Empowering a new generation in East Asia

Post a Comment » Written on August 20th, 2012     
Filed under: Community Development
Traditionally, it has been the responsibility of the East Asian government to plan and implement community development projects. This is changing as both students and the government recognize the role citizens can play in creating a better place to live.  It is often the task of education programs to help students realize the power they hold within themselves to change their communities for the better.  At the Oasis Training Center in East Asia, students were given the opportunity and challenge to design a project that enhances their city.  By identifying a need within their community, planning something to address that need, implementing it, and eventually evaluating and reporting on it, students took ownership of the change they saw occurring all around them.  Students decided to plan a project in order to promote environmental health.  They researched about recycling programs and then presented this research to a local high school.  They then collected weekly the plastic and paper collected at the school.  From these collections, the school benefitted financially and the students were proud to see the positive effects their work had on their community. 

Another project the students worked on was the planting of trees around the community. They planted them at the local train station and on the school’s new athletic field.  This project required official permission from the government giving the students great experience working with permits and officials.  The trees are beautiful all around the city.  After the school closed, the students gathered one last time to remember the fun they had at their program.  One student named Hope commented on how she loved to go past the trees and see them all blossoming.

Through identifying, planning, and implementing these projects, students at OTC learned the importance of taking responsibility for change within their community.  These skills can be used for years to come as they grow into adults.  Their actions are great reminders to us all about the responsibility we have for being active participants for change in our communities.


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