More Articles about Project Shine Summer Trip 2013…
Group Reflections – By: Esther Leung
Since 2008, through Project Shine, Culture Regeneration Research Society (CRRS) had led over 100 North American youths and adults to China to teach English to underprivileged students in rural areas such as Guangxi. Through the years, we have taught over 1200 senior high students’ free English lessons and a life time cross-cultural experience through Project Shine.
This year Project Shine had re-visited one of our beloved place call “Rongshui County” to teach their grade 11 students. The 25 team members consist of young people and adults from Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and San Francisco. I am also glad that my brother Emanuel Leung was able to join us this year.
The moment the bus drove up to the school and I stepped down and saw the students waiting, joyful tears begin to well up in my eyes, I said to myself “glad to be back” since my maternity and pregnancy leave – coming back to the simple joy of building relationships with the students and teachers, coming back to the heat and beautiful scenery, and most of all, coming back to a love and bond that is shared between people of different cultures.
Home Visit: Mandy was sponsored by CRRS through senior high, she is now in college studying nursing so she can take care of her blind mother. Her dream is that one day her mother’s blindness could be healed and she would be able to see her face. Her living condition is very harsh and with very little material goods. As our Project Shine team members visit her home, we realize how loving and hardworking Mandy is despite of her hard circumstances. Her story inspires and helps us spoiled North Americans reflect about all the blessings we have in the west.Father and Son team Charles and Justin
Brother and sister team Carol and Chauncey
Carol – On the last day of the trip, many of the students and team members were crying. In this heartfelt moment, it assured me that all our hard work paid off. Although we were all sad to say goodbye, I knew we didn’t leave them empty-handed. We had given them inspiration and a happy memory of two busy weeks.
Shirley – I arrived to China as a mother of one child and came home being a mother of 20+ high school youths from both having gained their affection and respect.
Canadian Teachers dressed in Miao Tribe clothing!
Siaw Yee – (Left 2nd in photo) Although I was the teacher, I was blessed with the opportunity to learn and grow as a person inside and out. Again, my first world perspective was shaken by the positive attitudes of the students, despite their simple way of life in this rural town and in their home villages. I was reminded of how differently we live our daily lives and how fortunate we, as North Americans, are to have such rich and abundant lifestyles.
Deanne – (Left 1st in photo) One moment that I will never forget was during one-on-ones when we finally let our students open up to us in mandarin. My students told me about all the hardships they faced, including poverty, male sibling bias and sick parents. Some of my students explained to me that they will never be able to finish high school and some will never go to university because they have to work to support their families. It was heartbreaking for me to hear all of their troubles. I remember holding one of my students and telling her that she will be okay. The feelings I shared with my students were so strong, and I love them so much.
Playing a game with his students
Sunny – My students taught me to appreciate my life in Canada and to take advantage of the unique opportunities. I am thankful for the opportunity Project Shine offers the “teachers.” As a CBC (Chinese-Born-Canadian), it is an amazing cultural-exchange opportunity that provides deeper insight into our heritage!
Guangxi Student’s Sharing – Gwen: The English Teachers are very friendly and very patient of Project Shine. They not only bring us a lot of help, but also bring us a lot of joy, so I like them very much; I also like the Project Shine activities. I will try my best to learn English and improve. I will study hard, because I believe that “failure is the mother of success” and ” success is no accident”.
One of the students named Zack has dwarf syndrome (the boy in the picture on left), but he has brought so much joy to everyone around him. At the tender age of 15, he now lives on his own because his mother left the family when he was younger, his father had to work from another city and have some mental disability as well. But even through these difficult life circumstances, Zack from Rongshui does not give up hope and tries his best in life in all areas including learning English which inspires everyone around him to live life to its fullest!
Emanuel Leung (in orange shirt) – I have taught in China before, so I had some idea of what to expect. This time, as a veteran English teacher in the team it was refreshing to act as a mentor to the younger teachers, giving some teaching tips and providing mandarin translations for the other classes. I enjoyed this experience very much and would to come back again!