An Update on Building Hope
At Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing), we believe that the core purpose of education is character formation. That’s why we have a Character Education programme. YCIS Beijing’s Character Education programme is led by Mr Casey Fanning, our Character and Moral Education Development Officer. The programme encompasses charity work, social and environmental responsibility. We use the programme to cultivate compassion and teach children about key character traits, such as enthusiasm, respect and appreciation.
Part of our Character Education programme is connecting our students with the work of Seeds of Hope, our foundation-wide charity. We regularly involve our young global citizens in its many worthy causes. One such initiative is the Seeds of Hope common project, which since 2017 has been the building of a much-needed Secondary School in Manila, the Philippines. Following last week’s return of our latest student volunteer group from the Philippines, we sat down with Mr Fanning to get an update on the progress of the common project.
1. What was the main objective of the trip?
To provide some character building and cross-cultural learning experiences for our students while helping Kids International Ministries (KIM) with light construction work on a Secondary School.
2. How is the current common project going, and when is it projected to conclude?
Really well, but not sure when it will finish. There are three phases, and the 1st phase is still in progress. Phase one is projected to conclude in the fall of 2019.
3. How many YCIS Beijing students and staff took part in the trip to Manila and what did they do?
18 students from Years 6-8 went on the trip, chaperoned by three members of staff. We all toured the site and helped with the initial construction phase as best we could. We also met the students that will be attending the school. Our students got to play basketball, football, volleyball and other games with the local students and connect a bit.
4. What were the biggest lessons of the trip?
I think the kids found out they can push past their limits. They learned that they could manage with less. That they were capable of braving the elements, carrying out physical labour, and while challenging, they could cope with it all. They learned they are stronger and more resilient than they realised.
I also think it taught them to appreciate the luxuries that are so common to our lives in Beijing.
5. Are any future visits planned?
Yes, at least one if not two visits are planned for next school year. We are going to try to coordinate our future visits with other schools in the Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF), this includes both Yew Chung and Yew Wah School Networks.