Cheng Yu Tung College (CYTC) conducted its second Service-Learning project in in Congjiang County, Guizhou, which was executed based on the policy of “Youth Program Dedicated to Poverty Alleviation” of the Macao S.A.R. Government. From May 26 to June 3, 2019, 14 students of CYTC, who were led by Resident Fellow Ms. Diane Lu, went to Congjiang to provide voluntary teaching in a primary school called Dadai. They also learnt local minority cultures by visiting Miao tribe and Dong tribe.
CYTC had a field trip in Congjiang in July 2018 and had conversations with the local officials and principals so as to understand their needs. CYTC then conducted its very first Service-Learning program in Congjiang in December 2018. Dadai village is located in the mountains and most of them are Miao people. Dadai Miao people, who are still living in a traditional farming way, have their own language and culture. Lots of the Miao parents in the village are illiterate, but fortunately some of them are aware of the importance of education. Due to the limited resources in the mountain area, College members realized students of Dadai seldom have the chances to learn or practice English, music, physical education, science and art, so they put efforts in preparing teaching materials for those 67 students who are at Primary-2.
Unlike traditional volunteer projects or charity actions, Service-Learning programs contain designed learning plans, thorough preparation, structured reflection and concluding celebration. Firstly, to prepare for the possible problems and challenges during the Service-Learning program, CYTC visited the “Ilha Verde” Primary School of Macau to learn the primary class teaching skill, to observe the class teaching, as well as talked with their teachers regarding the feasibility of the prepared teaching materials. CYTC also invited University of Macau (UM) students from Congjiang to talk about their hometown and the minorities – Miao and Dong. Furthermore, Dr. Caixia Chu of UM was invited to share her experiences of executing Service-Learning programs for more than five years in the past. Under the mentoring and with the support by the college, 14 students performed quite well in the teaching and holding activities. In the evening of May 30, College students and Dadai Primary School together held a talent show to celebrate the International Children’s Day. The children’s parents as well as the local government officials were invited to the show. They witnessed the kids’ learning outcome and celebrated with them. Dadai kids were shy but happily presented their dancing, martial arts performance, poetry reciting and English alphabet song which were taught and practiced during the program.
In addition to all the foregoing, it was great to see nine out of these 14 College members did the voluntary teaching again this year. After they were touched by the children’s warmth and hospitality last year, they returned to the mountains to serve and to learn with these kids together again. They were committed to taking more social responsibility and actively respond the patriotic feeling towards motherland China. CYTC also took the opportunity to visit the Miao and Dong people’s tribe and went to the renowned Jiabang terrace after the services. Undoubtedly all the members experienced the minority cultures and highly appreciated the beauty of the nature in Guizhou.