CyberFair Project ID: 1939

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: When the light hits the darkness-Agape House
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Tzu Chang Primary School
    Hualien, Hualien, Taiwan

5 students, ages from 10 to 12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 29, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2000, 2001, 2002

Classes and Teachers: 15

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Seventeen years ago, Frank and Annie Bartolatto devoted themselves to the founding of the Agape House in the beautiful town, Shu Lin, in Hualien. The purpose of the Agape House is to help people who used to be tempted by drugs and were thus rejected by their families and the society to find a new start. In this place, these stray lambs will not hear any blaming remarks; they will only feel the love of God. With love, they can get rid of drug addiction. With the unconditional love, they learn to respect life. With the unconditional love, the torch of hope is burning again in their lives.

2. Summary of Our Project

The founders of the Agape House, the Bartolattos, dedicated all their time to help addicts overcome the addiction by sharing their own experience. Within the seventeen years, the Agape House has helped many youth addicts who were not accepted by the society go back to their normal lives. It not only helps these youths stay far away from drugs but also offers them with counseling, Christian education and skill trainings. Under the care and love of God and his servants, these youths were encouraged to back to their family, school and society. Waving goodbye to the past, they are determined and brave toward their futures. With love, generosity and care, the Agape House comforts those once-lost people. It is like a lighthouse leading the ships out of the enormous ocean and the light will always bring the ships back to the harbor safely. With our efforts,it is hoped that we will bring everyone to the Agape House and let each feel their enthusiasm about life.

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:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

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

Each member of our team has a computer and Internet connection at home and we all know how to find information on the Internet. Therefore, it is not so difficult for us to do this research. Our modems are of 56K type and they are all connected with Internet via Hinet. Although we all have software for homepage design, completing a homepage by ourselves is still a hard task for us since it is our first try of homepage design and the software we have at home is different from Dreamweaver which we are assigned for this contest. To enhance our ability in designing homepage, Ms. Tsai and Ms. Lo held a special homepage course for us to make sure that everyone can design a homepage by himselfe/herself.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

(1) Topic defining: At the very beginning, we decided to do a research on Bethesda, a social welfare organization where they take care of the disabled, such as the crippled, the deaf, and etc. Soon, we started assigning jobs, outlining the project, defining approaches and collecting data. However, when we contacted Bethesda, they informed us that they were not able to arrange an interview for us. Therefore, we had to give up Bethesda and decide a new topic in a short time.

(2) The beginning of our research: We still focused on researching an organization dedicating to social works. Finally, we decided to research on Agape House, an organization which helps drug addicts overcome addiction and offer them counseling services and courses to prepare them back to the normal life. It is difficult for us to eliminate the mental fear about those teenagers because they all had records in drug-abuse, theft and ran-away from home. However, when we talked to them, we found most of them are friendly.

(3) Time for discussion: There are two directing teachers and five students in our team. Students are from different grades and teachers have different schedules for classes. It is quite difficult for us to find a time to get together. Finally, we used short break at noon to discuss about the progress of project and Wednesday afternoon or night time to interview interviewees.

(4) Lack of interview experience: At the first few interviews, we asked many irrelevant questions due to lack of interview experience. We are glad that after some interviews, we learn how to prepare questions for interview. To prevent us from forgetting the content of interview, we not only take notes but also recorded it with tape recorder. Surely, we are more skilled in interviewing people now.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

“Footsteps will be left once you go through”—During our process, we interviewed Agape House, visited people there, and attended their activities. We not only complete this report but also bring back unforgettable memories. “No pain, no gain”—While doing this project, we encountered many difficulties but we tried our best to sort them out and finally we finished this work. Now, our team members know better that if we did not make any effort on this research, it will not be a good one. “Trust me, we can make it.”—After trying to do every unexpected task, such as making an interview, making a play at prison, and etc, we believe that nothing is unachievable.

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

(1) Combination of new courses Soon, the Ministry of Education will implement Nine-year Integrated Curriculum which includes seven categories and ten-basic-ability new courses in primary schools. Thus, the uniformity and big project teaching will become extremely important. The research on ‘Agape House’ includes subjects like society care, religion, unconditionally service, drug damage, teenager problems, parents and children problems, and etc. They are very suitable for our new course subjects.

(2) Learning by personal experience From this research, we learnt that

Project Elements

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

Library: we went to culture center to look for reports or information about "Agape House". We could have more objective information about " Agape House "Books, newspaper: we searched and read the books and brochures which " Agape House " published. Moreover, we searched reports about " Agape House" on the Newspaper.Telephone: we used telephone to contact interviewees and sometimes we had telephone interviews. We also used phone to discuss the schedule and to arrange interviews.Video recorder and digital camera: we use them to record the interviews and our research process.Camera: we also used camera. It is convenient to collect our interview information.Scanner: we used school scanner to scan picture and present them on the website.Recorder: In order to clearly record the whole interviews, except letter record, we also used small recorder to collect more complete information.Computer software: we used Dreamweaver 3.0 and Photo Impact5 to set up the website. We used Word 97 and notebook to transfer information by cute FTP, and to conduct the recorded contents and process information.

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

We (students) usually discussed the information with our teachers in the classroom, and sorted out the materials together. We made appointments with interviewees by ourselves. Because the research information has to be collected by personal interviews, we deeply understood the importance of frequent contacts with interviewees to let them understand our intention and research project. We did not interview people in the same way because the interviewees are different. Normally, we had face-to-face interviews, but sometimes we used telephone and e-mail (questionnaires) because some people are too busy. The most impressive interview is with Officer Chen, who was too busy to give us an interview. Therefore, instead of an interview, he invited us to attend his lecture about drugs in a vocational school. Then, he showed us poppy flowers. That is really an interesting experience. Having lots of interviews and contact experiences, we know we need to build up the friendly relationship and sometimes we need to use our discretion when having interviews. In school, two directing teachers also asked us to ask other teachers' opinions. That is how more and more people noticed that we were doing a research on Agape House. Of course, we are generous to share the research experiences and feeling with them.

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

In the beginning, we had the idea of setting up the website of Agape House. We contacted the workers in Agape House and had very good relation with them. The greatest thing is that Agape House welcomes us to have interviews. Because Agape House did not have any public website, many people does know what Agape House is. After discussing with the pastors and co-workers there, we thought it is meaningful to introduce such an institute to the public and let more people know it. Except the cooperation from Agape House, some teachers and classmates also cared about our project and were expectant to see our website. Agape House has done many things for the society. We believed that more and people would pay attention to this institutes and students there through our website.

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

The principal, Chiu,Wen-Kuei, of Tzu Chiang Primary School encourages teachers and students to take part in activity which we can learn a lot from it, such as the cyberfair competition. He not only gives us spiritual support but asks computer experts to assist us in web design.

The teachers in Tzu Chang Primary School : Whenever we got any problem in a peculiar subject or using computer, teachers at this school will assist us in getting through them. Furthermore, we have to investigate during the class time. We are grateful that other teachers were willing to change the class schedule for us. After the researching, they even taught us in private in order to help us catch up other students.

People in the Agape House:Pastor Frank and Annie, Uncle Ayen and uncle Ayee, Aunt Min-Chu and students in the Agape House. They kindly offered us help such as giving us chances to interview them, attend their activities, collecting information and sharing their stories with us.

The staff in culture center: When we searched the information from the newspaper, they enthusiastically showed us how to search for the information.

Teacher Weng Yin Hua:Teacher Weng is not only a famous POP teacher, but also teaches in Agape House。When she knew that we were going to set up a homepage for Agape House,she taught us how to deal with the image as well as gave us some professional suggestions about designing the homepages.

Officer Chen: He was too busy to give us an interview. Instead, we were invited to listen to his lecture which we could collect information from it. Officer Chen enthusiastically showed us the poppy (papaver somniferum) and the equipment for drug abuse that can’t easily been seen.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

There is a Chinese saying, “If a person knows to change, it’s a good thing.” After this interview, we deeply know that making a fault is not ashamed; the most important thing is to learn a lesson from the mistake and never do it again in the future. In addition, we found that the world is full of love and warmth. The Bartolatto’s and the co-workers in the Agape House dedicated themselves to those once-lost people. Their dedication to this society is beyond description. We are so impressed and touched by their generosity and kindness. After this research, we hope that there will be more and more people paying attention to people in need and give social workers more encouragement. At beginning, we researched Agape House only for the cyberfair competition. However, in the end, we gain much more beyond our expectation. This is the most surprising thing for all of us.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1939)

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