A delegation of 11 students of the Belize Educational Service Group from the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, including two Belizeans, are teaching schoolchildren in the Cayo district an introduction to computers.
Helly Punjabi, a masters in Business Administration candidate, and Dennis Punjabi, an environmental science student, returned home last Friday, July 26, with nine other Taiwanese students from their university. They have volunteered to come and teach in Belize for the summer.
Ambassador H.E. David C.K. Wu welcomed the students to Belize at the Taiwanese Embassy in Belize City on Tuesday, where they also met with Belize City councillor Eric Chang and other leaders of the Belize-Taiwan community, who donated cash contributions to their educational mission.
Li-An “Chloe” Chen, the leader of the delegation, then presented a commemorative T-shirt of their mission and a certificate of recognition to the Ambassador.
She also presented certificates of recognition and small gifts to each of the local Taiwanese community leaders. Other members of the delegation include Kung-Ming “Kenny” Chang, Ying-Yu “Alice” Chen, Chang-Hua “Kevin” Chen, Chia-Chu “Tony” Hung, Wan-Chin “Jimena” Chien, Yi-Yen “Michelle” Hsieh and Yu-chia “Jerry” Hsu. All members of the delegation chose a Western nickname which would be easier for the children to understand and remember.
The students immediately set to work with school children in Cristo Rey Village in the Cayo district and continued this week in the villages of Duck Run II, Buena Vista and Iguana Creek.
To give the Cayo kids a hands-on introduction to computers, the Taiwan students also brought with them boxes of used, second-hand computers to use as teaching tools and which they will leave with the Cayo students when they leave.
This is the fourth year that students from the National Tsing Hua University have visited Belize. The last contingent had worked with students in El Progresso in the Cayo district, where the school had no electricity. Upon their return to Taiwan, the university students sought out local manufacturers of solar panels and lobbied for the company to donate solar panels to help these needy Cayo schools. These solar panels were then shipped to Belize, where Ambassador Wu then had the honor of presenting the gift of solar panels to El Progresso school in February this year.