Air Liquide employee Angela Hua is the KidStrong program’s sponsor. This project was recommended to the Foundation by another group employee, Laura Begoc. Launched in 2006 by the association Shanghai Roots and Shoots*, KidStrong’s purpose is to care for the children of Chinese migrants and teach them essential knowledge about hygiene, health and nutrition.
What is the aim of the KidStrong program in Shanghai?
Angela: KidStrong is a long-term project to meet the needs of the children of Chinese migrants in terms of health and nutrition. The association trains volunteers to go into schools and raise children’s awareness of the importance of hygiene and having a good diet. Moreover, regular medical check-ups for the children allow us to identify their needs and provide the relevant care: free dental check-ups and care for children that need it, eye examinations and visual correction if necessary, protein supplements, etc.
What difficulties do these children of Chinese migrants encounter?
Laura: The association is now working with 6 migrants’ schools, with nearly 4,800 children that come from neighboring provinces. These schools are located in the city’s poor suburbs, which are home to families that leave their village of origin looking for work in the nearby building sites. The living and hygiene conditions are poor, and children don’t always have access to basic care.
Angela: These interventions are clearly beneficial for the children, who express a strong desire to learn. It is also a way of positively influencing the parents and how they educate their children, as well as reducing the spread of disease.
How would you describe your experience as a sponsor?
Angela: This partnership between Air Liquide Foundation and Shanghai Roots and Shoots is very enriching. We followed a training course regarding the dental hygiene in April with 20 others Air Liquide volunteers, and in May, we delivered this course to the children in migrant schools. We taught them how to maintain dental hygiene ; how to prevent dental caries and the right way of brushing the teeth. We received quite positive feedback both from the children and their parents. It’s also a good opportunity for us to learn about others.
How does the Air Liquide Foundation support the association?
Angela: The Foundation financed the purchase of the equipment required for these medical examinations and training, as well as bedside lamps to allow children to read and do their homework.
Laura: Air Liquide is present all over the world. It’s important that we contribute to the future of these regions and their inhabitants, and that we involve the group’s employees in this policy.
To find out more
Additional information on Shanghai Roots and Shoots: http://jgi-shanghai.org/en/
* Shanghai Roots and Shoots is part of the Jane Goodall Institute, originally created to raise environmental awareness. Roots & Shoots is the program for young people, with a particular focus on education.