Touching Lives Overseas (TLO)
A Canadian Registered Charitable Organization (811129824RR0001)
English | 中文
In recent years, China has greatly improved her people’s standard of living. However, in remote inland areas, the majority of the population is made up of farmers who earn only subsistence income. Many lack basic education and other essential services.
In Fengcun and other villages in Qinyuan County, Shanxi Province, many children have to walk half a day to go to school. The school buildings in this area are shabby and the elementary school at Fengcun has been condemned for two years. The classrooms are heated by coal stoves as is customary in rural China. Most qualified and experienced teachers are not willing to come to teach. Those who come to teach have only grade 9 education.
Moved by the children’s cries for help, Mrs. Christine Chan and a group of caring individuals endeavoured to build a boarding school. After four years of planning and fund-raising, Bo Ai elementary school opened its doors in 2005. The school, which replaces the eight elementary schools in the area, provides free kindergarten and primary education. Majority of Bo Ai school’s funding comes from the generous donations of friends of OHH, BAFL and TLO and people who care about China’s next generation. The funding supports teacher salaries, student tuition, room and board, school facilities and school maintenance.
To provide well rounded high quality education with an emphasis on character development.
The values forming the foundation on which the education at Bo’Ai School is based are love and respect for fellow students and others. A high sense of responsibility is the starting point and team spirit is at the core. This in turn leads to the development of a positive attitude and preparedness to accept and face life’s challenges.
The school curriculum includes character and moral education. Many strategies are used to develop qualities such as diligence, determination, strength, humility, patience, compassion, ethical, responsibility, honesty, and most of all, love for their fellow students and others. Our vision and goal is for our students to become contributing members of society and to carry with them the lessons and experiences into their lives, to their homes and villages.
An example of these strategies is in one instance, Mrs. Chan became aware of a child suffering from leukemia in a neighboring county, and she launched a fund-raising event in the school and asked the students to write letters of well wishes. She used this opportunity to teach compassion, responsibility and love for our fellow neighbors. On many occasions, the teachers lead the students to reach out to their community and visit homes for the aged.
The Bo’Ai School facility, built on village donated land, stands out strikingly from surrounding structures in this area. Standing opposite Fengcun Village, it has become a magnet for students, parents and teachers. Bo'Ai school can accommodate more than 300 students of whom 200 are boarders. The students are all from poor families in the surrounding eight villages. The student and teacher quarters were built as children came from far distances and their only mode of transportation is walking. The time and effort saved can be used in learning and at the same time strengthening the common bond between teachers and students. Because of the distance that students have to travel to school, students go home every other weekend.
Each school hour of the day is packed with learning experiences, taught by a dedicated and enthused staff. The 30 plus teachers are all graduates of teacher-training colleges. Mrs. Christine Chan, the Bo Ai School’s Executive Director spends most of her time at the school to manage the school’s operations.
Bo Ai school offers a comprehensive education including social studies, natural science, computer knowledge, art, music and physical education. The school introduced dynamic modern teaching methods and our goal is for the students to be proficient in both Chinese and English.
Another unique feature of the school is to ban smoking in the premises. One of the conditions for employment for teachers and cooks is that they do not smoke. We are proud to see that some of our teachings have also adopted by the student’s families.
The school invites education professionals from USA, Canada and Hong Kong to train the local teachers and exchange teaching ideas. The school’s facilities also continued to be upgraded.
School marks improved from early 55% averages to 95%. In government tests of 98 regional schools conducted in 2010, Bo Ai School ranked number one.
Students are neat, hard-working, diligent, respectful, confident and willing to serve.
Bo Ai School was awarded the honour of Model School of the province.
With several years of hard work, the Bo’Ai Elementary is now on a firm foundation. The next major project is the building of the middle school.
In 2011, we will start to build the Bo Ai Middle School. It will house 400 middle school students. The government will close three middle schools in the county and all the students will attend our school when it opens. The school will be built behind the present elementary school on village and government donated land. Hong Kong Bo Ai Foundation (BAFL), Overseas Helping Hands USA (OHH), Amway China, TLO and other organization will have to come up with the funding for the construction and facilities. Because of the superior education that the children are getting at the elementary school, the government has given to Bo Ai the honor of educating their middle school students.
Mrs. Christine Chan (founder of Bo Ai Elementary School) is convinced that God will touch people’s heart to support our students’ desire for higher education. She firmly believes that “If what we do meets with God’s approval, He will grant it.”
School Address: Fengcun, Qinyuan, Changzhi, Shanxi, China; Postal code: 046500