Rainbow Village Help Center, an associate partner, give glasses to impoverished children. To learn more about Rainbow Village Help Center click here.
A friend informed me that a teacher of Shanyao nationality was going to the award ceremony for teachers on September 9th, and suggested that I could go with this teacher to Shanyao’s primary school and make some donations. After the ceremony that morning, teacher Pan, the Shanyao teacher, went to purchase some necessities for school, mostly for students’ nutria-meals. Teacher Pan told me that due to the rugged mountain roads and inconvenient transportation, it was very difficult to get out of their village. He has to go shopping during holidays and it always takes him a whole day for the trip. Teacher Pan was the only teacher in Yansang School. He told me that there was a DVD player at the school donated by an educational institute to aid his teaching, but now it is broken and cannot be repaired. He has to apply for a new one for the school.
After the ceremony, we rushed through our lunch and hurried back to Shanyao village. Teacher Pan told us that the mountain road is very cliffy. We had to deposit part of the goods in Longmen village because it would be very difficult to climb the mountain with so many goods. Even still, we didn’t reach Pan’s home before dark, so Teacher Pan called his son to stand outside and wait for us with a flashlight.
It was 8 o’clock when we got to Teacher Pan’s home, and I demonstrated my cooking skills to them. Look at how well I cooked the meat!
The Shanyao village has lived on precipitous cliffs for centuries. They had electronic services in recent years, and every villager has been given a 60 yuan allowance per month since 2008. The government built houses for them, but due to their nostalgic thoughts and no specific means of livelihood, lots of people are reluctant to move in.
After a long walk, we finally got to the school, located at the foot of the mountain. After two classes for two grade students, Teacher Pan has to prepare their lunches. The students are studying on their own, and they are painting with whiteboards I brought for them.
This is the typical lunch of a student. Before our nutria-meal program, children had to take cold dishes like this; some of them even don’t have a lunch-box. As Teacher Pan has to prepare lunches for 37 students, it takes more than two hours to cook.
Teacher Pan has been a teacher for 35 years. He started his teaching career when he was 18. At that time, his salary was only 42 yuan per month. Recently, his salary gradually raised to about 2,000 yuan per month. But he is very sentimental about his students and their future education: after all these years, only 5 students have graduated from senior high school among so many students. The rest only went to junior high school and some of them even could not even graduate from primary school.
This “Handbook for Rural Primary School Teachers” has been his treasure for years. It is now falling apart, but it has witnessed Teacher Pan’s persistence
Original article was written by Cheng Quandi, translated by Shishi Ma, and edited by US interns Lauren Kam and Isabel Auyeung.
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