A Path Under Their Feet
Bohua Primary School is located in a ‘border region’ between urban and rural areas on the outskirts of Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province. The school’s location is appropriate, as most of the children and families it serves occupy a similar in-between space in Chinese society. Many of these families left their home villages in the countryside to seek better opportunities in the city. However, they often struggle to truly integrate into the privileged society of many people living in urban centers like Kunming.
In the neighborhood surrounding Bohua school, there are around 10,000 children and youth under the age of 18. Most of their parents work long hours in low-paying jobs, leaving early in the morning and returning late in the evening. This results in a tough situation for both parents and their kids. Exhausted parents often struggle to give their children the time, attention, and care they need to grow up healthy and well-balanced.
Migrant workers’ children often experience conflict within their families, and many of the youth in this neighborhood often develop unhealthy habits and eventually drop out of school — typically in middle school — to start working before they are truly ready.
In honor of two recent events — Mental Health Awareness Month and International Children’s Day — we thought it would be the perfect time to highlight the good work our CWEF team and local partners are doing to support the students and teachers at Bohua school and the surrounding neighborhood.
The “Life Education” course is a mental health education and resilience-building program that CWEF has developed in partnership with the Yuexing Youth Service Center and the China Youth Development Foundation.
The CWEF team and our local partners created the Life Education course with the aim of helping children like those at Bohua school to cultivate healthy mindsets and the resilience skills they will need to create a better life for themselves and their families.
To that end, we are partnering with experienced local psychologists, social workers, and other skilled trainers to facilitate the Life Education curriculum with just over 300 students from Grades 4-6.
The Life Education curriculum explores four main themes during weekly classes over the span of four school semesters using group discussions, skits, role play, movie clips, and other engaging activities to guide students to think and discuss together about their own lives, relationships, and choices.
Additionally, to further cultivate a healthy community environment for the students, our team and partners recently carried out a one-day seminar for the teachers of Bohua school, where they explored similar strategies for building their own mental well-being and effectiveness as educators.
This semester, the Life Education trainers have been guiding students to think about the different ways they can cultivate healthy relationships with family and friends. They have been learning to reflect about themselves, pay attention to others’ needs and preferences, respect the ideas and beliefs of others, give praise and offer forgiveness to others, and to understand the concept of the five love languages as a way to improve connections with others.
At the end of a recent session, the Life Education trainer led the students in reading the following phrase out loud together:
“Love is to see your own responsibility in the needs of others.”
“We hope that in the days to come, the students will have light in their eyes, love in their hearts, and a path under their feet.”Feng Nan, Psychological Counselor and Life Education course trainer
As a way to summarize the long-term goals of the Life Education course, one of our trainers, Ms. Feng Nan, shared these thoughts:
“The more these kids grow up, the more complex things they will face — not just simple right and wrong. We hope that in the days to come, the students will have light in their eyes, love in their hearts and a path under their feet.”
You can invest in the healthy growth and development of kids like the ones at Bohua school by joining The Community with your recurring monthly or annual gift. Thank you!