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Jan 16, 2020

Volunteer Team in Palu - Earthquake Drill

MSM staff discussing with the school teachers
MSM staff discussing with the school teachers

Day 2 in Palu, The Mustard Seed Mission volunteer team visited the local school and village again to share with the teachers about how to conduct earthquake prevention education and drill. Then, coming up with the disaster prevention plan and suggestions to raise the awareness and concept of disaster prevention for the school and village.

The volunteer team visited the school principal and explained the intention and purpose of sharing the earthquake prevention education program.

The volunteer team was at the school to educate teachers and the principal about earthquake escape and evacuation.

Explaining why schools should conduct earthquake drills every month or quarter to let students get used to knowing how to escape while earthquakes occur.

The volunteer team interviewed the community residents to know the situation about post-disaster recovery, collecting and incorporating information as references for planning further service and future disaster prevention education.

Community residents were invited to participate in the Community Disaster Risk Mapping Workshop on 10/10 for educating the public about earthquake escapes and items that need to be prepared for safety.

The school teachers exploring escape routes
The school teachers exploring escape routes
Sharing with the locals about disaster prevention
Sharing with the locals about disaster prevention
Dec 9, 2019

Knitting, Braiding, Weaving, Plaiting!

Children learning handcrafts
Children learning handcrafts

San-Yuan is a really nice guy and a warm-hearted teacher, and he is really good at knitting art activities. Through the activity he wants the kids to learn that "everything you do, you need to work hard and have patience." Children in Agape Children's Home will share what they've learned down below.

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Teacher San Yuan's knitting class is fun, he teaches us how to make paper butterfly, and even uses grass to make birds and fish. In our free time, he also teaches us how to sing. If you never used grass to knit before, making a fish will be a challenge; yes, it's a big challenge for me, but I have decided to take this big mission, not only finish it but also make it into my own artwork. When people finished the little fish, the teacher challenges us to turn it into a big fish. The "developing" part is really complex and hard, but following the teacher step by step, we still made the impossible happen. When we finished and I look back, I learned that with enough patience and will, anything is possible, nothing can stop us! Teacher San Yuan said when next time he comes, he will prepare something even harder for us. Because of this, I'm super excited for the next knitting class to come.

Through this knitting activity, I have learned that doing anything, you need a lot of will and a lot of patience. The hard thing is you need to face it and learn, and once you have learned how to do it, it will become easy. Teacher San Yuan woke up really early to go to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and collect the best Ingredient that we needed for knitting. Through his action, I can really see that he really cares for us, treats us like his own family. I also learned from him that we should have more patience for first timers, a little bit of patience will make a big difference.

A year ago, we met Teacher San Yuan at a dinner party, he taught us how to make a paper 3D butterfly, and he promised that he will come back and teaches us more stuff.

I was excited to hear that he came back to us again.

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Through Diversified Learning Project for Children, we aim to help children in Agape Children's Home and Mustard Seed Youth Home to explore more via learning! 

Links:

Dec 9, 2019

Empowerment for Employment: Catch Every Child

Hao dreams to run a restaurant in the future
Hao dreams to run a restaurant in the future

My first job in social work was to empower the youth by enhancing their employability skills. It's been a year since I took on this job which put more focus on human relations rather than on the facts and I am still trying to adjust myself from time to time.

We also provide empowerment courses of employment for young people. When making DISC assessment, I was told by the counselor that En has a great potential in resource integration and that it would be good for him to seek a future in marketing or business planning. En, on the other hand, had doubt on such an assessment because he was too poor to have any opportunity to explore his imaginative and planning ability…….However, the response from each young person, whether it concerns course content, their emotions and facial expressions, became my reference point to guide and assist them in the future.

During my work, I also discovered that our young participants are very straightforward when it comes to express themselves. Sometimes I couldn't help myself burst out laughing while sometimes I was moved or felt sad. One of our participants found a job as a Sushi chef by himself. "I am now a professional rice-picker." he proudly told me. When I paid him a visit at his workplace, I pointed to his staff badge deliberately and asked "How come it doesn't say professional rice-picker?" He laughed.

Teenagers are in an age which is unpredictable. They don't even know about themselves. As such, there are always unforeseen changes when making agreements with them. For example, one may express his wish to learn  ironwork because he had some previous experiences and felt he could continue pursuing the same road; the next day he may change his mind by saying it's too hard to work as a blacksmith but couldn't say what else he prefers. Therefore, I have now developed patience dealing with such adolescent irregularities. I became also more flexible to help them dealing with the confusion and anxiety they felt towards their future.

It is not possible to control the progress of human beings in the same way as we do to other work, but the feedback from our young participants sometimes brought me unexpected joy. For example, when I felt that there was nothing more I could do to help them seeking employment, the next month one of them told me with pride that he has found a job. I have never experienced such a wonderful experience in my previous jobs and it's the best reward one can ever expect from helping others. 

One of our colleagues likes to describe her work as "catching these children" which I find so very fitting. Thank you, children, for allowing me this past year the opportunity to catch you so that you could grow enthusiastically upward instead of falling down. I look forward to seeing you all maximizing your potential to the full to reach the sky above you.    

 
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