Two buses set off from WISS packed with teachers, students and 254 Giving Tree bags. The journey took them along Hu Qing Ping Gong Rd, a right turn at the Outlet stores and a few minutes later, they were at Qing Pu United Primary School. The close proximity to WISS contrasts the economic distance.
As they waited in the school’s library for the ceremony to begin, WISS students discussed these differences. One secondary student remarked that, “students on the outskirts of society must struggle to be accepted with so many challenges to overcome.”
The average school has 50 – 70 students per class with no heating during the winter, no cooling during summer and whose families often struggle to meet their family’s basic needs. Even with all these disadvantages, the students performed in the rain with enthusiasm and joy. Perhaps the most moving part of the performance was a song performed using sign language; one child was wearing a hearing aid.
Following the performance, WISS students visited classes to distribute Giving Tree bags by reading out the names of the students. There were a number of mispronunciations, which caused lots of giggles for all involved. Once every child had received their bag, all the bags were opened. The photographs captured the images of children cheerily sorting through all their newly received gifts. As the WISS students were about the leave the classroom, they noticed two children at the back without bags. It turned out that they were new to the class. The quick thinking of WISS students and Giving Tree volunteers ensured that these two children quickly had bags of their own. And the smiles grew.