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2019 Zigen Trip

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“Zigen Journey” emphasizes the deep experience and perception during travel compared with ordinary sightseeing tours, providing a platform for teachers and friends who care about the development of the local conditions and customs of the Zigen project and project site, and Provide direct or indirect support for Zigen's fundraising and promotion efforts.

After a long period of preparations, the 2019 Zigen Journey officially began on September 16 with several teachers’ arriving in Beijing. This year's travel route spans from the north to the south, from the migrant workers' community in Beijing's metropolis, to the green ecological civilization schools and villages at the foot of the Great Wall in the northeast, to the green ecological civilization schools in the southwestern alpine mountains. Due to the large geographical span, the natural scenery and ethnic customs are different, and the urban and rural characteristics are shown thoroughly. A total of five teachers participated in the  Zigen Journey, which lasted until September 24.


Xinyuan Primary School landed in Tiantongyuan, Changping. Established in 2002, it has grown from the scale from a few dozen students in the beginning to more than 300 students today and from kindergarten to junior high school with nine grades, it recruits children of all ages who come to Beijing. Currently, there are 17 teachers in the school. Due to the limited number of teachers, the school adopts the self-contained classes system.

China Zigen started its project in Beijing with the migrant workers community in 2005, whose main service object was migrant workers and their children in Beijing. In 2014, with the urban development requirements, the migrant community gradually relocated and the project terminated. A large number of migrant migrant workers and their children are still active around the city, who face a variety of problems, such as housing, education and medical care.


The managers as well as the teachers of Yihai School and Zushan Middle School realized the significance and value of the green ecological civilization school, actively joined the green ecological civilization school construction project, and participated in education so as to promote sustainable development.


After the teachers who participated in the Peach Blossoms elementary school's “Creating a Sustainable Development of Rural Village: Teacher Training”, according to the principle of three savings,  which organically linked the canteen (vegetable skin,  washing water of rice, etc.), pig raising (pig manure returning to the field) and vegetable land (provide fresh vegetables in the canteen and provide the ripe leaves to the pigs) and formed a virtuous circle; the combination of the courses offered, the combination of school field planting and multidisciplinary teaching, the observation diary of the Chinese language course, the natural knowledge and skills of the social class, mathematics metrics, calculations, etc. can all be reflected here, so that the students can see, feel, and do all the things by themselves.


I used to read some of Zigen’s information. I didn’t really understand what Zigen actually did. Now, I see that so many schools have been supported by Zigen not only improving the teaching contents, but also enhancing the sustainable concept of development. They have a very rich experience in greening, school field labor and so on. I feel that I have not experienced these aspects in my school in the United States. In the future, I will come back frequently and visit these children more.

——From Shujiang Wang

This is the first time that I have participated in the Zigen journey. I have been to elementary schools in Guizhou and Yunnan in the early days. I really want to know about the situation of rural primary schools in the past few years. I haven't done this in the middle of the years and I have also participated in the activities organized by other organizations. This time, I feel that the rural primary school has undergone too much change. Zigen has not participated in the hardware aspect, and it participated a lot in the development concept. I am very impressed and moved by this. The last time I attended teacher training in Beijing, I knew that Zigen was working on ESD. This time, what I saw was that Yang Guiping creatively studied and applied the concepts he got from the United Nations and executed on the ground. What the United Nations advocates is all reflected here, which can score a high score. I believe this.


For me, I have an in-depth feeling about Zigen. Compared the two decades ago with the present, Zigen has been solid participation in the development of rural schools in China, which is completely matched with what the government has proposed and which is a little ahead of schedule. I used to work in the United Nations and the sustainable development of the United Nations was what we put forward. We used to know about it from the black letters on the white paper and we had no intuitive feeling. Now I have an intuitive understanding after I contacted with what I saw.

——From Lingxiu Shao


The reason for me to join the Zigen trip last September was that I’ve only been involved with Zigen Fund for a short while now (3 years), and I wanted to see for myself how the theoretical objectives of Zigen have been translated into real, tangible projects, how they are set up and managed locally. Furthermore, I was interested to meet the Zigen team, at the central office and locally, and be able to discuss more details about the projects. Basically, I wanted to be able to decide whether it was worth for me as an individual to keep sponsoring the Zigen Fund.

——From Froukje de Jong

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The Zigen Fund promotes human-centered sustainable development, is a registered 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization in the U.S. in 1988. 

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