In my last newsletter, I asked for your feedback regarding the possible extension of my service here in China. Many of you wrote back with encouraging and thoughtful words, and I greatly appreciate that. After much thought and prayer over these last months, I have indeed decided to continue on with CWEF here in Shanghai. I’ll be here until the summer of 2012, and I couldn’t be happier. In these last few months, I’ve really come to love this city, the people here, and the work I am so blessed to be a part of.
I’ll be back in the U.S. from early July through late August to spend time with family and raise the funds necessary for a another year. I’ll be in touch in the coming weeks to start planning visits and presentations.
Our work with the migrant school community in Shanghai continues to move forward. In the past past two months, I have had the pleasure of leading five groups of volunteers to Mengshan school, our first partner migrant school in southwest Shanghai. Check out some photos from these visits:
The majority of these volunteers so far have been from Concordia International School Shanghai (CISS), and the two schools are beginning to build a very strong relationship. Several weeks ago, the principal of the Mengshan migrant school, Mr. Zhou, and the head of the government agency that oversees all of Shanghai’s 150+ migrant schools met with the leaders of CISS. This is a great step forward for the work that has begun at Mengshan school and for the possibility of more connections like this in the future.
I was encouraged by Mr. Zhou’s words in a letter to Dr. James Koerschen, Concordia’s Head of School:
“With the coming of your teachers and students, the life of our kids has been enriched, they became more interested in learning English, and most importantly, they are feeling love and friendship between our kids and city kids. That can help them build more confidence in being part of the whole society and the big city. On behalf of all of the students, I am thankful to you for all that you have done.”
These last two months, I have also been keeping busy with learning as much as I can about the unique situation of Shanghai’s large population of internal migrants, the struggles they face, the organizations that are already reaching out to this population, and how CWEF can best step in and support the work that is already being done here. Trying to learn quickly and begin to formulate a proper long-term strategy, while at the same time diving in and starting a few projects, has definitely been challenging for me, but of course exciting and rewarding, too.
Meet some of the folks I’ve been meeting and learn more:
COMPASSION FOR MIGRANT CHILDREN
SOCIAL VENTURE GROUP
(He is Risen)