It’s lunch time in one of the KangYun Foundation schools in rural China. All children are gathering in front of this tiny kitchen where the food is prepared and everyone is hungry. But before lunch is actually served the chef reads out what’s on the menu and asks them for discipline.
Finally everyone gets to queue up, impatiently waiting for their bowl.
Go! Equipped with a meal ticket they almost storm the kitchen – still in a very controlled manner. Closely watched by their teachers and the local staff.
Finally it’s time to actually enjoy lunch!
In 2006 I volunteered the first time for a charity, the Kang Yun Foundation in rural China. An international shipping company supported the organisation to build schools in the unaccessible hinterland of the Yunnan province.
Reading about the stock market crash, the financial and military power and the general influence of China made me remember what I experienced. The organisation literally built schools from scratch and brought education to remote places. In some places I was told to be the first western visitor ever.
Comparing this to the ever fast growing economy, to the images of polished cities like Shanghai or Beijing and the news on the impact Chinese economy has on the rest of the world it feels completely surreal and alien when I look at some of these images.
Shanghai at night time when I arrived. I left to the province of Yunnan early next morning.
A classroom in the Fangyan Primary School.
Smaller children normally share one of those bunk beds.