On August 28, 2018, over 200 guests of the 5th Cross-strait and Hong Kong & Macau Regions Philanthropy Forum visited Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum in Hohhot, a public welfare program of Lao Niu Foundation.
With the introduction from working staff in the venue, the guests successively visited the exhibition areas in Pavilion One, including Self Recognition, Happy Family, Vibrant City, Charming Prairie, Wonderful China, with great interests and gained a detailed understanding of the educational objectives behind each exhibition item and the entire story line of the venue. Later, the guests explored the areas they were interested in freely and excitedly experienced the unique educational methods of the children’s discovery museum like a child. Some of them rode on the skeleton bike and vividly observed how the bones in our body coordinate with each other when the body moves for the first time; some of them climbed into the dark adventure house and personally experienced the mystery of “multi-sensory exploration”.
Apart from the educational philosophy of the children’s museum that “abandons going by the book and encourages learning by doing”, the guests were particular interested in the public welfare mode of the venue. After knowing that the children’s museum was established with the cooperation between the government and philanthropic organization, they highly praised the innovative significance and demonstrative value of the program one after another.
From Mr. Niu Gensheng, the Founder of Lao Niu Foundation, first contacted the concept of children’s museum in 2011, to the Foundation organized Hohhot Municipal Government and China National Children’s Center to have a systematic understanding of children’s museum programs in Europe and America in 2012, children’s museum has been deeply branded with the mark of public welfare from the moment it was introduced to China. Public welfare has always been the biggest label of “Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum Program”.
According to the data from Association of Children’s Museums in the United States, 94% of the venues of children’s museum throughout the United States are operated by non-profit organizations, leaving only 4% for the government. This data is also another evidence that most of the children’s museums in the United States are initiated by the parents, educational workers and other public welfare organizations in the community. In the process of promoting children’s museum in China, Lao Niu Foundation will make active exploration and boldly try the cooperation mode that has Chinese characteristics and conforms to China’s national condition, namely to give full play to the advantages of the government, non-governmental public welfare foundations and professional organizations and jointly promote the construction and operation of children’s museums.
As was introduced by Ms. Zhang Ni, Executive Deputy Director of Children’s Museum Research Center, China of China Philanthropy Research Institute, Beijing Normal University, and Director General of Hohhot Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum, “the undertaking of children’s museum in China has a high starting point and has obtained support from non-governmental public welfare forces like Lao Niu Foundation from the very beginning. According to the vision of Mr. Niu Gensheng and Lao Niu Foundation, there will be one hundred children’s museums all over China in the future, benefiting more children and families in China.”
Both the Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum in Hohhot visited by the guests participating in the 5th Cross-strait and Hong Kong & Macau Regions Philanthropy Forum and the China National Children’s Center Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum in Beijing are the demonstrative projects launched by Lao Niu Foundation in the early stage, aiming at attracting the attention from domestic government departments, museum circle, academic field and public welfare institutions and drawing more forces to promote the development of children’s museum together.
In China, Lao Niu Foundation donated over 40 Million Yuan to China National Children’s Center to assist them in ensuring that the venue reaches world first-class standards through the overseas production of exhibition items and installation of integrated project management on the site after completing the design of exhibition items in the venue. Since the inception in 2015, the exhibition items have maintained their original states after three years. The innovative public welfare cooperation mode of the venue has not only benefited ordinary visitors and allows them to enjoy high-quality service with low price, but also received personally instructions from relevant state leaders.
Cultural education is one of the three major philanthropic directions of Lao Niu Foundation. “Lao Niu Children’s Museum Program” manifests the mission of the Foundation, i.e. “education is fundamental to the nation”. “Heritage hundred years and guard the future”. Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum in Hohhot is dedicated to providing wonderful learning experience and family time for children and families from Hohhot and from all over the country through persistent high-quality operation.