Disclaimer: This is a brief call to action about what you can do to help bring education to others in need. A more detailed research analysis blog comparing educational circumstances in the US and China will be posted in the upcoming week.
While the US and China are very much different countries with different cultures and traditions, both countries face the major problem of poverty. One of our main beliefs at Spring Sprouts is that a lack of education caused by a lack of access to education is the main reason for poverty. From our experiences teaching in rural China, we have observed that children there face the problem of a lack of access to quality education. The fight for better education is an uphill battle with challenges on every corner, but it can be won with small contributions from everyone. Here are some things that you can do to contribute to the cause in your local community or in communities around the world.
1. Sign up for tutoring programs at your school or community.
Many schools have programs that allow students who are in more advanced classes to other students who need help for either community service hours or a small amount of pay. If your school does not have one, you can apply to join local organizations. You can also start your own tutoring club/program at your school. Spring Sprouts will provide consulting and advice if you do want to start your own tutoring program at your school.
2. Volunteer at a local church.
Whether you are religious or not, volunteering at a church is a great way to contribute to the education cause. Churches such as the Chinese Church in Christ have volunteering programs that allow student volunteers to teach Chinese immigrants English. In one instance, I even helped a new immigrant pass her citizenship test.
3. Go on mission trips.
Most religious schools have a mission trip program, which allows students to travel to a developing country for religious purposes. You would usually be going to places that are in poverty, and anything you do for the children there is inspiration for them. You should capitalize off of these mission trips by making the same trip outside of the school program. Since you have already developed a relationship with the school in that country, you can plan return trips with friends.
4. Create global organizations.
Creating your own organization may seem like a daunting task, but all it takes is a of committed workers and dedication to the cause. When we started Spring 5 years ago, we depended on donations from our neighbors and our curriculum was a mess. Since then, we have greatly improved our curriculum and have found more efficient ways of raising money. It is hard to start your organization at first, but experience is the greatest teacher and there is nothing wrong with making mistakes in the beginning. The students and parents who we worked with in China were very flexible and understanding with our early mistakes, because they knew about our good intentions. If you ever need consulting or guidance, be sure to contact us because we would love to help you start your own organization.
5. Donate to local causes.
If you don’t have the time or resources to do the activities listed above, it is totally understandable. High school students are busy, and most are already involved in too many extracurriculars. A great way to support the cause directly is to donate money to those causes. For example, you can donate to the Spring Sprouts GoFundMe page or buy merchandise to support our cause.
6. Promote local causes.
If you do not have the money to financially support your favorite causes, you can help contribute by promoting these causes on your social media. A simple act such as adding an organization’s website link in your Instagram account is a contribution. Raising awareness through means such as sharing posts and retweets are just as important as raising money for an organization.