A journey to grow

Volunteers and children at the Children at Risk, organized by Amity and Versace

The 2017 Summer Camp for Children at Risk was held on 1 to 3 July 2017, in Chengdu. The participants included 26 volunteer from Versace, 10 school teachers who were previously trained by the project and 40 students from difficult social backgrounds as orphans or left-behind children.

The camp, with the theme "Emotion and Communication" was designed and lead by a child psychology expert and a training specialist. The focus was to help children to develop positive values and attitudes towards life, train them interpersonal communication skills and team work.

Children and volunteers using paintings to express emotions (left). With card games the participants reflect on their daily struggles and feelings (right).

“Through sharing of thoughts, participants understand that there are always more solutions than problems“, explains Iris, Amity's project officer.

Through sharing and role play, children and participants are building friendship and empathy.

For the kids, one highlight of the camp was a day trip to visit pandas. Although the children were born in Sichuan, most of them had never seen giant panda, the national mascot and treasure of their home province.

Day trip to the Giant Panda Parl. (left) “Dear big brothers and sisters, thank you for your presents!” (right)

The camp's games showed volunteers and children the power of cooperation. "I learn that there are many solutions to one problem. When our friends are upset, we know what we can do", said one young participant.

The volunteers told us that they gained deeper understanding on their colleagues behavior as well as on their own. "We did not sleep last night, we shared our views and discussed our experiences. This is a valuable opportunity, how we see others and how we see ourselves”, reflected one participant from Hong Kong.

In group games participants boost their self-confidence.

Children at Risk Project

Versace has been working with Amity since December 2016, to carry out the "Children at Risk Project" in Sichuan Province. The three-year project provides basic education and livelihood necessities for local at-risk children. It also builds a “Support Network” of trained local teachers and involves local community organizations and government officials. Additionally, the annual summer camp provides opportunities for at-risk children to learn interpersonal communication skills and build self-confidence.