It’s a place where adopted Chinese children can meet and play all while learning about their heritage. China Care’s McGill Playgroup offers a program to “try to bring (adopted Chinese children) back to their roots and teach them about their culture through activities,” according to Playgroup director Melanie Wong-King-Cheong.
“They also have a chance to meet others like them,” Wong-King-Cheong added.
Every other Sunday between 2:30 and 4 p.m. at the McGill campus, volunteers come together to create a welcoming learning environment through crafts, games, a unique group song, and cooking workshops focusing on traditional Chinese food. Their goal is to promote Chinese culture.
China Care is an international organization from which Playgroup stemmed as a community outreach program at the McGill chapter.
China Care fundraises “for orphans in China who need medical attention, by financing surgery and rehab programs,” Wong-King-Cheong said. “That way it’s easier for them to be adopted by families elsewhere.”
“Playgroups are a continuation of that, so once they’re adopted, it tries to bring them back to their roots.”
In turn, Playgroup fosters an interest in much more than just tradition.
“I have noticed that with the Playgroup, kids get interested in learning the language as well,” Wong-King-Cheong said, explaining that exposing the children to other facets of Chinese culture creates enthusiasm for it.
“I have seen some of the kids learn the language. It’s pretty amazing.”