HSBC is sponsoring a program called Zippy's Friends to help Beijing children in preschool education learn how to cope with their emotional problems and to develop their social skills.
According to local media, 10,000 children in over 140 kindergartens in Beijing will benefit from the program which has been introduced into China from the United Kingdom by the Hong Kong Institute of Education and China National Institute for Educational Research. A pilot implementation will be conducted in Beijing in 30 kindergartens; about 60 teachers will be trained and 1,000 children will be involved. Over the next two years, the program will be expanded to 140 kindergartens in Beijing. By the end of July 2011, there will be at least 260 trained teachers and 10,000 children directly involved in the program.
Zippy's Friends is an educational program designed for children aged five and six and helps to develop coping and social skills. It is the principal activity of Partnership for Children, a U.K.-based independent charity that works to promote the mental health and emotional well-being of children and young people around the world.
In 2004, HSBC introduced Zippy's Friends to Hong Kong, making it the first city to adopt the Chinese version of the program. In 2006, HSBC and The Hong Kong Institute of Education brought it to Shanghai, involving 12,000 children and their parents now. Beijing is the second city in mainland China to host a Zippy's Friends program.