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Where we work in Asia and the Middle East

Mainland China

Programmes: Zippy’s Friends, Apple’s Friends

  • 2006-2022
  • Total number: 460,758

Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends were run in: Beijing, Xi’an, Chongqing, Ningbo, Shijiazhuang, Shanghai and other major cities. The programme was sponsored by HSBC and run by China National Institute of Education Sciences and East China Normal University.

Schools or organisations interested in the programme in Mainland China should contact

China - Hong Kong

Zippy's Friends:

  • 2004-2023
  • Total children since launch 110,562

Zippy's Friends was introduced into pre-schools in Hong Kong by The Education University of Hong Kong in 2004. Until 2023, new teachers were trained annually by the university to deliver the programme and around 60% of all pre-schools ran Zippy’s Friends. In a culture where education has traditionally focused heavily on academic performance, the chance to promote children's emotional wellbeing was welcomed by teachers and parents alike and research has shown the benefit to children.

Organisations or schools in Hong Kong who are interested in the Skills for Life programmes should contact


Programme: Zippy's Friends

  • Launched 2004
  • Total children since launch 26,062

The first time that Zippy’s Friends was introduced to schools and kindergartens outside Europe was in the Indian state of Goa.

The partner agency there is Sangath Society for Child Development and Family Guidance, a well-established NGO that provides a variety of services across the state, focusing on children, adolescents and families, to promote their physical, psychological and social health.

The Society also tries to strengthen families and empower them to provide for the physical and developmental needs of their children. Zippy’s Friends is being run in schools, both English- and Konkani-speaking, and in less formal community settings.

Our partner in India - Sangath


Programmes: Zippy's Friends, Apple's Friends, Passport

  • Launched 2014
  • Children this year 300
  • Total children since launch 4,786

Jordan was the first Arabic-speaking country to launch Zippy’s Friends, known there as Labeeb’s Friends, and is now running Apple's Friends as well. Our Jordanian partner is Umnyat, which has been set up to run Labeeb's Friends in Jordan. Amani Attili, who runs Umnyat, is also Partnership for Children's Regional Coordinator, and aims to expand the programme across the Arabic speaking world. Apple’s Friends and Passport have now been translated into Arabic and introduced into Jordanian schools.

Our partner in Jordan - Umnyat


Programmes: Zippy's Friends, Apple's Friends

  • Launched 2016
  • Children this year 1,415
  • Total children since launch 1,801

Zippy’s Friends was introduced in South Korea by the Nam-Gu Mental Health Welfare Centre in Gwangju, the country’s sixth-largest city with a population of 1.5 million. The Department is keen to promote mental health in schools, and chose Zippy’s Friends to complement its offering of programmes and cater for the youngest children in school. Apple's Friends has also been introduced as a follow-up to Zippy's Friends.

Our partner in Korea: – Nam-Gu Mental Health Welfare Centre


Programmes: Zippy's Friends, Zippy's Friends for Pupils with SEN

  • Launched 2015
  • Total children since launch 1,093

Kuwait is the second Middle Eastern country, after Jordan, where Zippy’s Friends (known in the region as Labeeb’s Friends) is being implemented. It is being run by NGO Coping, and started in just two kindergartens with 28 children. This is a new type of programme for young children in Kuwait, and both teachers and parents are keen to learn more about mental health promotion for their children, and how they can support them better.

Our partner in Kuwait: COPING


Programmes: Zippy's Friends

  • 2008-2023
  • Total children since launch 51,360

Zippy's Friends was introduced in Singapore by the Health Promotion Board, as part of its five-year national plan for mental health. The Board ran a range of programmes, promoting the health and wellbeing of all Singaporeans.

Zippy's Friends ran until 2023 in pre-schools in Singapore with children aged 5 – 6 years. Around 30 – 40% of all pre-schools ran Zippy’s Friends which formed part of a wider health promotion programme for children and young people in Singapore.

Organisations or schools in Singapore who are interested in the Skills for Life programmes should contact