BTC Culminates in Poignant Celebration

Date: December 12 2016

It’s been a year in the making. What began as an abstract concept of close to 20 countries and regions descending upon Daystar Academy to celebrate Design For Change’s annual BE THE CHANGE conference came to fruition on the weekend of December 10th and 11th, 2016. And boy, what a weekend it was.

It was all about the children as the two day celebration kicked off on an adorable note. Daystar student volunteers were there in full force to welcome guests and support logistics. Meanwhile, rather than hiring an outside professional act, it was Daystar students who danced for our guests from all over the world in the Opening Ceremony. First, a group of elementary students performed a traditional folk dance called “Peacock Dance”. They had practiced hard and it showed, with beautiful fluid movements in unison.



Our Casa students from Guantang were up next, with close to 50 students dressed in their best attire singing the song “It Starts With Me”. The song could not have been more perfect, with the lyrics reflecting how any change in the world, starts with every one of us.

Daystar’s elementary students from the Public Speaking ASA also had a chance to showcase their talent, acting as emcees and interviewers. And despite the technical glitches in the beginning, that didn't dampen anyone’s mood or enthusiasm one bit.



Then of course, it was all about the Superhero Sessions. We had DFC global partners from all over the world. From as far as Peru, to our own backyard, with Daystar Academy students from 4A sharing their Superhero stories about making Christmas cards for Syrian refugees.


We had students who were trying to stop bullying in their school in Spain. We had students who had figured out how to fill a parched basin with water to help a local village in India. In each and every one of these Superhero stories, the common thread was this: these children are fearless. And they are making a difference NOW-not waiting until they had graduated from high school or college. As Kiran Sethi, the founder of Design for Change often says, children are our TODAY, not our TOMORROW.


At lunch time, over 500 participants had a chance to sample Daystar’s signature sustainable meal, as well as play games and try their hand at Chinese calligraphy. This was followed by special workshops, inspirational guest speakers, and another Superhero Session.




On Sunday, the day began with an amazing sight: a seven year old Ivy Kindergarten graduate performingChinese Opera. The little girl had begun taking classes since she was 3.5 years old, and her confidence and elaborate costume took everyone’s breath away.

 

The day continued with more Superhero Sessions, fun activities and workshops. Many of the superhero session ended with some kind of cultural performance by the students, further accenting how this was a truly MULTICULTURAL, and GLOBAL movement. Often times the audience was on their feet, cheering on the performances!


In all, 17 Superhero stories were shared by students as young as six, to high school students. For many of these children, it was their first time to ride on an airplane… let alone come to China. It was phenomenal to witness how they embraced this experience. And hopefully, as co-organizer of this remarkable conference, Ivy Education Group has had a chance help create an unforgettable experience, in someone’s life.


Special thanks to Be the Change’s main organizer Design for Child Association for giving us an opportunity to be a part of this. Our heartfelt thanks as well to other local partners, X School, Luxelakes, BeijingKids, JingKids, Parent & Kids and Duewest Education for your incredible support.


But most of all, our heartfelt thanks to our Daystar community, from student to teacher volunteers, to the welcoming videos created by Class 4A and 5A, the Chinese culture wall by 5B and the colored flags from classes 2A, 2D and 1E. Because of you, these DFC Global partners felt incredibly welcomed, and Daystar will always hold a special place in their hearts.

 



"Children are our TODAY, not our TOMORROW. "

And we know that together, “YES, WE CAN!