Visiting an early childhood center in China

What a day!

When all the IKEA colleagues arrived at the Early Childhood Care and Development Center (ECCD), there were parents and children from 10 villages of the Long Bin County who were very excited to welcome our IKEA colleagues!

To show their appreciation of the support from IKEA and the IKEA Foundation, they welcomed the visitors with traditional dances and songs, which were performed following demonstrations by parents and teachers of the interactive activities which the teachers have taught them.

Traditional dancing in YunnanTraditional dancing in Yunnan

“The interactive activities were amazing since it is very rare for Chinese parents to express their affection for their children by hugs or kisses. Even though some of the parents might still be shy about doing so, one can tell their effort and love for their children, which is very touching,” said one of the colleagues from Taiwan IKEA, Roxy Cheng.

The highlight of the day was speaking to mothers from the villages who became volunteer teachers after they had received training from Save the Children’s teacher trainers, selected and hired from a kindergarten in the county.

Talking to parents in Yunnan

Lots of questions were asked by the IKEA visitors. “Have you got any support from your family to participate in the center, especially since you are so busy working at the farm or at home? How do you find the time to come to the center?” asked Jacky Li Sheung Kit from IKEA Hong Kong. “How does the center help your children?”

“All my family members are very supportive of me and my child to get involved in the activities and trainings of the Center,” said a village woman. “We never had a chance to receive any education and training like this. Now the opportunity is provided to us, of course, you should attend. Also, we want our grandchildren to be able to benefit from this so that they can learn and be inspired…”

“After participating in the activities at the center, we see dramatic changes happening to our children: they become more outgoing, interactive and expressive, compared with other children who didn’t have the chance to attend the center. We really appreciate the establishment of the center and the opportunities to get involved. We hope the center can continue and benefit more children in the villages,” said the volunteer teachers with tears in their eyes and deep appreciation.

    Monique Kuo