Come and Help the Children of South China

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The Volunteer English Teacher (V.E.T.) Program will provide opportunities for poor village children in China's rural schools to practice speaking English to foreign visitors. By improving their basic and oral English skills, the students will have a greater opportunity to continue with education or to secure employment, especially in the tourism and service industry.

Program Objectives:

  1. Enhance English language instruction in poor elementary schools in Guangxi Province during the regular school term.
  2. Place volunteer foreign teachers in these schools.
  3. To develop the children's self-confidence and motivate them to learn English.
  4. Provide the opportunity for cross-cultural awareness.
  5. To assist chinese English teachers by encouraging them to improve their oral English skills and language teaching abilities.
  6. To operate volunteer English summer school programs in rural China.
  7. Develop a model volunteer program in Guangxi Province that will be recognized and used in other poor rural areas of China.
  8. Create a network of international volunteers willing to give their time to improve the opportunities for these poor village children.
History: V.E.T. is a registered Chinese charity and volunteer organization. Laurie MacKenzie, a former Canadian professor and Owen Buckland, President of OMEIKA International Teacher Exchange Association founded the Program in October 2004. Since that time, dozens of foreigners with strong English skills have given hundreds of hours of instruction and classroom time to our village schools. Benefit to the students and teachers is very evident in the improvement in English test and exam scores and improved self-confidence when speaking to foreigners. Co-founder Laurie MacKenzie is retired now and has returned to Canada. Liu Hai is currently in charge of the V.E.T. Program. All of our staff are volunteers who do not receive any remuneration for their work.

The specific needs being addressed:
China's remarkable economic rise in the past 30 years is well documented and known throughout the world. Education has also seen tremendous changes in this period, but the reality is that the less developed smaller urban and rural areas still battle with extreme poverty. The local Education Authorities and the individual schools cannot possibly afford the luxury of a foreign teacher to practice oral English with the students. V.E.T. is highly praised and recognized for its great contribution to the children by all levels of education administrators. The Rongshui summer school was an initiative of the local Chinese Charities, a Chinese Communist Party unit similar to our social services departments. They absorbed all of the costs for the four volunteer teachers for the two weeks' summer school. With this kind of local support, V.E.T. has every reason to believe that we will succeed in extending the service to other remote impoverished areas. However, this organization cannot support the daily work of V.E.T nor can any other government department.

The cycle of poverty can only be broken through education. Poor peasant farmers struggle to pay the annual school expenses for their children to go to primary school but very, very few can afford the higher costs of sending the children to Junior Middle School or beyond. We know that if the children can learn to be comfortable with foreign visitors and speak some English they will be able to get work. Volunteer English Teachers are committed to helping these children realize a better future. Many local business people support the program financially and publicly display recruiting posters. However, the funds raised locally are not sufficient to meet costs and that is why we canvass for support from foreign sources.

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