Service Learning: uSmile

uSmile Sports Camp

This April, the CWEF Guangdong office had the pleasure of working with an outstanding group of young men from Sha Tin College in Hong Kong.  Their team, appropriately named uSmile, participated in a CWEF Service Resource Materials Project in Huaiji, Zhaoqing, Guangdong, China. The uSmile Team conducted a sports camp for the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at Sibao Primary School- Golden Dragon Campus on the newly constructed basketball court, donated by the team. The uSmile team also visited the home of a local student. The local community was even inspired to pull together their own funds to continue improvements! We’re certain reading the teams own words about the impact this outreach experience had on them will make ‘uSmile’.

“While I was in Huaiji, Guangdong with the CWEF team and the rest of the uSmile group, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in an environment that was almost foreign to me. For most of us, it was the first time where we witnessed the lives of the underprivileged and gained a first-hand experience of their rural way of living – and for a fleeting moment, I felt the burden these families carried on their shoulders. We spent an afternoon wandering through a populated village in the outskirts of the city, and while we were there, we had the chance to visit a local family. Some of us were stunned by how simple everything was. No laptops, no bathrooms, no fancy kitchens… the house was stripped down to its bare necessities, and even though it was quite tiny, it was responsible for sheltering a family of seven.

It was also a pleasure to spend time in Sibao Primary School and work with the kids from the local community. By the time we arrived, the new basketball court that we worked hard to donate was up and ready, and we were all frantically eager to run our 3-day sports camp with the children. We had a series of sports games planned out – basketball drills, dribbling games, football matches… and a handful of other little things. I found it very lovely, even inspiring, that the kids erupted in laughter at almost anything. They smiled, giggled, and chuckled at all the little things, and by the end of it all, it was clear to us how much the kids treasured this experience.  It felt really great. We came with the intention to serve the community and make a difference in the world that we live in – and we did just that, perhaps a little more. We’ve planted a worthy memory that values all the little things in life, not only for the kids, but for us as well, and surely, it is one that we will remember for many years to come.”          -uSmile Team Member

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