CyberFair Project ID: 4654

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Love in West Africa —a story of Lian Chia-en
Category: 1. Local Leaders

School: National Experimental High School at Science-Based
    Hsinchu, Taiwan, Taiwan

16 students, ages 11-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on January 20, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005

Classes and Teachers: Jenny Tein

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Lian Chia-en was born in Taipei,Taiwan . It was a great surprise that when he was 20 years old, he chose to complete his military service in West Africa , and doing many great things in Burkina Faso of West Africa. Lian Chia-en opened the eyes and hearts of people in Taiwan. He aroused our interests to the faraway country-- Burkina Faso. He allowed 1.2 million people in Taiwan to connect with the friends in West Africa . What a beautiful and miraculous gathering! In Taiwan , we are proud of Lian Chia-en. He did what most of us never even thought of doing. As we researched and admired Lian Chia-en, we hope that there will be more people like Lian Chia-en standing out in Taiwan.

2. Summary of Our Project

In this project, we are research into Taiwan 's talented youth—Lian Chia-en. In November 2001, Lian Chia-en join the alternative military service. He went all the way to Burkina Faso . He practiced medicine and engaged in public service activities such as the program of exchanging litter for clothing, digging wells, offering free clinics, and building orphanages. In a short period of a year and eight months, he had contributed so much to Burkina Faso. He was deeply appreciated by all the Burkina Faso people. By this research project, we focus on Lian Chia-en's contribution to West Africa , his values, and his story of growing up. We hope that through this research, more Taiwanese youth will be willing to step off this island and be engaged in international public service activities.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home: 100 Percentage B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:10 C. Connection speed used in the classroom: 100M D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet: 7 E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access : School: There are three computer classrooms in our school. We usually used the computers to get on the Internet at school. Home: Most of our team members' computers are equipped with ADSL, so that we could surf the Net for the data we needed to accomplish our project.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1.Personally, we did not have much experience in research, including gathering, analyzing, and organizing information. 2. Oftentimes we don't have enough time to take care of the data we have at hand. 3.We ran into a lot of problems with control of the progress. Because we only have three classes in a week, and we sometimes take sick leave. We eventually rushed our progress to complete this challenge. 4.When writing an article about Lian Chia-en, it was difficult to figure out how to write an exciting story and, meantime, a comprehensible one. 5.Our biggest challenge was the computer problem. We don't know how to use new software, either.we wish we had more time to learn how to use different software! 6.Everything was really in a rush! Before we finished one task, we had another one on the way! It was very difficult to juggle. 7.During the interview, we recorded it and came back to transcribe it. It was very hard because it was difficult to hear.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

1.Do not shrink back when faced difficulties. 2.Belief is strength! God can make your dreams come true! 3.From Lian Chia-en, I learned that those who have determination would succeed. 4.All we need is to work hard and not to give up halfway. At the end we will be successful. 5.Working together is most important. 6.There is nothing impossible in this world. Our only vice is people with unkind intentions. 7.As long as people do good, they will be happy. Helping people is the root of happiness. 8.Lian Chia-en said, “The most difficult place is where there lies the most chances.” What a great implications this has!

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Lian Chia-en's story brought to us a very important lesson in life. We are so proud that Taiwan has such an outstanding young talent. While he was in Burkina Faso , he did not only fulfill his responsibilities for his alternative military service. He served the country through many community-serving activities. He loved the local people, and he wanted to lead them out of the darkness. Because of this sincere love, he became a good friend of Burkina Faso . Lian Chia-en encouraged us to think outside the box, and to enter the vastness of the world. Love and share! To us, this is such an important lesson! Thank you, Lian Chia-en, for taking us to the far away land of Africa . Through the process of research, we've called Burkina Faso by phone. This global village seems to have become smaller. Taiwan and Burkina Faso are so close! We are grateful for that through this website competition, we will be able to connect directly with the world. We hope that one day, we will be able to set foot on that piece of land and do some things for them as well. In conducting this research project, we read many books and reports on Lian Chia-en, and we learned a great deal. We have also learned how to conduct an extensive research about a person and how to organize all our information. Through interviews, we have obtained a great amount of first-hand information, and we have learned the skills of being a reporter. We have also learned many techniques for making websites, such as using “Photoshop”. Our team worked very well together. Some people read the articles, and some conducted interviews. Some typed, and some worked on the website. After this project, we have truly understood what “unity is strength” means!

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

We used several different information technological tools to complete this project. Other than the basic tools—PCs and Windows 98—we used an mp3 voice recording device, scanners and digital cameras to record images and activities, telephone, and e-mail. Through these methods we were able to organize our information. The software we used included FrontPage 2000, Dreamweaver, Microsoft Word 2000 (for the majority of texts and the websites), digital image cards, PhotoImpact 6.0, Photoshop, and Firework.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

In the summer of 2005, we heard a talk by Lian Chia-en. We thought—how could this be a story of such a young Taiwanese man? It is great! Because of this sentiment and our curiosity, we were motivated to learn more about this Taiwanese hero! At that time, we ran to ask Lian Chia-en if he would be interested in being interviewed. He said that he was busy, but it should be fine. This was how we found the topic of our research. Many thanks to him! During the time of our research, we communicated through e-mail, and we are very grateful that he was able to set aside one evening for us to interview him! We are also very grateful towards Lian Chia-en's wife, who allowed us to interview her amidst her busy schedule. We stood outside of Yang-Ming Medical School , right outside of a restaurant, to conduct this interview. Because she was surrounded by a bunch of little reporters like us, with cameras and recording devices, many pedestrians came by to see what was going on! The more we got to know Lian Chia-en, the more curious we were about his family. So, we found Lian Chia-en's parents, and interviewed them as well. One time, we visited Chung-li High School to interview Mrs. Lian, and another time we visited Shang-en Dentist Office to interview Mr. Lian. They were all so kind! They were fervent Christians, and they loved life—this is how they raised such an outstanding son. Another thing that made us very excited was when we called all the way to Burkina Faso for an interview. We initially wanted to talk to the children in the orphanage that Lian Chia-en had built—Lin-en Orphanage—but because the orphanage was in such a rural area, they did not have telephones. Therefore, we interviewed the director of the orphanage, who had a cell phone, and who was a local Burkinese. We found someone's dad who is French to help us with the interview. It was a success! Thank you to all these people, and we hope that a lot of people get to see our website. Hopefully more and more Taiwanese people will venture out to Africa to help the people there.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Lian Chia-en's story touched our hearts, but he also planted in us a question: why was this man so special? What motivated him to do these things? At the end of our research process, we received an answer to this question:Lian Chia-en's grandmother was a lonely widowed mother, and she thankful for the blessings of the Lord, so she tried with all her might to give out her love.So Today, her descendents, had inherited this spirit to love and serve others. Lian Chia-en said that if it wasn't for the love and strength from God, he would not have been able to do anything. Through this research we have found that God's strength continues to grow stronger in this fourth generation Christian household. Its effects are getting stronger by day, even reaching the faraway land of Burkina Faso . This new strength of Taiwan is not to be taken lightly. Thank you, Lian Chia-en, for taking us to the far away land of Africa . Through the process of research, we've called Burkina Faso by phone. This global village seems to have become smaller. Taiwan and Burkina Faso are so close! We are grateful for that through this website competition, we will be able to connect directly with the world. We hope that one day, we will be able to set foot on that piece of land and do some things for them as well. Lian Chia-en's story give us a preferable future , that Taiwan was no longer a poor and backwards country, but a country that had the capability to love and care about other countries! We must to chage our mind to do this. Love is very important in this world; there are many people that need help, and we should do our best to help them, we should approach all things in the spirit of love, because love is power!

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Thanks to many parents for their moral and material support in our research. Thank you to Yu-jun's father and Ying-hsin's father for driving us to Taipei to conduct our interviews. Thank you, Miss Wen-chian for bringing us to Chung-li High School and Shang-en Dental Office! At the same time, we must thank Mr. and Mrs. Lian Chia-en as well as Lian Chia-en's parents for accepting our interview. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Tang who helped us with our interview to West Africa . You are too kind, we thank you deeply. Thank you, Pei-yu's parents, Ying-hsin's mother, and Yu-jun's father, for spending a lot of time revising our drafts! Thank you to our principal, Wu Rong-feng, for helping us so much. Thank you to the dean of the Elementary Department, Tseng Lian-Huei, who supported us greatly—what a warm feeling! Last but not least, we would like to thank our teacher and mentor, Miss Tein, for working hard in organizing this research project and website development. Thank you for all the people that contributed to our information. Thank you to everyone who let us interview them. There are too many thanks to be made. Lastly, we would like to thank God, for blessing us and our project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

1.On our way to interviewing Lian Chia-en, we practiced how to interview him. However, this didn't help—we were still very nervous! After this research project, it feels like I've been on a trip to Africa . 2.Only now did I know just how poor Africa was! In Taiwan that we live is so great and comfortable. I admire Lian Chia-en for choosing Africa . If it were me, I'd run away before even thinking of this prospect! 3.After this research project, it feels like I've been on a trip to Africa . 4.People that help others are not affected by the surroundings, which also deserve our admiration. 5.I never knew that Taiwan had such outstanding people that are willing to contribute not only to Taiwan but also be willing to help people as far away as in Africa . I realized that if Taiwan 's people did not respond to Lian, he would not have been able to help so many people in West Africa ! 6.This story has taught me that a heart that is kind, loving, and eager to help should be what we all strive for.


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