Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children

by The Mustard Seed Mission
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Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children
Diversified Learning Project for Placed Children

Dreams need not only to image, but also to try! Shin worships her father since childhood and dreams to become a chef like her father.

When Shin first came to Agape Children’s Home, she was anxious about the unfamiliar environment. Like a kitten, she was always cautious about the people and things around her!

Because of her lack of self-confidence, she has the idea that others don't like her.

Just seeing other people talking makes her feel like they're talking bad things about her. She thought people all over the world don't like her. After all, even she doesn't like herself.

However, the unpleasant personality did not deter Agape Children’s Home teachers. On the contrary, the teacher felt sorry for Shin's lack of self-confidence. In addition to giving more company, it will also guide Shin to discover her own value and enthusiasm!

In the process of getting along, the teacher found that Shin admires her chef dad. She's a foodie herself, especially when it comes to desserts. Naturally, chef dad is like a hero.

Therefore, whenever there is a baking class, Shin will be arranged to participate. Really! Shin is very interested in making dim sum. In addition to being willing to try all kinds of food, when eating delicious or novel food, Shin is always satisfied and shouting loudly: "de-li-cious".

The exaggerated voice and expression will make everyone laugh every time.

Through baking lessons over and over again, Shin fell in love with this activity that was both "eating" and "playing". Because of this, she gets to know everyone more and more, and her personality has become more cheerful. The kitten is gradually conquered by love and cooking. Every time the baked dessert is released, Shin will feel a sense of accomplishment and gradually like her own cheerful self. When the teacher talked to Shin about her dream, she said, "I want to be a chef like my father and bring delicious food to everyone."

Seeing Shin find her future goals and her life has changed, the teacher is pleased.

Now, at the end of each class, Shin will always be heard asking, "Teacher~ Teacher~ what snacks are we going to make next week?"

Everyone heard a burst of laughter and looked forward to the next class.

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As the proverb says, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Careworkers at Mustard Seed Youth Home (MS Youth Home) not only provide a family-like environment for teens, but also teach teens life skills, such as eating three balanced meals a day, shopping for groceries, cooking, repairing things, keeping a record of spending and saving, doing laundry and washing bedding, cleaning up environment, observing etiquette, and managing emotions, in order for them to be well prepared to live in the real world independently by the time they exit residential care.

On a weekend in last November,  teens took a 6-hour money management class at MS Youth Home taught by Ms. Lin, a social worker at social assistance division of Hualien County Government, and her fellow teammates. Teens wondered why bothered to manage money when they had no pocket money left over. How to teach teens about money management? Put simply, teens had to start by understanding the difference between needs and wants, which was something they might find hard to grasp. Therefore, raising teens' awareness of the difference between the two in their everyday lives was going to be quite a challenge faced by teachers at MS Youth Home.

In the classroom, board games and hands-on activities were used to help teens familiarize with basic money management concepts like savings and investments (stocks and real estate). The 6-hour course covered the fundamental concepts and the fun learning activities made time fly. MS Youth Home planned to provide teens with more financial literacy lessons in 2022 that would help them incorporate money skills in their daily life.

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On a Friday afternoon, several elementary students in Agape Children's Home were expecting their favorite after-school program—art class. They were waiting for the teacher's arrival and looking forward to what project she would provide today.

The children put their aprons on as soon as the volunteer teacher arrived and listened carefully while the teacher said, "For today's lesson, we're painting with acrylic." The announcement created a vibrant discussion between the children. "Acrylic painting? What's that?"

The teacher introduced the children to acrylic painting by presenting a video. After viewing the video, children were thrilled at how fun it was and could not wait to explore it.

"First, we're practicing mixing colors," the teacher said. "In order to create the color we desire, what color combinations should we mix up?"

"I think…this color should go with that soft one…" Charlotte whispered. The teacher encouraged Charlotte to try out her idea. Charlotte added the colors together and bingo! It worked. The teacher praised Charlotte for being able to mix accurately, which made Charlotte happy and gave a boost to her confidence. All the children soon mixed and created their own colors.

"Dip the chain in acrylic paint, then drape the chain onto the board and pull the chain horizontally off the board." The teacher demonstrated for the children. "Dip the chain in different colors one by one and repeat the previous steps, then you'll create floral like forms."

Being accompanied by the teacher, children moved their tiny bodies to pull the long chain again and again. They were hugely excited in the process and said, ''Amazing! How fun it is!"

At the end of the class, everyone created his or her own beautiful painting with fluid acrylic. To the teacher, the greatest reward in teaching art was seeing children smile and hearing all the oooh's and ahhhh's from them. Each classroom experience was full of pleasure and great memories for both the teacher and the students on a learning journey.

When asking children what they had learned in art class, all of them replied, "We had a great time and learned a variety of drawing and painting skills!"

"I used to paint skies simply with white clouds, but teacher taught me to add some light blue and white paint on it, which made the sky scene more enjoyable," a child added.

In the leisurely afternoon, children demonstrated unlimited creativity and were capable of applying what they had learned in their work. Children had different personalities and character traits, which created unique moods in their paintings—some were vibrant and others were implicit. The teacher was delighted to see the children gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment in their own work. Teachers at Agape Children's Home tried to use drawing and painting as a form of therapy to help heal kid's inner world in hopes that there were more fond memories they could carry throughout their life's journey.

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Agape Children's Home: Life-wide education

The purpose of life-wide education is to impart knowledge and to build character and ability. However, we are all unique individuals with different talents. There is no absolute good, bad, right or wrong, although we all want to develop ourselves in an all-round and balanced manner so that we can adapt to whatever life offers. However, most children are not like this. Especially those who are placed in the institutions. It is not uncommon that these children choose to withdraw themselves because of lack of self-confidence. It is not because they don't possess good qualities but because they don't believe in themselves. Therefore, in order to make them believe their own abilities, it is necessary to try every possible way to let them have a taste of success which then can turn into the source of their self-confidence.

Breakthrough and Never Give Up

During the long holiday, the Agape Children's Home arranged activities such as road running and mountain climbing for the children, hoping that through personal experiences they would discover the joy and fun following the hard work as well as collecting small successes along the way. During this year's road running race, many children who have previously participated the 3 km category race chose to challenge the 10 km category. One of them is Lynn, a kid with flat feet. Because of her physical condition, it is difficult enough for her to walk or run as it hurts. However, this year she wanted to challenge the 10 km walk and she invited the teacher to accompany her. During the walk the teacher asked her a few times whether she wanted to turn back as it was apparent that she was in pain due to her flat feet. But she said:" No! I must complete the challenge." So, we spent more than one hour to complete the whole 10km. Lynn was very happy that she has successfully made a breakthrough.

Children in Agape Children's Home excitedly joined the race
Lynn finished her race regardless of her feet pain.  

During the mountain climbing trip the day after, Lynn also looked after younger girls while completing the journey herself with all others.  It took the volunteer by surprise as Lynn used to mind her own business only. But this time during the mountain climbing trip, she showed the caring side of her. The volunteer was very surprised that Lynn, being a first year junior high school kid, had already learned to look after younger kids in the Children's Home.

During this long holiday, we have made special arrangement of physical activities such as road running and mountain climbing. We hope that through cheering each other up in a team, the children learn the spirit of never giving up. They completed the whole race even if they had to walk instead of running. Mountain climbing allows children to appreciate and respect the wonder of the nature. During these two activities, it was not just Lynn who demonstrated great breakthroughs, the other children also showed perseverance and physical strength unlike their normal selves. They ran, they walked and they held on to the end. They helped and supported each other. It was thought that these elementary school kids would need to be carried by the adults during at least part of the mountain climbing. To everyone's surprise, not only did they require no such help, they also each carried about 5 kilo supplies on their own and completed the whole journey. The potential of children is truly amazing. 

With the love from everyone and the contribution of all kinds of resources, we are allowed to bring the children different experiences and to activate the appreciation of the beauty of life in their hearts.

With your help, one day our children will be able to fly high in the sky with their own brave strong wings.

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Due to the epidemic, the children in Agape Children's Home go out less. Due to the limited space available, teachers and students thought together to find out what kind of activities that everyone can participate in? This group of children decided to combine their interests with past activities; independently they organized competitions of singing, 3 on 3 basketball, snack making, and edited videos by themselves. From brainstorming the activities, setting procedures, preparing equipment, etc., the children went from clueless to orderly. They also anticipated emergencies and solutions in advance, and greatly improved their ability to respond and deal with sudden situations.

Dov, who loves singing, volunteered to host a singing competition even though he was only in the sixth grade of elementary school. The most memorable thing during the game was Wei, his good friend, nervously forgot the lyrics on stage! Wei, having stage fright already, was even more at a loss because of forgotten lyrics and wanted to keep up with the background music, however, there was no ridicule in the audience, instead, everyone cheered with "Come on Wei!", "Come on! You can do it!" and sang together, gradually alleviating Wei's nervousness. And then he remembered the lyrics smoothly, and continuing to complete the singing competition.

The children immersing in the singing competition. 

Jude, who likes to play basketball, is an enthusiastic 9th grader, so he organized a 3 on 3 basketball match, a 3-point shooting match, and added a playoff game of "Children vs. Teachers". The temperature on the day of the game was only 20 degrees Celsius, but due to the fierce competition on the field and the enthusiastic shouts of cheering on the side, the whole field felt a very high atmosphere!

The children warming up together before the basketball game.
The children engaging in an exciting game on the basketball court.

Shaun, who is a 9th grader, loves making desserts by himself, so Shaun decided to hold a dessert contest with the theme of "Orange". The children put oranges into various desserts. In addition to orange cakes, there are panna cotta, jelly, etc. They also use novel ideas to combine oranges with taro puree. The unexpected sweet and sour taste was amazing! With orange fruit carving as decoration, it presents an eye-catching plate. In addition, the young Shaun also has an interest in film production. Last year, the opening video of the Christmas event in the children's home was organized by him.

Shaun focusing on making orange desserts. 

Although it is impossible to participate in the rich outdoor activities this year as usual, but instead, they can personally complete the planning of activities from scratch in the children's home, as well as teamwork to help each other, bringing the children closer to each other, learning to grow and shaping a good and responsible personality is a process of full harvest.

After more than 60 years, Agape Children's Home has cultivated many small seeds along the way. It is hoped that every child will grow positively through diversified learning so that more small wings can fly smoothly in the sky in the future! 

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The Mustard Seed Mission

Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan - Taiwan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MustardSeedTW
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The Mustard Seed Mission Taiwan
New Taipei City, Taiwan
$7,929 raised of $27,000 goal
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