Sichuan Children’s Programme

On May 12, 2008, the devastating earthquake in Sichuan severely affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of survivors. The psychological effects of the disaster will be felt for years to come, and schoolchildren are among the worst affected. Very soon after the tragedy struck, Hua Dan began working in Sichuan, bringing our workshops into the disaster area, and has been present ever since.

Guangji schoolchildren taking part in a Sichuan Programme activity

Hua Dan team is working with Tongchang Middle School in Beichuan county to help teachers to incorporate participatory theatre in their teaching methods. Through these methods, abstract concepts such as confidence and team-work can be experienced by children in very real and concrete ways that will positively influence their behaviour and values.

Participants enjoying an outdoor activity in Sichuan

In Chengdu, we are focusing on training art practitioners and trainers in participatory arts theatre methods, so that they can improve the quality of their service to their communities and schools. In addition, we conduct Children’s Programme activities.

“Qing Cao” Children’s Project

The project aims at applying participatory drama in student after-class activities in earthquake-stricken regions. This, we hope, will help the children rebuild confidence and better express their feelings.

Sichuan Programme participants making a frozen picture

We also provide teachers’ workshops, and camps in summer and winter to help children get support and understanding from teachers and parents, with the goal of building a good relationship and better communication between the adults and children.

To date, participants in the programme include the Shuimo Middle School in Wenchuan county, the Feishui Primary School in An county, the Jinhua School in Mianzhu city, the Qinglian Primary School and the Jiuling School in Jiangyou city, and Longmenshan School, in Pengzhou city. We are exploring ways to further scale and improve this model.

Training project

If you are interested in innovative art education, or if you are a dance, music, or painting teacher, please join us in this project. We invite art workers and educators from Sichuan Province to explore participatory drama education with us and to promote alternative educational practices.