It was almost five years ago that while trying to find a new hobby, soccer, I ended up meeting one of the bravest people: a Colombian girl that arrived to China speaking only Spanish and big dreams In her, years later she does not only speak English and Chinese but has opened her own training center. She is a person that teaches us that dreams can come true if you have passion, dedication, perseverance, will, and brains.
To start this project about Profiles, I am glad to start with Kelly Díaz.
kelly Díaz from Colombia, Bachelor of Physical Education Education; specialist in early education, arrived to China on June 8, 2011.
“China was the place that taught me that despite the difference love can do everything, I learned that if you really feel love, for people, for your work, for your life and for others you will do everything you never imagined doing .
I learned that dreams are fulfilled, I learned the value of a friendship, the value of time, I also learned that you can find people from all over the world who left a little of their world in you, but above all, learned to respect and understand the difference .
Finally also thank all the people who are putting some of their time to show the real part of life of many lalas that like the rest of the people, we wake up in the morning to work hard, we have dreams and we fight for them and above all that we are enterprising and with a vision of a better world ” Kelly Díaz
What was your first job or why did you arrive in China?
I came to China because I was working in Colombia for a training center for children that opened a Chinese headquarters. I arrived here as the head of the teachers in the area, and to develop the motor development program for the children. I worked with them for 4 years until the company decided to close and I was out of work. In March 2016, my two partners and I decided to start giving some private classes with some of the children that already knew us, and the moms who wanted to follow the training process. So GogoKids began giving classes in Shenzhen Bay, and in some parks in Futian. A mom in the Mangrove West area also helped us to reserve a basketball court where we began teaching three days a week. With this mom’s help, we formed a group in wechat, found more students, and so on until we managed to have three classes per day each with 10 children. After spending a few months there in that field, they rented the space to other people so we couldn’t continue to hold classes there. Then, with the encouragement of the mothers of our students, we decided that we had to find our own site. At that time our Chinese partner decided to borrow money from his family and we started the search for a suitable site for the classes. In that course of time in one of our classes the parents of one of our students approached us to offer to start a cooperation with us: they had in that moment about 5 gyms for adults and they told us that they were looking for the
right people to start a children’s program. We decided in our first meeting that we were not going to do any cooperation with anyone, but that we would start doing classes in their spaces. Spending time working with them changed our opinion and we decided to cooperate with them. In september 2016 we opened GogoKids in OCT Loft.
What was and still is your biggest difficulty being in China?
At the beginning and sometimes still the biggest difficulty is communication. When I arrived in China I had not spoken English and much less Chinese – I decided to study English online and practically all the English I know now I learned in that way here in China, and I started studying Chinese also by internet for lack of time, but when I started with GogoKids I decided to enter the university and I’ve been studying for a year. So I think the most difficult thing is communication: In my case communication with Chinese parents is very important because through parents you can get to know children, and on the other hand I can not communicate for myself and must depend on someone else to help me with some things such as going to a hospital.
What is the reason for founding your own center for psychomotor (cognitive) development of children in China?
Oof! Well there are many reasons. First during the 4 years that I worked for them I realized the importance of early stimulation in the brain development of children. Second, spending so much time here in China made me realize that undertaking something here is not as difficult as in our countries, the Chinese are interested in you if they know you have a good product they do not mind investing in your idea.
Could you give us a brief of what GogoKids does? and How long has the GoGoKids center been open?
GGK has been around for two years giving classes at rented sites and one year and two months in their own studio in Oct loft.
What is the hardest thing about having a training center for children in China?
Well the hardest thing so far is to make a good work group of help us grow faster while maintaining the quality standards of the class. Although China has such a large population, it is not easy to find teachers for children so young that have a good level of knowledge about the demographic.
What is or do you consider your best experience in China as an entrepreneur?
The best thing has been the support I have received from the Chinese parents. They are willing to learn and be guided, with the help of all the collaboration we have received from our Chinese partners, the people like our classes, the children are happy, and they learn through playing.
People respect your work and value the effort you make in education of new generations in Shenzhen.
Also the possibility of starting your own business with your ideas and seeing that it works and that they like is rewarding; that every day the brand becomes stronger and more recognized.
How many classes per day?
In the morning I go to the university and in the after I have two three classes a day.
Where or how can people make booking for classes?
We have a system through wechat where moms can reserve the class.
Has there been any difficulty for you to be of the LGBT + community in your work?
The truth is no difficulty, most moms know my relationship and take it as normal, I learned that here if people do not directly affect you they try not to get involved. Contrary to what is said a lot [about China,] I consider that they are much more open about the subject than many people in our countries.
We know that at this moment you have a relationship and you will be close to being moms, could you tell us a bit about it?
Well, I have a one year and 2 month relationship with Cissy, a chinese woman of shenzhen. We met in 2016 by means of a well-known lesbian application called the L. After a few months of talking we decided to start a relationship, but from the first day Cissy was super clear and she told me that she had plans to become pregnant in 2017.
She told me that with me or without me those were her plans and I did not think to change them, which to be honest I liked because I thought it could be interesting in this stage of my life.
Then we decided that I would be included in her plans to have a baby. We started to make inquiries and found a hospital in the United States where she could do IVF, and we also sought a donor through the hospital. This process was literally like buying a travel ticket: you make filters – color of eyes, hair, offspring, languages they speak, religion, tastes and whatever else you can imagine! The first appointment with the doctor was via skype, where we introduced ourselves as a couple the doctor explained the whole procedure pros and cons, dates of travel, and a schedule of how the process would be.
After many inconveniences, two trips to the United States alone, because I do not have a visa and my work here did not give me the time to accompany my partner, on July 2017 the ovule was implanted. Well for that moment you would
have thought of only one, but the risk of it not growing got us to thinking and we decided to put two eggs. Now twins are on their way!
The truth has not been so difficult this whole process, our families know that we are a couple, doctors here and in the United States also know it. My partner’s work and my work also know it, so it is not something that we have to hide, first
that. My partner is a super powerful woman, she had to spend all this process alone in the united states, applying by herself two daily injections for almost three months, doing thousands of tests over and over again, she is also a super entrepreneur and has her own advertising company.
We lived together a year ago and the coexistence has been the best. We collaborate with everything in the house for mita d, expenses, cleaning, well I cook and she washes, we are what anyone would call a normal family.
Waiting for these two girls who came very soon to change our lives.
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