Plan International’s annual fundraiser this year aims to provide quality education for underprivileged children in Mainland China. The 3rd “Walk for Children” will be held on 27th April 2014 at West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade, featuring the theme “Pass on the Love”. In order to give the participants a glimpse of the difficulties and challenges that most underprivileged children in developing countries have to face daily, experiential activities in dedicated zones will be set up along the walkathon route, a departure from past years’ Walks.
The “Walk for Children” has received tremendous support from the public since its launch in 2012, demonstrated by the substantial increase in participation, which recorded almost triple increase year-on-year in 2013.
Funds raised in the 2014 Walk will specifically support education programmes in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China, following in the footsteps of the successful initiatives in Yunnan Province that the 2013 Walk benefited. Through reconstructing and repairing existing schools, improving teaching and learning facilities and providing training for teachers, this project aims to significantly improve early childhood education especially for ethnic minority children in this rural area.
In Longde County, Guyuan City there are simply not enough professional pre-school teachers and the learning environment is very poor. Some children do not have a chance to receive education whereas those who do go to school are not able to learn in a safe, stimulating environment, as the campuses lack maintenance and the most basic facilities. In the past four years, Plan has helped to build six kindergartens but they are still inadequate to meet demand.
With the aim of further improving the school environment and teacher training, the education programmes in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region include replenishing resources and equipment for township-level kindergartens, such as providing books, desks, chairs, toys and cupboards, as well as educating parents about health, providing nutrient-dense packets for 120 children aged 6 to 36 months, and inviting external education experts to teach and help 20 local teachers to make use of new knowledge and teaching skills.
The teachers will be invited to visit the model kindergartens in Yinchuan City, to observe and learn how abstract teaching concepts are realised and implemented in the schools. Plan strongly believes that once children are granted the opportunity of receiving proper pre-school education, they will be able to integrate smoothly into primary school and make the most of the next level of education, thus effectively saving them from the cycles of poverty that have caused their parents and grandparents to struggle.
Mr. James Murray, Chief Executive Officer of Plan International Hong Kong, said, “Participants often wonder what happens in the aftermath of an event, what has been achieved. We are pleased to report that thanks to the generosity of donors and sponsors of last year’s Walk, Plan has successfully refurbished three kindergartens and benefitted 300 children in total in Yunnan Province.
“We have also built kitchens and water-heating devices in the campuses, as well as implemented school nutrition programmes to improve students’ health conditions. In addition, Plan has organised that 30 local teachers receive a three-month training on early childhood care and development with the hope of eventually improving the quality of education.
“Funds raised in the upcoming ‘Walk for Children’ 2014 will be put to a similar practical use in our programmes in Ningxia. I sincerely call upon your support and look forward to seeing you all on 27th April 2014!”
“Walk for Children” 2014 is now open for enrolment and the deadline is 27th March 2014. Participants may enjoy this special day with family and friends. Please call 3583 3100 for enrolment and enquiries or visit our event website for online registration.