More than a hundred Lifepegs members, Chinese and foreign, filled every chair, sofa, and stool and overflowed into the standing areas behind, waiting eagerly for last Saturday’s opening concert at the new Lifepegs facility. Excited chatter in Mandarin, English, and even occasional Cantonese swirled in the air, mixing with the aroma of espresso from the busy coffee bar in the corner. Lifepegs staff members maneuvered through the crowd, welcoming students, adjusting microphones, bringing more seats, and leading tours of the facility’s four storeys. Angela, who had ridden a bus for over 2 hours to come with me, kept her hand in mine as she caught up with some of her classmates from our 2010 summer camp team. Lisa, who I’d met during a Lifepegs pizza making activity in the spring, waved at me from across the room, where she was sitting with Nicole and Will.
The “Real Life” concert featured a blend of foreign members singing various inspirational songs with guitar and keyboard accompaniment, as well as testimonies from members about the different ways Lifepegs has influenced their lives. The packed room listened intently as each speaker shared his or her favorite Lifepegs experiences: skiing trips, business lectures, rock climbing, cooking lessons, fitness and nutrition training, singing activities, and many, many others.
“I have learned many interesting things about the different cultures from the Philippines and the United States.”
“We had a chance to sell our items from the Shenyang business trip and see who could make the greatest profit.”
“I will never forget my friends from the English summer camp!”
“I was afraid to use English before, but now I can have lots of practice in fun activities with foreign friends and other students.”
Amid the reminiscing about different trips and activities, certain themes arose again and again: learning, friendship, family. Members told of foreign friends and staff members who took the time to mentor, encourage, and love them, whether through making biscuits together or training them as marketing volunteers. And as I looked around at the familiar faces singing the final song, “Pengyou” together, I had to agree with the speaker who ended with, “Lifepegs is more than a club, it is a family. I love Lifepegs; I love you all.”
Earlier this month, Goducate Children’s Home, Cambodia, welcomed 5 new children into the “family”. These children, Nat, Lynn, Kanya, Mon and Nia, come from Battambang, a 12-hour drive away from the Home. They come from very poor homes and have received little education. They came to the Home in hope of a better education and a better life in the future.
The new children were taken for medical check-ups… Continue reading
Since Goducate aims to help needy Asians help themselves, Bangladesh is a country that has attracted its attention.
Recently, Bangladesh was in the news because of a horrific factory collapse that killed over 1100 garment workers. I was in the country when that accident took place.
Bangladesh is the most densely populated large country. It has about 160 million people (half of US population) squeezed into a land… Continue reading
Goducate Training Center (GTC), in Iloilo, Philippines, held its first Recruitment Conference on May 6-8.
Invitations had been sent to new university graduates, to working people, and to those who had expressed interest in being trained as community development workers (CDWs). Over 300 people from all over the Philippines attended the conference.
The topics covered included the history of Goducate, its philosophies, its CDW training program, and the… Continue reading