2017 Summer China Trip
Ellen and Dr. Guo went China in the summer of 2017 and accomplished 3 main objectives: established connections, fundraised, and visited poor children in Chengdu.
Ellen met with Owen, who is excited to be a part of an IOF branch in Shenzhen. Additionally, Ellen joined AIIE, a Chinese nonprofit organization that fosters the education of Chinese youth through “balanced creativity.” The members know both English and Chinese and are willing to help with our efforts in China and also translations. Nonetheless, at the fundraising talks, Dr. Guo and Ellen met many other people eager to participate in IOF. Through these connections, we aim to establish a broader network of people to help accomplish our objectives of not just aiding poor Chinese schools, but of also a cultural exchange between the youth of America and China.
Total: 14,200 RMB or $2,136
On behalf of International Outlook Foundation, Dr. Guo did two talks on Silicon Valley’s innovation to business schools in Shenzhen and in Beijing.
Visiting Poor Children in Chengdu
As a part of our mission to raise money to help support poor children and families in rural China, we contacted OCEF (Overseas China Education Foundation), a non-profit organization that donates money to help those who are less privileged. An OCEF volunteer connected us with a school on the outskirts of Chengdu.
On 6/21/17 we drove four and a half hours from the city up into the mountains. The road to the school had just been paved, with help from OCEF funds.
Recently OCEF built a kitchen and bathroom for the small school, which has over 90 students in grades K-6.
We came just as the children were getting food from the new kitchen.
As the children ate and played, the principal then took us on a tour of the school, which includes a few classrooms surrounding a courtyard. The students have access to some books, though in poor condition. Also, because this was the only school for children miles around, some could not travel hours every day, so they lived in dorm rooms in the school.
We then ate with the staff. There were only 3 teachers for all the students, mainly the principal and his wife who have been teaching at the school for over 20 years with no pay (he still farms on the weekends).
Next, we talked to the children, briefly introducing them to American culture and playing simple games, including tongue twisters. We passed out prizes and candies, much to their delight.
Before we left to visit the homes of five children, the children came to see us off. They wanted to continue playing with us, and we happily obliged as they taught us their games.
Next, we visited the home of Jincheng Guo (11 years old, 4th grade). His grandma told us about the condition of their government-built house – the roof was leaking and the dirt floor was moist in some areas. Jincheng’s parents have some mental disabilities, but the father farms. They were given 40,000 RMB when the grandfather passed away, but lost it all due to a scam.
We then went to Xinyuan Yang’s home. She is 10 years old and also in 4th grade. The walls of their 30-year-old house were made of bamboo lattices covered in mud; however, the family is not considered “poor enough” for the government to build a house for them, even though their current one has withstood an earthquake but looks as if it’s about to fall over. The family is currently saving money to build a new house. Xinyuan’s parents worked in a brick factory but the factory closed, and both of them lost their jobs.
Then we visited the home of Junjie Chen (11 years old, in 6th grade) who lives with his grandfather. His home was built by the government. There were also signs that declared which government officials held responsibility for the house were in place here. Because of this, the family was able to get their leaking roof fixed.
Next, we went to Zhouning Ou’s home. The boy is 9 years old and in 4th grade. His family originally was relatively wealthy due to the father’s job in Guangzhou, but the grandfather contracted liver complications and the family spent over 200,000 RMB to help him. Nevertheless, they do live in a comfortable home, bought when they had more money.
We then went to the home of Xiaoqian Hu (10 years old, in 4th grade). Her brother is in college. She herself was the class president of her grade and also won 3rd place in a regional writing competition. The family built a new house because the old one was by the river and thus full of mud. Xiaoqian’s mother had a minor surgery in her hand in 2016 but now is back to work.