The Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV) in Tianjin was founded by Tim and Pam Baker, the founders and directors of the Philip Hayden Foundation, who are famous for their devotion to special needs orphans in China. The Baker’s and their three girls first came to China in 1988 to teach English. It wasn’t long before they fell in love with China and its people, and moved to Beijing in 1991 for Tim’s position as director of operations for the non-profit teaching organization University Language Services. Shortly after, the Bakers made their first visit to a Chinese orphanage, starting a long journey of charitable volunteer work helping special needs orphans in China.
The Bakers grew increasingly involved in their work at Chinese orphanages, and even adopted their first Chinese orphan, a physically handicapped young girl named Esther. In 1995 they founded the Philip Hayden Foundation, in memory of Tim’s assistant Philip Hayden, who held a strong passion for helping orphans but unfortunately died at the age of 28 from a rare heart condition. Tim and Pam both quit their teaching positions to work full time at the foundation, which quickly expanded beyond just donating items to needy orphanages, and became a full-fledged foster care specifically for special-needs orphans. In 2002, after searching for a location to open their facilities, they met with the government of the Tianjin Dawangguzhuang Economic Development Zone and were donated a parcel of land for a single Yuan.
In August 2006 the first children arrived at the Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV). Since then the Bakers and their staff have grown the facilities into a compound made up of 6 children’s homes, a clinic and school, a beautiful playground, the inn of Eight-Happiness for visitors to stay in, and the Foundation’s office. Additional expansions are under work, such as a vocational center. With the help of the Chinese government, partnered orphanages, and donations from organizations and business in China and abroad, the Bakers have built the largest foreign-funded orphanage in China.
Since its founding, the SFCV has cared for more than 8,000 orphans, provided for over 3,000 surgeries and medical procedures, helped facilitate permanent adoption of over 900 children, and received special needs children from more than 35 government run orphanages. SFCV and Tim and Pam have received much media attention and visits because of their work, helping to bring the US and China together through goodwill, kindness, and giving abandoned youth a future. Together, they have made unparalleled contribution to the friendship and understandings of two great nations.
Tim Baker, the founder of The Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village, holding the US China Outstanding Contribution Award, presented by Lin Mingde, Chinese master ceramic artist, at the Third Award Ceremony at the Root of Shanghai, Snowflakes Lake Resort, Feb. 7th, 2015 in Shanghai.