Over the last two weekends, DAIS students, teachers and a supporting team of parents and chaperones delivered and installed over 50 refurbished desktop computers to the homes of eager young language learners in nearby communities. Accenture Computer Distribution Committee, Dalian American International School, Dalian Mother Education Consulting Company (DMECC), and Rotary Dalian Kaifaqu all participated in two events to distribute computers to migrant and village students of local schools.
These computers had been used by Accenture, who refurbished them and included new equipment for web education. DAIS supported the project through their teachers and staff, student volunteers, and organizing the distribution. DMECC drove the interaction through their contacts with local government and local schools. And Rotary Dalian Kaifaqu is seeking to run continuous support through checking back with students and their families about the efficacy of the installation and continuing needs.
In the morning of October 31st, a volunteer group set out from the Dalian American International School campus to deliver a precious cargo. In coordination with locally based DMECC and global business services giant Accenture, nineteen DAIS and Huamei Academy students, six teachers and a supporting team of parents and chaperones set out to bring the first round of 50 refurbished desktop computers to the homes of eager young language learners in two nearby communities. After a stop to introduce members of the DAIS-Accenture Computer Distribution Committee (ACDC) to local community leaders, teams of students joined recipient families in their homes to assist with installation and ensure familiarity with the new technology.
The distribution on November 7th supported over 30 new installations through the Dalian Development Area at two primary school locations: Lingang and Binhai. Most DAIS student volunteers participated on both Saturdays, October 31st and November 7th. Student volunteers went out in pairs and with parents, and helped installing Microsoft Office, TenCent and other programs as they set up former Accenture computers for students in their own homes. Parents of the volunteers and New World Hotel Dalian provided transportation from DAIS to the distribution locations, and around Kaifaqu as there was need.
Guided by members of a youth leadership program founded by DMECC, a social enterprise that facilitates volunteerism within the Dalian community, student and teacher volunteers spent the prior weeks planning the event. Students attended peer-led IT training, learned about the specific communities with whom they would be working, and assisted teachers in recruiting chaperones and planning the logistics of transporting over 30 ACDC volunteers to community centers and family homes.
One DMECC student leader, also a member of the DAIS student body, reflected on the opportunity to connect the school’s mission and values to meaningful work in the local community. “We got a chance to combine the skills we have learned from DMECC with the ethical values and problem solving from our classes to make a difference for local people, together as a community of kids and teachers. It was a great experience.”
There is a lot of support for this multi-member collaboration to develop student ability through valuable used technology. The volunteers want to be involved in pursuing new ways to support members of the community and relationships with neighbors. Bridging the gap between government, business and villages builds and strengthens communities.
Special thanks to Justin Sheehan, Terry Horn, Paul Ryker, Marta Perez and Meik Loughran for leading our students in service to others.