Yahan Primary School Construction Project
Read the report of the Yahan Primary School Construction project of the Amity Foundation.
The Amity Foundation, an independent Chinese voluntary organization created in 1985 on the initiative of Chinese Christians from China’s coastal provinces in the east and the minority areas of the west, promotes education, social services, health, and rural development. One of the first nonprofit organizations to be formed in China, the Amity Foundation has, since its establishment, been affiliated with Global Ministries.
Yahan village with a total population of 2,064 is a poor village, like many others, whose inhabitants are largely of the miao ethnicity. Yahan is located a great distance from larger cities and transportation locally and within the broader area is very difficult. The primary school is the village elementary school. There are 156 students in the school. The school yard covered an area of about 4,305 square feet and was almost completely taken up with the school building. The school was built in the 1950s and, in later years, was identified as dangerous. The school building was low, cramped, and damp. As a whole, the school building was in danger of collapse. In bad weather, like thunderstorms, the classrooms had to be evacuated. The condition of the school did not only threaten the safety of teachers and students, but affected students’ health as well. It was decided that the primary school was in urgent need of a new school building and facilities such as restrooms and a basketball court.
The objectives of the project were to 1) build a new school building, restrooms, and basketball court; 2) improve the living and teaching conditions for students and teachers; 3) merge with other primary schools nearby; and 4) strengthen regional teaching resources so as to improve the local education level in general. The Amity Foundation signed a cooperative agreement with the Guizhou Provincial Poverty Alleviation Foundation and Liping County Government, and the project was launched.
When the new school was built, it eliminated all the concerns about the old, dangerous building. The students are able to study in safe, spacious, and bright classrooms, an environment which is beneficial to their physical and mental health. In order to concentrate valuable resources and optimize the educational structure, the Liping County Education Bureau merged the surrounding primary schools into Yahan Primary School. Yahan Primary School covers three villages. The total population of these three villages is 3,570. Children of school age now will be able to go to a school nearby. After the completion of the teaching building, the school set up a management system to strengthen and protect the new building. Students are encouraged to “love school as their own home” and make full use of the new school buildings. The new school will be open as of March 2012.