A story of hope, something we’re, lacking in this day and age now, off of the Front Page Sections, translated…
For the past weeks, it’d been, very cold here in Taiwan, but, there was something heartwarming in Taichung worth mentioning.
This was started by the students of Fengjia University. The students were preparing for the finals week, with the temperatures dropping down, and they’d, made the time, to go to the mountains of over 2,000 meter above sea level to bring the kids studying in the elementary schools up in the mountains to the cities, to experience life in the cities, and university life, opening up the eyes of these young elementary school age children.
Lishan is 160 kilometers away from the Fengjia University it’s the largest, least densely populated, with a large area location in the city’s districts, the land area ranked fourth, and there are only about 10,904 people who live there locally. From before, when the only road was the crosspath of the locale, but since the earth quake of September 21st, the foundations of the entire passage had been severed off sectionally. And currently, there were the three opening times for the locals of Lishan to go in and out.
“Companionships from University, Bringing Kindness to the Distant Regions” is a social responsibility project set up by the Fengjia University, two years ago, the program started helping with the transportation of elderly people in Lishan to the hospital, and set up the work stations in the local communities. In the field researches that the university conducted, they’d found, that the greater Lishan Region had the “ten days on, four days off” scheduling that was very unique in Taiwan. And so, the teachers of the schools in Lishan all climbed up the mountains to give the lessons, and because of the way being too far off, the schools and the parents decided, that the teachers should hike up the mountains, teach for ten days, then, hike back down the mountains, have four days off, and yet, the parents of the area mostly worked in farming, and for the four days off (usually from Friday to Monday), the parents couldn’t find the time to watch over their own young, nor could they keep track of where their children are, and it’d, caused the students to not have anything constructive to do, exposed in the dangerous conditions, and causing the troubles for the communities, as well as the families too.
The Fenjia Team after discussing with the local communities and the church, they’d decided to combine the Hoping Elementary, the local church, the Wenhwa Health Station, as well as other parties, pushed forth the “Work-Stay program”, inviting the college age students to accompany the children in Lishan afterschool, and, as the teachers take their time off and hiked down the mountains, the college students would, hike up to stay and keep the children company, to use the group activities, and the character education courses, to guide the students to behave themselves right. While the tribal churches would, provide the college students with the room and board programs, and the students get to have a firsthand experience of the lacking of the distant regions at the same time. Last week, this group of college students hosted a fundraising for this group of children in the Lishan Elementary School to come down the mountains for a trip, hosting the two days one night, city and university experience, and found the enterprises that will help with the room and board of these children during the time.
In the company of the college students, the children got to experience the city for the very first time in their lives. They’d visited the Natural Sciences Museum, the Opera House, the Fengjia University campus, as well as the Taichung city hall too, and at the same time, the kids had a steak lunch with the city councilpersons. This sort of a city tours, other than immersing the children into life in the big city, to experience different ways of life than what they are accustomed to, it’d also given the kids a better understanding of their environments, as well as giving them a deeper understanding of the occupations available to them too. The next stage, we’re thinking of how to lead the college students into the tribes to conduct the field researches, and the community designs, using the university as a base, to push forth the revitalization of the tribal regions.
There are so many needs from the distant regions in Taiwan, that the local governments can’t look after on their own. We hope, that in the near futures, there would be, more college instructors who are willing and able, to go to the distant regions, to accompany the children, to utilize the passions of the college students, and the energies, to open up the roads of these distant regions, to instill hope, in these, tribal areas.
And so, this, is a great program that the university had, started up, and the key is to make it last long-term, that it won’t be just for three minutes, until the heats cooled down, it’s a great plan, and, the steps to making this work is slowly taking place, and we need more people who are, willing and able, to give to the children living in these, distant regions.