The education system in China, for both migrant and city children, places little emphasis on a child’s holistic development. Children lack access to opportunities that allow them to develop interpersonal skills, creativity, teamwork, communication skills, self-expression, and self-confidence.
Key achievements, 2007 to present
- Delivered performances and workshops to over 1,700 migrant children in partnership with local schools and community centres
- Provided training to teachers on how to integrate creative and interactive learning into existing curricula
- Hosted winter camps for migrant children, parents and teachers to foster better communication skills
Magic Storybox Children’s Project
Hua Dan’s Magic Storybox Project is designed to address the psychological needs of youth aged 10 to 14 in various migrant communities throughout Beijing. We seek to inspire each child to embark on their own life-long journey of personal development.
- Delivered December 2009 — November 2010 in partnership with Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation
- Delivered November 2010 — June 2011 in partnership with Ford Foundation
“Thank you all for bringing me so much happiness…Thank you for teaching me so much. Thank you for making me laugh again and again.”
“I feel like my confidence increased. I’m not nervous answering questions.”
Bean Sprouts Projects
The “Bean Sprouts Projects” launched in November 2007, serving 6 to 18 year old migrant children living in migrant communities of big cities. Our goal is to provide children with a stimulating and participatory arts education experience and enhance their self-awareness and self-expression, so that they can actively participate in social communications and develop their imagination and creativity. Therefore, more parents and teachers can support the childrens’ emotional and creative development, which improves mutual understanding, respect and interaction between migrants and local population.
“Bean Sprouts Project” services migrant children between 6 and 18 in big cities, as well as their parents and teachers.
According to the 5-steps philosophy of David Glass, prepare – sprouting – organization and development – performance – feedback and improvement, we create our own curriculum which includes “knock at the door” (as the workshop’s beginning), “interactive performance”, “theatre workshop”, “diary writing” (self reflection) and “assessment.”
With theatre as a carrier, combined with art forms like dance, painting and storytelling, we use interactive performances and other forms of activities to help children improve their self-awareness and develop self-confidence, creativity and ability to cooperate. This is how we create a long-term behavior change. At the same time, taking into account the influence of parents and teachers on children, the Bean Sprouts Project also conducted workshops for teachers and parents to enhance their support for their children’s education and promote their understanding and empathy on their children.
In this process, we have created stories based on love, tolerance and trust, which give the children a journey full of fantasy and magic in a powerful, real stage experience. By answering questions children learn how to positively face and improve their relationships with others. After the stage experience, children will experience the story in a participatory arts workshops. Children will explore these topics in a world of participatory theater, dance, music, paper cutting, painting and sculpture.
So far, “Bean Sprouts Projects” has conducted five projects, which served more than 3,800 children of migrant workers in Beijing and Sichuan earthquake areas for free. This also includes the “After School Project” in cooperation with UNESCO and CMC, “Magic Story Box Project” with the Narada Foundation and Chen-Sen Family Foundation, “My Heart Flies” with Nike Company and “Grass Program” in Sichuan.
By participating in our project, the children naturally reveal inner feelings, release and develop their own potential, learn to express themselves and gain the courage to pursue their dreams. This is the goal of the “Bean Sprouts Projects,” as well as all Hua Dan Facilitators.