O’er Hill and Dale, Bringing Warmth to Left-Behind Students
A month ago, two AmCham member companies united and created a plan to bring warmth to poor primary school students in a remote area outside Ya’an City. AmCham facilitated an introduction between two of its members, Coca-Cola (Sichuan) Beverage Co., Ltd. and Sinostage Entertainment, who decided to launch a joint “warm winter action plan”.
On December 14th, after 5 hours of driving, the Coca-Cola Ambassadors and the Sinostage Kids finally arrived at Pingxi primary school, located in Ya’an’s Lushan County. The school and its students subsist in harsh conditions. After raining, the road to the school becomes muddy and nearly impassible. Normally, students spend 3 hours on the way to and from school, leading the school to adjust its class time from 10:30 AM to 15:30 PM.
(New teaching building)
Surrounded by mountains, this primary school has only 50 students, most of whom live with their grandparents because their parents have gone to the city looking for work. On the day of the Coca Cola and Sinostage visit, it rained continuously and the temperature dropped sharply, making the volunteers feel that winter had truly arrived. Nevertheless, the students determinedly pursued their studies in the chilly classroom.
(There was only 6, 7students in classrooms)
During the two-hour visit, Eli Sweet, the general manager of Sinostage Entertainment and also the vice chairman of AmCham, taught students to speak some simple English phrases like, “My name is …,” “This is BLUE,” and “Let’s dance!”. This may have been the students’ first chance to learn English. They were quite excited and quickly grasped several words.
(Children were too shy to talk with foreign friends)
Then, Matt, one of Sinostage’s excellent dance instructors, led all the students in an energetic and silly dance outside the classroom, leading to smiles and laughter all around.
Later, the Coca-Cola Ambassadors used mini puppets to act out the fairy tale “The Little Prince”, hoping the students would feel the power of love from the story and remain determined to hold onto their dreams. The two hours passed quickly, but the Coca-Cola Ambassadors and Sinostage Kids hoped the joy the students received would last longer. After enjoy the mini opera, there was a special homework for every child: drawing “The Little Prince” inside heart.
Because Christmas and Chinese New Year are approaching, the Coca-Cola Ambassadors prepared a gift for each student, including the book “The Little prince”, gloves and hats, warm vests, etc. Sinostage provided plenty of school supplies and sports equipment as well.
The volunteers felt that this project not only brought caring and warmth to the students, but also gave the volunteers themselves something valuable. This project helped both the givers and the recipients feel the warmth and happiness of this generous season, even in the midst of winter.