An afternoon with Zhang Ziyi and Bulgari

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Internationally acclaimed actress Zhang Ziyi engages migrant children in song and dance during her visit to the Yamenkou Community Early Childhood Development Centre in Shijingshan District, Beijing.

Dozens of migrant children and parents had the chance to see a movie star come to life on October 8, 2013, when internationally acclaimed actress Zhang Ziyi visited the Yamenkou Community Early Childhood Development Centre in Shijingshan District, Beijing.

The global ambassador for Bulgari engaged children and their parents about the importance of early childhood development through storytelling, singing, and question-and-answer sessions.

“It was really special to have Zhang Ziyi, a Bulgari Ambassador, come to learn about our work an engage with the children,” said Liu Ming, Beijing Programme Manager for Save the Children in China. “Her genuine interest in the children’s needs was clear to us – and the children really enjoyed singing and dancing with her.  That is what pre-school centres are all about: children learning to express themselves, have fun and interact with others, whether another child or indeed a famous movie star.”

Countless studies have proven the critical importance of early childhood care in a child’s development.  Given the proper stimulation and encouragement to learn and play, children develop the cognitive, social, and motor skills needed to become active, high-functioning members of society.  However, early childhood care and development (ECCD) opportunities are severely limited in migrant and remote rural communities.  Without these services, these marginalized children remain ill-equipped to compete for future academic and professional opportunities.

In March 2010, Save the Children in China began outfitting migrant communities in Beijing and rural ethnic minority areas in Yunnan, Xinjiang, and Tibet with ECCD centres.  More than 23,000 children and 24,000 parents have benefitted from these centres thus far.

“Thanks to Bulgari’s support, Save the Children has been able to reach 50,000 disadvantaged Chinese children between 2009 and 2012 – in many different locations from rural Guizhou to suburban Beijing,” said Liu.

Bulgari and Save the Children formed their ongoing global partnership in 2009 with the introduction of Bulgari’s iconic ‘Save the Children’ rings.  As of November 2012, the rings had generated more than $20 million USD, and benefitted more than half a million children and 18,000 teachers worldwide.