Library visit OCT 2012

From our Kunming team
(Written by Ellie and Chris)

A couple of months ago I had the chance to see a short documentary on YouTube called “A Small Act”. This is the amazing story of a Swedish lady who helped an African child for many years by sending a small donation to support his studies. He in turn, ended up graduating in law from Harvard University. He then went back to Africa to help other children and is doing a wonderful job with them even now.

The movie "Pay It Forward" also shows the great power to bring change, contained within our charitable acts, which are full of potential to bring hope, cheer and inspiration to others.

Our library project is one such beacon of hope in the area where it is situated. Part of the vision for the project is to help the local children feel more inspired to study and thereby be able look forward to a brighter future. We want to help to remedy what one teacher described as "a lack of hope that their lives can change for the better" on the part of the children. In Dicken's classic work, David Copperfield, young David during the lowest moments in his life finds hope and inspiration in the pages of the novels he reads. Such is the power of written words to bring change, and to give children the gift of a love of reading is to open the door to treasures that will benefit them for life.

 

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Donated books

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Other donated items

The collection of donated books and other items grew and grew over the few months prior to the trip. Indeed, the response to the trip invitation sent to our local volunteers was encouraging, and the level of enthusiasm grew noticeably in the weeks before the trip. Enthusiasm is positive and contagious, and was the seed that gave rise to a great team.

For example, one friend we invited couldn't come due to work commitments, but she did mention the trip to her cousin, a university student. Soon, the cousin along with five class mates signed up for the trip. Another friend, a businessman, followed suit, as did a long-time volunteer member of the project, high-school physics teacher Sunny.

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Enthusiastic volunteers

During our visit there were about 400 students divided in five groups, which we conducted class activities for during the morning of our visit. This enabled us to spend 20-25 minutes with each group and all 400 students benefitted from the activities we provided. The students were both eager to learn and also very appreciative of our presence, making the visit a pleasure and joy for our team. We presented stories, talked about some interesting science topics, and most of all encouraged the students to the library and read the books donated by our many generous sponsors.

 

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Activities with students

Lunch time rolled around fairly quickly and the school’s headmaster and teachers provided us with a delicious lunch at a local restaurant specializing in beef and vegetable hot-pot.

 

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Unloading

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Some of the shelves of donated picture books

Lunch was followed by unloading the mountain of donated books and clothes we had with us. The school staff were pleasantly surprised with the quality and variety of books we brought. The donated clothing too was very good quality and greatly appreciated.

 

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A fond farewell leaving the school

The final part of the visit was getting exercise as our team climbing up and down the hill tp the adjacent Miao Zu village. The scenery was exhilarating, and the air pure making for a wonderful ending to our day.

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Miao Zu village

We wish to extend a huge thank you to all those who called and offered items to take to donate on this trip. It is always so encouraging to see the willingness to give, to help and to get involved on the part of our tireless volunteers. Some missed classes or work this day, so to bring a blessing to the children we met.

Are you a willing and able volunteer? Please write us and add your name to our growing list of those who want to work with us to make a difference. Thank you!