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Left-behind Children research in 2017 - 2018

The project in 2017-2018 has explored how to raise awareness of left-behind children group in the wider community through their own voices.

With the experience of 2016, we came back to Hua Chu Ao primary school again. We hoped to further understand the real situation of rural left behind children through creative, interventionist and participatory interaction. We also tried to propose our hypothesis and exploration for rural education, inclusive society through creative activities.

 

Living in the city, we may never imagine that there is a group of children living in another part of the world not far from us.

 

In 2017 to 2018, our main research focused on:

1. The relationship and current situation between left-behind children and their parents in the countryside

2. How to build a communication bridge between left-behind children and their parents

3. Focusing on the emotional changes of "problem" children

4. Exploring how to communicate with "problem" children and build trust

5. How to increase the impact of the programme and raise the awareness of the community

6. Exploring how aesthetic education can have a positive impact on left-behind children

Scope

Inclusive Education, Aesthetic education, Child Poverty, Social Change, Special groups

Research Methods:

Participatory Research
Experimental Research
Field Studies
Stereotype Research
Desk Research

Research Locations:

Hua Chu Ao primary school, Chongyang County, Xian Ning city, Hubei Province, China

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The process we were making the puppet animation

Children's paintings

More than 60 children draw images that they like or hate or want to be friends, then three-dimensionalize the paintings into puppets. And the parents and children cooperated to complete this work.

Home visits

Before we started production, we visited the family situation of more than 60 children, and told parents about our design goals, and hoped that parents would cooperate with the children to complete the project. We hope that the parents and children will enhance the communication through this process, and meanwhile the parents could get aware of their children's situation at school.

Making puppets 

The puppets work was completed by both the parents and the children. This process not only deeply explored the inner needs of the children, but also made the relationship between the children and the family closer.

Children's painted and made puppets

Scripts created by the children

We divided the children into groups and let the children make a small story with their own puppets for discussing a small script. We want to convey a feeling through the child's thinking and perspective. Perhaps the script is very naive, but it restores the child's real world, and also allows these children to find their identity after being animated.

The production of the puppet animation

we designed the scene, coordinated the work, discussed the shots, purchased the materials,  and shot the film through the stories compiled by the children and finally photographed a public service film.

To find out more about what we were exploring in 2017 - 2018, please be free to contact me.

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Foreword

We have done many activities there and spent time with the children, and we have gained a deeper understanding of this group. One of them, an animated puppet film about the children's joint creation, touched many of us and this public service announcement was shown on the underground in Wuhan, Hubei, as well as being featured in a number of newspapers and magazines.

A puppet story created by children

A public-service advertisement to call for more attention for left-behind children in remote areas. We interacted with these children and directed them to draw images of their ideal puppets. Their parents, who were migrant workers and seldom at home, were invited to sew the puppets together with the children and write stories for the puppets.

 

Afterward, we connected the stories to generate a stop-motion animation to spread on major media and social networks, aiming to draw more attention to the left-behind children and help them with more social forces. The project turned out to be successful, and it was rewarding for us to keep optimizing our service procedures after reflecting on the special group.

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