November 3, 2007. SHANGHAI, China – The Caribbean Association in China today made its second visit to the Pudong New District Chang Lin School, where 17 association members and friends used the sounds, smells and colours of the Caribbean to teach more than 40 students English.
Broken into smaller groups after a brief presentation about the Caribbean, the students were soon dancing to calypso music and making brightly-coloured masks for their own mini-carnival as they learned about the twin-island state Trinidad & Tobago. The group from Grenada was fascinated by the smell of nutmeg, some students even learned a few words of Spanish as they studied Cuba, and the vibrant hues of the national symbols were enough to hold the attention of those who learned about Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia, and Guyana.
The highlight of the visit was the students’ presentations, after a 45-minute lesson, where each group shared what they had learned with their schoolmates. The Caribbean Association in China then presented school bags to the students and gifts to the school’s English teacher and principal.
Principal Zhou Zheng expressed his gratitude to the Caribbean Association in China, saying the students had been given a valuable opportunity to learn more about Caribbean culture.
The Caribbean Association in China’s outreach project was also an opportunity for non-Chinese nationals to learn about the region. In addition to those with Caribbean links, today’s team also included individuals from South Africa, USA, Indonesia and China. Many were impressed by how quickly the students learned the new material and were happy they got a chance to get involved.
“This is what I searched for during my first year in Shanghai,” said newly-signed up member Cecile Turrietta-Chang from New Mexico, USA. Charity and Chief Tshivhengwa, a South African couple honeymooning in Shanghai, were equally delighted to be a part of the experience which provided an outlet for them to show their African and Trinidadian roots. “You send a strong message and we hope that it continues,” they said.
The Caribbean Association in China first visited the Pudong New District Chang Lin School in June 2007 and plans to have an ongoing relationship with the elementary school. The Chang Lin Migrant School was established to assist students whose families are often subject to discrimination and hardship due to the fact that many are often unskilled workers who, in search of jobs, have moved to Shanghai from other Provinces of China.
Classes begin at the elementary level; however there are no foreign teachers available for English classes and the students are in need of basic school supplies.
About the Caribbean Association in China (CAC):
The Caribbean Association in China was started on April 1, 2007 by a group of regional nationals living in China who believed in establishing a Caribbean network and to build an awareness of the Caribbean region in China.
The Association works closely with, but independently of, Caribbean countries’ Embassies in Beijing to promote and foster Sino-Caribbean relations provide a support network for our nationals here, as well as engage in charitable/philanthropic activities aimed at benefiting the needy in China and the Caribbean.
About the Caribbean:
Geographically a part of North American the Caribbean region consists of a number of countries, island states, territories and dependencies located in the Caribbean Sea. Fifteen of these countries have committed to regional integration and are collectively known as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). They are:
Antigua & Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Haiti; Jamaica; St Kitts & Nevis; St Lucia; Montserrat; St Vincent & the Grenadines; Trinidad & Tobago; and Suriname.
Sino-Caribbean Relations and Trade:
Almost all CARICOM members have diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, which is a major source of trade and aid for many Caribbean countries. Based on the latest figures, the region imported US$1.3 billion in goods from Asian countries (including the PRC) in 2004, while exporting US$287.4 million in goods (source: Caribbean Community Secretariat www.caricomstats.org).
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Nicoleen Johnson
President, Caribbean Association in China
(86) 21- 5481-2851
Charmaine N. Clarke
Publicist, Caribbean Association in China