-telling, memory books are printed pages written to help the children deal with their extreme grief, depression, worries, fears, confusion, sense of alienation and anger toward society that may result from the illness or death of a parent. Also, in addition to helping the children preserve their family history, the guided memory books encourage the children to take charge of their lives and most importantly, not to lose hope.

Memory books have already been adopted by HIV/AIDS communities around the world, in particular in Africa. However, while the memory books have traditionally been made by the sick or dying parents, China Memory Book Project is unique in that the children are active in making the memory books. The guiding tone is understanding, but always optimistic. Indeed, memory books are about life and not about death.

View our memory books, including copies of ones completed by the children.


The first 1,500 copies of the memory books were distributed to orphanages and families in Chi Heng Foundation’s Central China operating areas. View some of our completed memory books!

We hope to expand our memory book project and provide memory books to 3,000 more children. However, our resources are scarce and we need your help! Donate supplies for the memory books.

Summer 2006
We will organize a pilot memory book making workshop with a group of children as part of the Big Sister Big Brother program. Volunteer for this event!

What are our memory books?
Memory books are guided children’s “activity booklets” with instructions and blanks to be filled out by the children. These booklets prompt the children in a child-friendly and sensitive manner to write about and illustrate their personal histories, relationships, troubles, emotions, goals and dreams. Activities include a family tree, contact information of relatives, a “trouble storing box” and drawing space left to the children’s imagination. Separate pages are to be filled out by either the children’s parents, or if they are absent, by relatives or the children themselves. By making copies of the memory books completed in central China downloadable, we also hope to allow the voices of these children to be heard and their generation’s history to be preserved.
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