Friday, February 17, 2006

Educating the Poor

On the last day of January, and the 3rd day of the Chinese New Year, CJR joined a four-day march from Zhu Hai to Guangzhou.

The March was organized by Sowers Action to raise money for schools in remote areas of China where funds are scarce and education is limited. About 280 people walked in tandem, united by the determination to help provide education for needy children.

We walked on average nearly thirty kilometres a day. Much of the walking was done along the highway, in one big group in matching shirts and coats, with a bus behind us to cut off that lane of traffic and for people who were hurt or exhausted to get on.

Along the way, we saw lovely sights, such as local farmers in the fields, picking mouth- watering baby tomatoes and strawberries. They smiled and waved encouragingly. We walked over bridges, past some tributaries of the Pearl River. When we were walking through cities, people still stared, though perhaps with more than a trace of irritation at the traffic disruptions caused by an enormous crowd crossing the street like a herd of human cattle.

Supper times after the day of walking were joyous occasions of camaraderie. We relished our feelings of accomplishment and we sated well-earned appetites. We established bonds of friendship and gave each other hearty words of encouragement.

On the final day, when we finally arrived Guangzhou, it was a great feeling. Guangzhou is a beautiful historic city, and is in much more open and spacious than Hong Kong. There was a big long ceremony to celebrate our arrival, with news media and important people galore.

We at CJR feel very strongly about the importance of education and helping everyone we can to reach their maximal potential. Here in Hong Kong and in my own country, Canada, we are very blessed with many opportunities for education. I encourage everyone to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them, and also to help to create opportunities for those who have few in life. Hong Kong Gai Yao, strike again!

Thomas Leenders
CJR Education Consultant