We’re really proud of our growing Humane Education program – “Caring for Life” — which is making a big impact in schools and communities throughout China.

Nearly doubling our reach in a year

In 2014, ACTAsia nearly doubled the number of public school students taking our 12-session course, going from 3,500 students in 2013 to more than 6,300 students. We’ve trained a total of 539 humane educators, and this year we are set to deliver “Caring for Life” in 52 schools in five major Chinese cities — ZhuHai, ShenZhen, WuHan, Dalian, and Xiamen.

In the city of Dalian there’s especially good news, as the program has expanded into an entire school district of 21 primary schools, which covers a fifth of the city’s six million people. We’re holding workshops there for 42 new Humane Educators.

“Sowing the Seeds” – our flexible Humane Education program

In addition, we’ve taught the flexible version of the course known as “Sowing the Seeds” to 480 students in rural schools in Sichaun and Gansu Provinces, as well as 86 students at a summer camp in Xiamen.

Government endorsement

Last year, ACTAsia was delighted to be endorsed by a member of the National Education Committee of the central party, known as the “Concerning Next Generation” committee. Having personally experienced the program in Dalian, this committee member was so impressed that she initiated the expansion into the entire school district.

New teaching materials

In 2015, ACTAsia will publish the “Teacher’s Teaching Pack”, which includes the Humane Education lesson plans for Grade One. It’s a 134-page book which will be published by the “China Science and Technology Press,” making it available for purchase by schools and raising the credibility of the program. The published syllabus has also been endorsed by Tessa Jowell, British MP and one-time Minster of State to the Department for Education and Employment, who is well known in China in her role as British Minister for the Olympics.

…And the children love it!

There has been great enthusiasm for the course among the teachers and Humane Educators we trained, but most importantly it’s been a huge hit with the children. “Caring for Life” has introduced into Chinese schools a more informal style of teaching that includes activities and class participation, and the children love it. For many of them, these are the first classes where they are encouraged to think for themselves or form their own opinions. A little lesson in kindness is going a very long way.