On a rainy day in 1997 when we met our little daughter, Maya, in Guangzhou, I began to learn what it means to a child to live a life without love. Just a year later, I looked out my window and saw our beloved toddler romping in the garden, so full of life and joy, looking for all the world like she’d always been adored. I suddenly understood just how resilient young children can be, and at that moment, I resolved to do whatever I could so that no more children should feel the hurt of being unwanted and alone. That was the day Half the Sky was born. And now, I wake up each morning knowing without doubt I can help make a child’s life better today… and I smile at my good fortune.
A former screenwriter and independent filmmaker, Jenny Bowen founded Half the Sky in 1998 in order to give something back to her adopted daughters’ home country and to the many children then languishing behind institutional walls.
In 2007 Jenny was awarded the American Chamber of Commerce’s Women of Influence Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Hong Kong, In 2008 she received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, she carried the Olympic Torch on Chinese soil, and in the same year Half the Sky became one of only a handful of foreign NGOs officially recognized and legally registered by the Chinese government. She serves on China’s National Committee for Orphans and Disabled Children and on the Expert Consultative Committee for Beijing Normal University’s Philanthropy Research Institute.