Jenny Bowen

2006 Finalist – Social Category
Age: 59
Hometown: Berkeley, California

Jenny Bowen, founder and director of Half The Sky Foundation (, was struck by the number of children living in Chinese orphanages because of the “one child” policy and the conditions under which they are raised. After adopting two daughters from China and watching them blossom and develop into healthy, normal children with the support of a loving family, Bowen decided to move to Beijing to create Half The Sky. The organization operates key programs inside the Chinese government orphanages designed to give individual assistance for children 0 to 21 years of age. Half the Sky is the sole foreign partner in the government's new initiative to establish national guidelines for orphan care, and Bowen's work helped officials recognize that individual attention and nurture are just as important to orphan welfare as food, medical care and shelter. Already, Half The Sky has reached more than 10,000 children directly in its centers, including more than 3,500 who are active in the programs today in 28 cities in 11 provinces and municipalities throughout China.

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