Visiting Tongxin Elementary School in Guangxi
In May 2015, Thin & High volunteers paid a visit to Tongxin Elementary School in the town of Da An within the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which is located in south central China, bordering Vietnam.
Most of the students came from farming villages nearby where their parents and forefathers have toiled the earth for generations. Almost one-third of the students are what is commonly known as “left-behind children” whose parents have gone to work in large cities across China as migrant workers, leaving them behind to be looked after by grandparents and relatives; these children only get to see their parents once a year, during the Lunar New Year festival. Due to the lack of attention and discipline at home, many of the students have developed behavioral problems and have fallen behind or lost interest in their studies.
During the visit, Thin & High volunteers promoted wholeness by addressing the social, emotional, psychological and physical well-being of the children. The children were encouraged to look beyond their current circumstances while remaining positive; they were given guidance on how to undertake little steps that would help gradually improve their lives. They were also given inspiring insights into issues beyond their scopes of experience; they were encouraged to set their goals high and strive to achieve them. At the end of the visit, the children were each given a piece of paper to fold into the shape of a plane; they cheered as they sent the planes off from the second floor of the school building to symbolize the desire to let their dreams soar.
Shortly after the visit, Chen Rong, the sixth grade school teacher, informed Thin & High that she was pleasantly surprised by the positive changes she had noticed among her students: several of the most difficult and withdrawn have opened up, become friendly with their classmates and shown an interest to learn. Click here to read the letters the students wrote to Thin & High founder Bernard Yang.
This visit was one of Thin & High’s attempts to touch the lives of individuals especially those with underprivileged and vulnerable backgrounds. Thin & High believes that compassion and care will build confidence, motivate good behaviors and eventually transform lives as well as enable the fulfillment of human potentials.