For this monthly activity, members from the MiaoMiaoWangWang [Meow Meow Woof Woof] Club organized a trip to QiMing Animal shelter. GC has been working with QiMing for 2 years, donating food and sending students to lend a helping hand. During the activity, when not enjoying spending time with the residents, students helped shelter staff clean up the grounds, move materials for building, prepare food for the animals, and dress up animals (many disabled) to help them find furever homes.
In April, students from schools all over Chengdu came together at the GC English Debate Competition to show their quick wit and strong logical reasoning skills. For this competition, students were responsible for hosting and announcements, observing and answering participant queries and bringing their best suits and arguments to debate!. At the end of the day everyone stayed to watch the heated finale!
After students realized that local youth are losing touch with their traditional culture and history, the Sichuan Culture Appreciation Club organized an experiential performance and documentary series to encourage high school students to interact with and appreciate traditional Sichuan culture. Students worked together with the Sichuan Provincial Opera Theater to learn traditional dance, songs, and performance techniques. Performances included 水袖 shui3xiu4 (sleeves that flow like water), 扇子功 shanzigong (a basic opera movement technique using traditional fans),and脸谱 lian2pu3 (decorative masks and face makeup for performance).
Students also went to a local cooking school, TianYuan Yinxiang, to learn how to prepare traditional Sichuan cuisines such as 回锅肉 Hui Guo Rou (Twice Cooked Pork)， and 麻婆豆腐 MaPo DoFu (Stewed Tofu in Pepper Sauce), while learning about the rich history behind their ingredients and cooking methods.
After creating a documentary series to record their cultural experiences and performances, students then went to an ailing opera house in the countryside to help them promote their work and reach out to the local community.
To get students up to speed with the rising trend of social enterprises (SOEs) in China, GreatChina partnered with social enterprise WOW Education to teach students how to create and operate an impactful SOE. Students were able to learn about aspects of SOEs and social businesses ranging from effective financial planning to design thinking and targeting issue areas to sustainable impact and sourcing materials before creating their own social enterprise ideas and pitching them in front of a panel of judges. The winning team was given a small stipend towards realizing their project. Students learned not only about double and triple bottom lines but also how to think creatively and make a difference.
To get students in the Halloween spirit, GC staff and students turned the Chengdu office into a haunted house! Each department was decorated by a team of students with their own theme, story and task needed to escapeeeeeeee~ After the haunted house, a Halloween party was held where students decorated monster cupcakes, watched Halloween movies, learned about the history and traditions of Halloween in the US before finally voting on whose costume was the best. It was a great spoOoOoky time!
GreatChina partnered with the Sichuan Conservatory of Music and 6 top orchestras from the Sichuan region to bring music and autism awareness to Chengdu. As part of this event, students organized a charity sale, singing performance and poem recitalto convey the importance of autism awareness. Students hope that more people will pay attention to the living conditions and education opportunities for children with autism in China and provide more support to parents of children with autism. The star-themed decorations were inspired by the Chinese term for children with autism 星星里的孩子 xingxing li de haizi (children of the stars) because of their different view of the world.
GreatChina Sichuan Opera Show: Students will participate this event as fresh learners of Sichuan Traditional Opera, a fading cultural heritage among teenagers today. Students will receive professional traings from local Sichuan Opera artists and conduct researchs behind the stage to develop projects researching the current challenges to the development of Chinese traditional culture. Students will put on Sichuan Opera performances after one month's learning at Sichuan Opera Theatre. This activity will help students develop their cultural awareness towards Chinese local traditional culture and their abilities to work as a team to learn a new artistic performance.
Citibank National English Debate: Students will be grouped into different teams and receive workshop training from our international staff experienced in debates. GreatChina is parternered with Citibank and will organize this event at different GreatChina offices including Chengdu, Chongqing and Guangzhou. This activity will help students develop their critical thinking abilities, research experiences, oral English and concerns about the society.
GreatChina Improv Contest: Students will be grouped randomly and receive workshop training from our international staff about how to perform improv. Students are expected to put on performances according to improvised rules and scenes on the performance day. This activity will help students develop their creative thinking, teamwork spirit and artistic talents as well as building their confidence.
Stray Animal Shelter Voluntary Work: Students will visit Qiming stray animal shelters and help staff there taking care of stray dogs and cats, including washing dogs, cleaning the shelter, building cages, cooking for stray dogs. Students will also initiate a project to advocate adopting stray animals as pets instead of purchasing those from the pet market. This activity will help students understand a social problem in our community and guide them to find possible solutions.
In partnership with Engineers for a Sustainable World, GreatChina will be hosting the first inaugural Resilient CommUnity Design Challenge in China, open to all high school and undergraduate students looking to help their communities become more resilient and sustainable. For more information about the challenge, competition schedule, and awards, please visit: resilience.eswusa.org.