Jeanne Riether is an American writer and editor with a deep love of Asian culture. She has lived and worked for over thirty years in central and south-east Asia and China, and her articles have been published internationally in newspapers, magazines, and United Nations Development Program publications. She is a director of the Healing Young Hearts Volunteer Project at the Heilongjiang Children’s Center, creating programs to help children develop emotional resilience. Her humanitarian work using drama, music, art and puppets to motivate youth in child-help programs, early learning, drug prevention, and youth counseling has taken her to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, India and China.
After the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake, in conjunction with the Beijing National Children’s Center, she trained teachers from the disaster zone in methods to assist traumatized children. She has conducted numerous training sessions for the Beijing National Children’s Center, the International Red Cross, the Heilongjiang Department of Education, the Heilongjiang Language Working Committee, and Beijing school psychologists. She is currently working as a consultant, developing educational publications for parents and children. Additionally, she conducts seminars and educational programs for parents and medical personnel, teaching dietary therapy for epilepsy, as part of the Healing Young Hearts Epilepsy Support Project.
Hugues de Gaalon is a French/American educator and researcher. After completing his postgraduate studies in Administration, Public Law and Political Science from Paris and Sorbonne Universities, he worked as a research analyst at the French Institute of Public Opinion. He then worked as an independent research manager for Delta Marketing International and other European marketing firms before choosing to start a new career dedicated to youth counseling and child education, focusing on global youth issues and psychosocial research. His work has taken him to China, Denmark, Belgium, the United States, Indonesia and Japan, where he met his wife, Anna in 1987.
Anna de Gaalon is an American early learning educator, artist and musician who has worked with children for over thirty years. Anna specializes in designing creative, child-friendly learning environments, and has set up various learning centers in four countries. While living in the United States, where they organized youth camps and inspirational programs for teenagers, Hugues and Anna served as counselors to victims during the September 11th terrorist attack, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Two years after moving to China, Hugues and Anna, with their friend Jeanne Riether, co-authored and developed a program of psychosocial support for the teachers of Sichuan, in collaboration with the Heilongjiang Department of Education and the Beijing’s children center, after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. They also served as consultants for the Heilongjiang Language Committee and are currently working on developing educational publications for parents and children in China. They operate an English language school and are directors in the Healing Young Hearts Volunteer Project at the Heilongjiang Children’s Center.