Helen Boyle: Inspire and Be Inspired
    2012-05-10 17:10:47     CRIENGLISH.com         Web Editor: Wang Wei


Helen Boyle came to China in 2008 but she never expected that her life would one day be closely linked to the lives of migrant children.

Helen visited many schools in China and stumbled across a school for the children of migrant workers. She was appalled at the lack of educational resources available at the school but was inspired by the children's enthusiasm to learn.

Her desire and drive to help others motivated Helen to give up her job in the UK and start a new life by founding the non-profit Migrant Children Foundation in 2009.

Script:

(Helen Boyle leads a group of migrant children at a campus.)

"My name is Helen Boyle, I am from the UK, and I'm the founder of the Migrant Children Foundation. It is 8:30 in the morning, and we are in the Beijing University of Chemical Technology. We are bringing 250 migrant children to the university to provide them with an opportunity to be exposed to interactive and creative teaching methods."

Communicating with teachers;
Arranging the work of volunteers;
Taking care of the children of migrant workers;
And carrying out all the organizing work and teaching;
 
Helen is a busy individual. In fact, this is just a normal day in her quest to help migrant children in China.

Helen came to China in 2008 but she never expected that her life would one day be closely linked to the lives of migrant children.

"Part of the reason why I came to China is because it was in China, so we were very interested to see how Chinese inspire the students to be volunteers in the Beijing Olympics, so partly I was looking for ways of inspiring students to be a part of Olympics and planned to go back to London for 2012 Olympics."

For this reason, Helen visited many schools in China and stumbled across a school for the children of migrant workers. Helen was appalled at the lack of educational resources available at the school but was inspired by the children's enthusiasm to learn.

"They inspired me and I thought there is something I really want to use my skills and expertise and my time during the time I am going to be in China, so that is how it started. This is what I wanted to do, I enjoyed it."

Her desire and drive to help others motivated Helen to give up her job in the UK and start a new life by founding the non-profit Migrant Children Foundation in 2009.

"I meant to support them, then people gradually heard about us and they said they want to get involved. Now we get ten volunteers working with us. None of us get paid and everything is free, all the volunteers work for nothing. We have a program called Beijing Buddies. We sent our volunteers to our schools to teach English twice a week. We also organize classes like dancing, singing and computer."

Helen Boyle, founder of the Migrant Children Foundation, holds a migrant child in her arms. [Photo: Courtesy of Helen Boyle]

Fan Lichun is the head teacher of Beijing Fangshan Boshi School, one of the under-resourced Migrant Children Schools that Helen usually helps. She is very grateful to her foreign friend.

"Helen started to help our school in 2010. She has done much for our migrant children schools. For instance, she checks up students' eyesight and matches free glasses, teaches oral English, invites teachers to teach drawing and donates lots of books to enrich children's life."

Today, Helen provides migrant children with opportunities they wouldn't normally find in their day-to-day environment, with the help of a group of dedicated expats.

"David and Richard are two professors from.....they approached me and said they would like to do something for MCF, so I organize the session. This is a platform for the volunteers to pass on their own learning experience. It is just amazing for the migrant children to be exposed to such a creative learning and teaching methods.

(Professor David) "I am particularly pleased that we have this change to work with migrant children schools, because in their school, they have no chance to do science, but we hope what we have done today could inspire one or two of them to work hard and perhaps to become scientists or chemists in the future."

(Sponsor Clemens Smolders) "I think what she is doing is fantastic. It is always nice for people to say 'ok, I want to help people who are not as fortunate as ourselves, not once or twice, but regularly. I think it is a big commitment."

Helen faces many difficulties in her quest to improve the education of migrant children, but she says she will continue to inspire the kids just as they have inspired her. When asked how long she sees herself staying in China and devoting her life to Migrant Children, she provides a firm response.

"As long as it takes, I have started something, and I am committed. Whatever it takes, I will do."

Helen Boyle, founder of the Migrant Children Foundation, poses for a group photo with migrant children. [Photo: Courtesy of Helen Boyle]

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