A Journey Into Another Dimension

Written by: Roseline Yang, Parent Relations Officer

In November, our two Seeds of Hope Coordinators, Chris Perks and Leo Lazo took 17 families (including 17 parents, 19 children Primary and Secondary children) and me, Parent Relations Officer, on a Seeds of Hope Trip to Shanxi Province for 4 days. It consisted of staying at a school located in the village of Feng Cun for 3 days and one night in the Ancient City of Pingyao, a city that belongs to the World Heritage of the UNESCO.

This was the first time YCIS Pudong families visited this location but this will surely not be the last time because the story shared by Christine, the founder of the BoAi school touched the heart of every single participant, young and old. And according to the letter sent by the director shows this was reciprocal.

This picture makes me smile as this is a snapshot of a moment that reflects how close and supportive of each other we have become: Joshua coming to help Joey reading and translating the long Thank you letter to Chris who does not understand a word of Chinese. – Roseline Yang, Parent Relations

The whole school environment created by Ms. CHEN. She is a very respectful lady who had dedicated 14 years in such a remote place. The kids and teachers were very active in embracing new things, which is also very impressive. – Janice

 What impacted me the most is Christine’s educational ideas was changing the village students lives.- Vivian

 The way BoAi school operates and manages is very impressive. It differs a lot from the so-called Hope School. –  Karen

So much of the world, happiness is everywhere.– Pansy

Below are key points that help give a snapshot of this Journey into Another Dimension.

  • The values of the school were lived by the students and teachers at the school and our YCIS families also got to experience living in their positive culture.

I feel so lucky having the opportunity to join a SoH trip every time returning from one, arguably each time more so than the last. The BoAi school and students are truly unique. Once again, I’m very impressed by the manners and friendliness of the BoAi students and school, and am very much aspired by Christine’s story.  I think the elements of doing chores (sweeping floor, washing dishes) was a very good practice to follow.  Lastly I think Chris’ repeated emphasis of being flexible was the most self-proofing advise. – Michael

I am impressed with the school culturethe high quality of school faculty team and students. -Tracy

  • The bonding among participants through the involvement, preparation and participation during the classes:Before the trip, parent participants met several times and gathered as a team of 3/4 families to prepare lessons and activities that would be delivered on site. During the trip, 5 groups interacted with 6-7 different classes with various activities featuring rhyme and songs, arts and crafts, science project, math and fun PE lessons where every student had an active role during the classes.

I had a chance to teach the kids and to be a good teacher. -Year 4 Annie  

The major responsibilities for kids and parents in this trip were taking lead in teaching ECE and primary students. They were fully immersed in the local school life other than just visiting. I have been looking forward to take part of Seeds of Hope Trip and I was glad my son was old enough to join this year. – Karen 

I enjoyed interacting with the Bo Ai students in small groups. When we did the math activity, the kids broke up into groups of four and I stayed with just one small group to help them. I felt that I was able to get to know them and they were able to get to know me. – Anita

I learned so much and really bonded with Micah. – George

A remarkable family trip for us, thank you! – Janice

I learned a lot about the culture and history of the region and I taught some children at the SoH school. My goal was to make some new friends and learn about the lives and history of people in Shanxi. – Year 8, Daphne

Daphne was great. She showed a lot of leadership, she led all of the lessons and the rest of the boys were there helping. She didn’t give up when things didn’t go according to plan. And she was friendly with everyone including my daughter. She’s absolutely wonderful in every way. – Amy Chu

  • The stay at the school included the visit of the different classes, dormitories of students and teachers as well as the walk through the village to see how the local people live, including those living in caves.

The school is really great. The kids are smart and warm. They clean their school, dorms and dining room themselves. The teachers are so great. And the dean and her husband are so kind. We respect them so much! – Qiang

 The food over there was great! – All kids and parents agree

My favorite moments were when we went to sweep the tennis court and when I played outdoor games with the kids of BoAi school but also with YCIS students who made me run and laugh a lot.  – Roseline Yang, Parent Relations

  • The one night stay in the Ancient City of Pingyao included the Youjian Pingyao Show, a 5D approach of theatre and live performances as well as the exploration of the ancient city the next morning.

I find the SoH  trips always very meaningful for myself and my child. We enjoy interacting with the kids at school, understanding their school environment. The proactivity and positivity of the kids impressed us. Having a day at a famous tourist site at Pingyao was also nice. Thank you for the very meaningful trip! It has also been great traveling with everyone! -Gerline

I had come to Pingyao 20 years ago and it was great to see how the city has developed but at the same time some natural space has been lost. As we stayed one more day, I got to interact with the locals. They explained how lucky we got because during holiday time, the Ancient City of Pingyao is packed. – Biwei

  • What made this trip so special is definitely the positive attitude and mindset that people had when joining the trip which was cultivated further by the organizers.

My children and I cannot thank you enough for such an amazing trip. We have such a completely different experience this time compared to two years ago. A totally different perspective in some ways. Thank you for opening our eyes ! And thank you to Gerline and Alexis for taking care of Alison for me for the bulk of the time.  -Amy

 Thank you all! You all made the trip memorable! -Leo Lazo

  • The great organization and inspiring guidance from the organizer

What a wonderful experience! Thanks so much for arranging this! I truly enjoyed every moment of it, thanks again! – James

Thank you very much! You gave us such an amazing trip! – Shirley

 Very grateful to join this meaningful trip and appreciated your organization and help. -Vivian

 Thank you so much for organizing such an amazing event. Both Lucas and I learn a lot from this trip. We enjoyed it so much and cannot help attending the next trip! – Qiang

Jake and I learned so much and enjoyed ourselves immensely at both the school and in Pingyao. Thank you for organizing such a valuable experience for all of us! – Anita

This will be an unforgettable experience for us.  Thank you for all you have done for us! – Lyn, Alex 

It is only after digesting each bit of information that one can manage to understand this sentence summarizing what Seeds of Hope is:

Seeds of Hope is a service-learning co-curricular program for all Yew Chung International Schools and Yew Wah International Education Schools. The mission of Seeds of Hope is to teach compassion and charitable service, aiming to nurture our students as Servant Leaders. – YCIS website

Read more about Seeds of Hope through testimonials and articles by clicking here.

If you want to know more about Seeds of Hope trips, please contact Chris Perks, our School Chaplain at: chrisperks@sh.ycef.com.