捐款人快讯 2020年3月号 Donor Newsflash March 2020

捐款人快讯

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Letter from One of Our Donors




Nov. 28, 2019

Dear OCEF/Weiya Fang:

I am writing this letter to mention briefly about my recent visit to Langzhong, Sichuan, and nearby towns, based on observation and experience I had during my time spent there. This visit was facilitated with the kind help of OCEF and especially by OCEF representatives Yunbao Zhuo in China and Weiya Fang in US, who helped arrange all this after weeks and months of planning/organizing.

During my visit, I was fortunate to visit some schools in the countryside near Langzhong, and also to visit homes of some of the students who study in these schools. I have read about countryside in China in the books before, but this was the first time I had the chance to see for myself and appreciate the life there. My trip also helped me appreciate the real impact on the ground of the work OCEF has been doing towards education in rural China for many years.

My trip started from a small suburb west of Portland, Oregon, called Hillsboro, and took me first to Beijing. Then from there to Chongqing, where I met OCEF representative Yunbao Zhuo and we both took train to Langzhong. At Langzhong, we met with Principal Tang of Hongshan Middle School, who took us to our hotel and for dinner. Next morning, Principal Tang drove us to Hongshan Middle School. The school was quite far from Langzhong city, and road along most of the way was going through ups and downs in altitude and going through remote areas. We then reached the school, probably after about 45 minutes or so.

Hongshan is a small town and the school is located at such a high altitude that from there you could look down on the town and beyond quite far out. The school was decent in size and infrastructure, with enough classrooms, playground, dormitories, canteen, etc. During my visit, I learned that both students and teachers live in dormitories in school and they go home during weekend (I am told this is very common in schools in China, especially in the countryside). They eat meals in the school canteen. We visited some rooms in students’ dormitory, which were actually quite cold, partly owing to that walls and flooring were of cement and windows were open, but it seems that heater in the rooms would be helpful for students to stay warm during the winter season.

This school had 98 students as of now, but in the past at one point it used to have about 300 students and was used till high school grade. But, with urbanization and factors involved with that, now the school has fewer students and serves Grades 7-9 (this is more or less happening all over the world, the reconfiguration of societies with the rapid urbanization). We had the opportunity to interact with students in one of the classrooms and learn from each other. We also had the opportunity to hear personal stories from some of the students about challenges they go through, especially challenges brought to their personal life with the rural migration towards cities and changes that brings to family life in rural areas.

Stories related to parents migrating to cities in search of work and leaving children in the care of aging grandparents, internal family conflicts taking a toll on children’s well-being, economic realities and poverty are too many to count in the countryside. Seeing these places makes you appreciate their remoteness from megacities like Beijing, not just in terms of their physical remoteness but the life being lived, and they indeed feel worlds apart. But one thing the remote countryside has in abundance is the warmth and humility in the character of the people living there.

We visited the home of one of the students at Hongshan Middle School. From school, we drove some distance and then paved road ended. Then the student led us on a dirt path for few meters before we reached her home. It was a small house built from a mix of mud, cement, bricks, and metal sheets and had very modest amenities in the house. When we arrived, her grandparents were sweeping the front yard and they warmly welcomed us. They finished cleaning most of the yard so they could arrange stools for us to sit. They showed us around, their animals, their house, the vegetables and fruits they grow in their farm, etc.

Despite having meager resources, they offered us to take some of the corns they grow. They also offered us the largest of grapefruits they grow to eat and insisted on us taking some. Most of the conversation I couldn’t understand without translation, but one couldn’t but be humbled by the experience. They couldn’t have been nicer in their hospitality and generosity. After spending some time, we took our leave and I thanked the grandparents for all they had been doing to make sure their granddaughter would go to school, be able to continue her studies and have a better and more comfortable life than they could have.

Later that day, we had the opportunity to visit another nearby school, Zhu Town Central School. This school was a bit bigger than Hongshan Middle School. It was also in a small town and had similar situations as Hongshan Middle School. We had some nice interaction with the students. One of the English teachers in the school told us some stories about the students and the challenges they go through in their family lives. We also had the opportunity to visit the home of one of the students and see the conditions they live in and challenges they face. This student’s father had passed away and his mother had left home, so he was living with his grandparents and an aunt was helping them out. Their house was very modest and had meager resources, but they also couldn’t have been more generous and kind in their hospitality. We spent some time with them to hear their stories and see their house, and then we thanked them for hosting us and we took our leave.

Experiences like this make one humbled, seeing the resilience of the people in the countryside, the hardship they go through, and at the same time that they couldn’t be kinder. I think we in the society, those of us who are in a bit better and more comfortable position, owe a deep gratitude to the parents and especially the grandparents in these remote places who do their best, despite the odds stacked against them, to make sure their children and grandchildren get the education to have a better life than they could ever have had. In this endeavor, the small contribution made by organizations like OCEF is also commendable. They may not solve the larger problems faced by their fellow brothers and sisters in these places, but try the best to assist them on their journey towards a better future, and I sincerely thank them all for their efforts.

As a parting advice to students, I gave them my best wishes and encouraged them to focus on their studies and work hard, but also have fun and play along the way. Even though they go through many challenges and hardships, it is heartwarming that they have support from their teachers (who also act as parents and guardians in need), their friends, a close-knit society, and organizations like OCEF. As they grow up, many of them could come across different people, cultures, traditions, knowledge, ideas, etc., as this world is much more diverse and complicated than what they have seen so far. I encouraged them to keep their minds and hearts open, and they would find many interesting and beautiful things to experience. They should never stop learning, no matter at what age in their life or at what stage in their career they are at, but should always be curious to learn and cherish the richness and diversity of this world and humanity. This would make them more mature in their thinking and more humbled and kind in their behavior. They should consider themselves not just a member of their community and society; they are growing up as a responsible world citizen who is part of a larger humanity.

I bow to their innocence and resilience, and wish them a meaningful life ahead.

Sincerely,

Narayan Khatri


捐款人来信




尊敬的OCEF/方玮娅:

我写这封信是想简单介绍一下我最近走访四川省阆中市以及附近城镇的情况,主要是我在那里的观察和经历。这次访问在OCEF的帮助下进行的,特别是OCEF在中国的工作人员卓韵宝和美国义工方玮娅,他们经过几周时间的规划和组织后,帮助安排了所有的行程。

访问期间,我有幸参观了阆中附近农村的一些学校,也参观了一些学生的家。以前,我在书中读过关于中国农村情况的书,但这是我第一次有机会亲眼看到并体验那里的生活。我的旅行也帮助我认识到OCEF多年来为中国农村教育所做的工作在当地的真正影响。

我的旅行是从俄勒冈州波特兰西边一个名叫希尔斯伯罗的小郊区开始的,先来到北京,然后从北京到重庆,在那里我遇到了OCEF代表卓韵宝,然后我们一起坐火车去了阆中。在阆中,我们见到了洪山中学的唐校长,他带我们去宾馆、去吃饭。第二天早上,唐校长开车送我们去洪山中学。学校离阆中市挺远的,沿途大部分道路都是起伏不平、路途偏僻。大约坐车45分钟后,我们到达了学校。

洪山是一个小镇,学校坐落在一座相当高的山上,从那里你可以俯瞰小镇和更远的地方。学校的规模和基础设施都很好,有足够的教室、操场、宿舍、食堂等。在我访问期间,我了解到学生和老师都住在学校的宿舍里,周末才回家(听说这在中国的学校很普遍,尤其是在农村地区),他们也在学校食堂吃饭。我们参观了学生宿舍的一些房间,这些宿舍实际上非常冷,一部分原因是因为墙壁和地板都是水泥的,而且窗户是开着的,但如果房间里有暖气,应该有助于学生在冬季保暖。

这所学校现在有98名学生;过去曾经有大约300名学生,一直到高中。但是,随着城市化和相关因素的影响,现在学校的学生减少了很多,主要是为7到9年级的中学生提供教学服务(这或多或少在世界各地都会发生,随着城市化的快速发展,社会将会重构)。我们在一个教室里与学生互动,互相学习,也有机会听到一些学生的个人故事和他们所经历的挑战,特别是随着农村人口向城市迁移给他们的个人生活带来的挑战,以及在农村地区家庭生活带来的变化。

有些父母移居到城市找工作,把孩子交给年迈的祖父母照顾,家庭的内部矛盾给孩子造成困难,加上经济现实和贫穷,这样的故事在农村太多了,难以胜数。看到这些地方,你会感觉到他们离北京这样的大城市真的很远,不仅是在地理位置上,而且在生活上简直是另一个世界。但是,在这些偏远的农村有一种现象很普遍,那就是生活在那里的人们性格都很温暖和谦卑。

我们参观了洪山中学一名学生的家。从学校出发,我们驱车行驶了一段距离,然后公路没有了,只有土路。那个学生带着我们在一条小土路上走了一段路程,来到一座由夯土、水泥、砖块和金属板混合建成的小房子,房子里的设施非常简陋。我们到达时,她的祖父母正在打扫前院,他们很热情地欢迎了我们。打扫完大部分院子后,才有地方给我们搬凳子坐下。他们带我们到处看看,他们的房子、养的动物、种的蔬菜和水果等等。

尽管家境相当贫寒,他们还是让我们带走一些他们种的玉米,给我们吃自己种的最大的葡萄柚,而且一定要我们带走一些。由于没有翻译,大部分对话我听不懂,但是不得不为这段经历而感动。他们的热情好客、慷慨大方让人难忘。在那里呆了一段时间之后,我们向他们道别时,我衷心感谢了这对祖父母为他们的孙女能够坚持上学,争取比他们更好、更舒适的生活所做的一切。

当天晚些时候,我们有机会参观了附近的另一所学校——朱镇中心学校。这所学校比洪山中学大一点,也是在小镇里,和洪山中学的情况类似。我们和学生们进行了很好的互动。学校的一位英语老师给我们讲了一些学生家庭生活中经历的故事和挑战。我们也参观了其中一名学生的家,看到了他们的生活条件和面临的挑战。这个学生的父亲去世了,母亲也离开了家,他和爷爷奶奶住在一起,有一个姑姑帮助他们。他们的房子很简陋,生活也很贫困,但他们的热情好客是无与伦比的。我们和他们呆了一段时间,听了他们的故事,看了他们的房子,然后在告辞之前感谢他们接待了我们。

像这样的经历让人感到谦卑。在农村里的人虽然经历着艰苦生活,但他们却非常友爱。我想,在这个社会上,我们这些处在一个更好、更舒适地方的人,应该深深感谢这些偏远地区的父母,特别是祖父母,他们尽了最大的努力,尽管困难重重,也要确保他们的子孙受到教育,过上比以往更好的生活。在努力的过程中,像OCEF这样的组织所做的小小贡献也是值得赞扬的。也许他们并不能解决这些地方的兄弟姐妹们面临的一些大问题,但是他们在尽力帮助这些偏远地区的人们走向更美好的未来,我衷心感谢他们所做的努力。

作为对学生的临别赠言,我向他们致以最美好的祝愿,鼓励他们专心学习,努力学习,同时也要玩得开心。尽管他们经历了许多挑战和困难,但他们得到了老师(在需要的时候他们就是父母和监护人)、朋友、关系密切的社会以及像OCEF这样的组织的支持,这很温暖人心。当这些孩子长大后,他们中的许多人可能会遇到不同的民族、文化、传统、知识、思想等,因为这个世界远比他们迄今所看到的要更多样、复杂。我鼓励他们保持思想和心灵的开放,他们会发现许多有趣和美好的事情值得去体验。他们永远不应该停止学习,无论在生命中的任何年龄段,或是在职业生涯的任何阶段,都要保持好奇心去学习和珍惜这个世界丰富性和多样性。这将使他们的思想更加成熟,行为更加谦逊和善良。他们应该认为自己不仅是所在的社区和社会中的一员,而且是一个负责任的世界公民,是一个更大的人类共同体的一部分。

我向他们的纯真和坚韧鞠躬,祝他们前程似锦!

诚挚的,

纳拉扬·卡特里
2019年11月28日
(中文翻译:俞东慧)




第39期(2020年3月)/No. 39 (March 2020)

海外中国教育基金会/Overseas China Education Foundation

地址/Address: P. O. Box 772436, Houston, Texas 77215-2436, USA
电话/Telephone: (281) 506-2018 电子邮件/e-mail:
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捐款链接/To make a donation to OCEF: https://ocef.org/donation

了解更多OCEF义工工作/To learn more about OCEF volunteers and their work:
https://www.ocef.org/publication/vol-newsflash





Overseas China Education Foundation
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