Last Friday, Yew Chung International School of Beijing staff and students took a trek several hours south of Beijing to spend the day at their Seeds of Hope partner school in Xilian. Established after the devastating Sichuan earthquake in 2008, Yew Chung’s Seeds of Hope Charity has built multiple schools in rural areas around China with the purpose of giving local students access to better educational opportunities and the hope of a brighter future. The charity also supports local schools through providing teaching resources, teacher training, and facilities improvements, such as with the Xilian school.
Seeds of Hope charity projects are not simply something that Yew Chung does, it’s something that Yew Chung is. With projects running throughout the year, students raise money for worthy causes while developing important character traits such as empathy and compassion.
Below, Casey Fanning, Community Development Division Coordinator at YCIS Beijing, shares more information about last week’s Xilian School visit, as well as details of upcoming Seeds of Hope projects that the school community will be involved in.
Building Bridges: A Day at Xilian School
The purpose of last week’s trip to Xilian was to begin engagement with the school and to set a foundation for future projects and collaboration. Though it was only a one-day trip, YCIS Beijing staff and students made the most of every minute, working with the local school in a multitude of ways:
* ECE teachers worked with the local kindergarten teachers, focusing both on their teaching methods and resources, while making notes of ways that they could continue to support the local teachers in the months ahead.
* Head of Physical Education Matt McEwan showed local students a variety of footballs drills that could improve their physical fitness and athletic prowess.
* IT Engineer David Zhang tested the Xilian school’s network infrastructure to determine the possibilities for distance learning with YCIS Beijing students and faculty.
* Chinese Co-Principal Christine Xu met with the Xilian school’s headmaster to discuss further involvement between the two schools, including funding for a new rubber floor for the outdoor basketball court and ways to build the Xilian school’s arts, music and sports programmes.
Upcoming Holiday Events
These and other charity projects, of course, will require fundraising and coordinating by the YCIS Beijing community. Activities are held throughout the year that raise money for Seed of Hope projects, such as the Xilian school, and there are two next month that parents can also get involved in.
There will be a Christmas Bazaar on December 12, when students and staff will be able to purchase Christmas decorations, toys, and other items to take home for the holidays. Outside vendors will also be in attendance, including Starfish Project, with all proceeds going to charitable causes.
Meanwhile, on December 9, there will be a Christmas Ball, hosted by the YCIS Beijing Parent Organisation. Held on the YCIS Beijing campus, it will be an evening that the entire family can enjoy together, with delicious food and great music, families can celebrate the holidays together while supporting a good cause.
Giving and Receiving
Ultimately, Seeds of Hope projects benefit both the Giver and the Receiver. They instill in students the notion of service and the importance of helping those who are less fortunate. It also reminds students about aspects of society that they’re not in contact with every day, whether that be with orphans, the impoverished, or people who are sick. It’s vital that students have this face time so that they can be reminded to appreciate the many blessings in their lives.