Who We Are

Stepping Stones is a non-profit organisation registered in Shanghai. With a mission to improve the education and general welfare of disadvantaged children in China, Stepping Stones has hosted numerous programs focused on children’s education and well-being since 2006. Stepping Stones has more than a thousand volunteers who are devoted to helping the children from disadvantaged families in 10 provinces each year. We help children discover the joy of learning a foreign language and digital literacy. We also provide professional training to foreign language teachers.

Our program benefits 10,000-15,000 students each year, the majority of them attending weekly lessons. Students who participate in our program show increased interest and confidence in their studies, which improves their access to educational and work opportunities in the future. Additionally, students are exposed to different cultures, and get early exposure to volunteer programs and volunteering spirit.

 Our Programs

 English Programs

 Other Programs

 Our Vision

  • Stepping Stones’ vision is equal access to a quality education and general welfare for all children in China.

 Our Mission

  • Stepping Stones’ mission is to improve the education and general welfare of disadvantaged children in China.

 Our Program Objectives

  • To increase students’ confidence and self-esteem;
  • To optimise students’ access to better quality education and work opportunities in the future;
  • To connect communities to promote inter-cultural understanding;
  • To promote responsible and high impact volunteering


October 2006 – Stepping Stones’ work begins under Loving Heart Association. 3 volunteers begin to teach at Aixin School for migrants in Shanghai Minhang.

March 2007 – Stepping Stones hosts its first volunteering weekend in rural China

May 2008– Stepping Stones gets its name!

October 2008 – First eye care program at Jinhu School in Minhang

February 2009 – First major donation allows Stepping Stones to hire its first full-time Program Coordinator

July 2009 – Stepping Stones launches its first Summer program

March 2012 – Stepping Stones secures funding from Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation

December 2013 – Stepping Stones is registered as a non-profit organisation in Shanghai

July 2015 – Stepping Stones begins teacher training in Shanghai migrant schools

June 2016 – Stepping Up is launched – a new digital literacy and life skills training program

September 2016Videolink teaching begins

September 2017 Videolink Teacher Training begins

June 2018 Stepping Stones’ Founder awarded British Empire Medal

March 2020 Home Classroom Program begins