Between 22 May and 5 June, 2019, a total of 18 students of Stanley Ho East Asia College and from various academic and cultural backgrounds participated in the Sichuan service-learning programme. With the guidance of Resident Fellows Dr. Sancia Wan and Dr. Edmond Yeung, and local social workers and teachers, the students organised lessons and events for local children and villagers, interacted with those living in remote areas, and joined field visi
ts in Shuimo, Yingxiu, Dujiangyan and Chengdu in Sichuan.
On the first two days, students learned basic Sichuan dialect, visited around Shuimo Town which was their main destination of service and activities, and attended team-building activities with Aba Teachers’ College volunteers. On the following eight days, they organised a series of service activities, including visits to children and families in vulnerable conditions, voluntary teaching in a primary school and a middle school. In-between, when they were staying in a relatively remote village, they taught children to dance and sing, led children to perform in the Children’s Day event, and learned and helped with farmwork. Students meanwhile helped the organisation of a food festival where the elderly and host families gathered to have lunch together. On the last three days, the delegation visited Yingxiu Town, the epicenter of the 2008 Sichuan Great Earthquake, the World Heritage of Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Mount Qingcheng, and various cultural and historic sites in Chengdu.
In the end of the programme, during the reflective sharing, the students expressed that they had learned to work with people from different backgrounds towards shared goals that were set for the service activities. Moreover, they also appreciated others’ contributions and pleased with the group leadership effort.
Since 2013, SHEAC has organised service-learning programmes during summer and winter breaks for students aiming at helping students:
a) build up confidence and awareness that they should be able to give and to offer help to people in need;
b) nurture stronger social responsibility and civic engagement;
c) develop a higher level of leadership, teamwork and communication skills;
d) enhance cultural sensitivity and recognize the importance of cultural diversity; and
e) strengthen the rapport among students and fellows through this memorable journey of a life time.