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Visit to Han Si Aboriginal Village

Peter Truasheim

In September 2009, Cassie Mooney, Vice President of Activated Ministries, joined our team fromYilan Mission for a special visit to the Han Si Elementary School in a small aboriginal village in Yilan County, Taiwan. We donated two sets of Grandpa Jake storybooks and 20 sets of early learning readers, which were sponsored by Activated Ministries for the school library and also to be used in the schools’ English classes.

Han Si is a small aboriginal village in the lush green foothills of the very rugged and high mountain ranges of Yilan County. It is inhabited by the Taiyatsu aboriginals. Many of the aboriginal villages in Taiwan are in need of support as they are often in poorer rural locations with limited employment opportunities.

When we arrived at the school we were greeted by the principal and the English teacher, Janice. The day of our visit happened to fall on the principal’s birthday, so we were able to join in his birthday celebration.

The aboriginal children are very friendly, affectionate and outgoing. They enjoyed meeting and playing with our children (we brought along our two youngest) during their morning recess – making the day quite special for all the children in the school. The English teacher had mentioned at an earlier meeting that the children needed simple English books to help them with their reading. It’s very important for Taiwanese children to learn English as better jobs are given to those with a higher English ability. We gave two sets of Grandpa Jakes storybooks with accompanying activity books and CDs, as well as 20 sets of Early Bird readers – which is a set of 12 readers with a read-along audio CD, 188 flash cards, award certificates, teacher’s guides, and more.

During the presentation, the English teacher asked us to give a demonstration to their English class using the readers. We were happy to do this and these readers became an instant success with the children, who were eager to participate. Meeting us gave the children some needed confidence in their ability to communicate in English.

Before we returned home, our two youngest children, Tanya (2) and Ann (4), sang the song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” for the school children. The song was enthusiastically received with clapping and cheers.