Meeting children's psychological needs


In March and May Amity conducted two training sessions for village school teachers in Sichuan Province. These workshops marked the beginning of a 3-year project funded by Versace. The project aims to provide sustainable and comprehensive support for at-risk children in the local communities of Anyue.

Participants are interpreting pictures drawn by at-risk

children to grasp an idea about their psychological well-being

Role-play is an emotional and effective way to reconsider about the method of communicating

In a first step, the project staff and partners identified 20 teachers from 10 primary schools, who are responsible for on-campus children counseling work. Afterwards they participated in guided training modules designed by experts in the field of child care. By means of case studies, role-play, observation, simulation, discussion and other group activities, the teachers learned many aspects of mental health theories for children, as well as practical skills. The workshops aim to impart those methods and skills and make the teachers understand children’s psychological needs.

Trainer from Nanjing playing with a group of at-risk children recorded with a camera for demonstration purpose

Trainer from Hong Kong show how children can be advocates of change in the community

Social worker from Nanjing share about their work

Furthermore, trainers from Hong Kong and the Mainland trained the participants how to acknowledge and manage children’s emotions and how to communicate with children in need of psychological help. “My son said he felt warmth and love like never before after our talk last night”, told one teacher excitedly, when she shared how she used the new communication method. “Now, I have more confidence in understanding needy children in my school through proper dialogues in the future.” Amity also engages local education and civil affair authorities in the 3-year project, as well as local NGOs , which are working in the field of child care. The participation of those partners on the ground will help the teachers to apply the knowledge into concrete activities, but also to maximize the impact of the training by forming a wider and more effective network of teachers, social workers and other persons responsible.

Subsequently, the second phase of the 3-year project is a training that will take place in 2018 and primarily focus on reflection and evaluation of the in 2017 applied skills. Consequently, some selected teachers will be trained to train a new group of teachers in the future. In doing so, the aspect of 'train the trainers' will be put into practice. The project is an extension and advancement of a similar project in Hunan that will end in 2017, funded by Bread for the World (BftW). Experiences and lessons learned from the project were taken into account.

Amity's case study booklet for at-risk children in China

Supported by the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS), the Amity Foundation published a booklet with case studies of ten children with psychological needs. “This booklet will serve as practical support guide for teachers and social workers of how to take measures and meet the psychological needs of children professionally and effectively”, says Iris, Amity’s responsible project officer in Hong Kong.

Complementing the so far implemented work, Amity is teaming up with Versace's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) staff and planning together the first Amity Summer Camp for At-risk Children in Anyue in early July.