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Health and art education in rural Yunnan

By in Features on

News out of Yunnan often focuses on broad subjects such as the province's involvement in Chinese foreign policy, infrastructure projects and environmental issues. Sometimes lost in the bigger picture are the millions of families toiling away in the countryside.

People living in Yunnan's remote reaches often have little access to basic health care or education past middle school. Village Progress (VP) was established with these people in mind. The non-profit organization looks to promote sustainable growth alongside conservation while also working to raise levels of education and access to health care in some of Yunnan's poorest areas.

On November 12, VP is planning an art and health education project. It will take place at two different Jingpo minority (景颇族) schools in Longchuan County (龙川县) near the Myanmar border. They will spend one day at each of the two schools and meet with about 350 students.

Volunteers will focus primarily on basic health education and its practical applications. Equipped with a CPR dummy, volunteers will demonstrate basic first aid skills and then give presentations on safety and nutrition.

Art teachers equipped with magazine clippings and construction paper will then encourage the students to piece together collages. Students will work alone and in groups to tell stories through mosaics they create with photos, paper and glue.

The students will be given the chance to express themselves in new and creative ways — an opportunity that is often lacking in rural schools. All of the finished art pieces will be photographed to be featured online at the VP website.

Previous incarnations of the program have been held in Kunming and Bangdong. Village Progress is open to participation by qualified volunteers. To join them on the four-day trip, ask questions or make a material or monetary donation, VP can be reached through their online contact form.

Images: Yereth Jansen

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Thanks for the great article — well written, Pat.

Village Progress is a wonderful program that helps bring about vital and important information and services to rural Yunnan.

The creative aspect, the art programs, etc. are something the children and students will remember and treasure for their entire lives.

We support Village Progress!


It's sad that the first programs to be cut are the music and art programs in America. Too little importance are given to this not realizing that having these programs spurs creativity and keep the kids out of trouble too. Kudos to the Village Progress!

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