IESD Celebrates 70th Anniversary of PRC Group Excursion to Yunnan Province
  Time:2019-06-27  Hits:1488



     On the week of 24th June 2019, in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of the PRC, a delegation of international IESD students from Algeria, Benin, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Gambia, Grenada, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia visited Yunnan Province this week. Yunnan Province is one of China’s most south western provinces and is also the home of most of China’s ethnic groups. Here the team of students learned about the government’s poverty alleviation efforts aimed at eliminating poverty (living on less than 1 dollar per day) by 2020.  The group led by the Program Coordinator of IESD, Mrs. Jiaqi Shen were accompanied by Tongji University’s Mr Zhou Ye, now the Deputy Director of Yunlong County, and Mr Liu Yi Cheng, the 1st Secretary of the CPC in Yong'an Village,  to several areas of Yunlong County where they were able observe many of the projects underway.

Yunnan Province, one of China’s most south western provinces

IESD Students meet with Yong’an Village Committee to learn of China's poverty alleviation work

     In celebration of the 70th Anniversary of China, myself and a few of my classmates visited Yunnan county which we found to be a humble and serene rural part of China. The trip has given me insight on the great work being carried out by the Chinese government in addressing the various causes of poverty and ensuring that development of the nation isn’t isolated only to some areas but widespread and inclusive of rural communities which may be difficult to reach. Currently, a sanitation project led by Professor Zhou Xuefei also of Tongji University will provide improved toilet facilities to Yong’an Village.  In this village Tongji University has also sponsored the construction of a road where previously villagers were unable to access their homes easily.  In addition, a bridge will soon be constructed which will allow the villagers to cross the nearby river safely. The bridge will be named Yong Ji Bridge a merging of the names Tongji and  Yong’an  and a symbol of the bridges being built between the two in their longstanding corporation.

 Yong’an County poverty alleviation work

     An interactive session was held at Tuanjie Middle School where our team taught the students about our cultures, including lessons in dance and various foreign languages. The students were eager and enthusiastic to learn about us and we were honored to be given an opportunity to impact their lives positively. Tongji University is a major supporter of Yunnan province and carries out many projects which support local education as well improved infrastructure and sanitation.  Over the past 5 years the university has sent Tongji students who support the local teachers of Tuanjie Middle School in ensuring students gain a wider knowledge base and are able to decrease generational poverty through improved education. 


Students of Tuanjie Middle School in Yunlong County

Students of Tuanjie Middle School in Yunlong County

     The trip is one of several commemorating initiatives conducted by Tongji University in an effort to aid in community building in the province.  These projects are part of a larger goal set by the CPC to improve the quality of life of Chinese people and to alleviate poverty.  I find the Chinese government to be ambitious and admirable in this goal. They aim to ensure that its citizens can live a full life without the fear of being without  the fear of being without basic needs. This will be achieved by development of the rural areas of China such as Yunnan Province and will include: (1) development of the local economy; (2) relocation of communities to logistically and infrastructurally safer areas; (3) development of the agricultural sector; (4) access to good education for all; and (5) assistance for the elderly and disabled.

      China believes that strength comes from within and thus will work hard to ensure that no Chinese citizen should ever worry about food, clothing, shelter, health or education.  

-Ms Ahyana Maxine Bowen,

 Biologist from Grenada

Tongji University 

College of Environmental Science and Engineering

Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development


IESD Student, Ms Ahyana Bowen, delivering a presentation to of Tuanjie Middle School students

IESD Team accompanied by Tongji University student teaching volunteers and Mr Liu Yi Cheng at Tuanjie Midlle School