PHIIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — All Children’s Education (ACE) Foundation teachers and pupils returned to school on Monday in a repaired, freshly painted, cleaned and decorated premises thanks to the efforts by Tzu Chi volunteers who worked over the vacation to spruce up the school just in time for the start of the new academic year.
The clean up efforts covered several days during the summer break in early August and focussed on bringing the school back up to par for teachers and pupils to educate and be educated in comfort.
The clean up efforts started on Saturday August 1 and continued until Thursday, August 6. A total of 48 volunteers participated in the exercise. Volunteers included a professional tradesman, Tzu Chi recipients and Key to Freedom clients.
Volunteers started by cleaning the entrance of the school to remove dirt from the walls, cleaned the windows, the hallways and classrooms and continued with the more professional work that required the expertise of the professional tradesman. Volunteers repaired damaged walls in the school, repaired all the windows, painted the premises, repaired the bathroom, replaced a toilet bowl and cleaned up the floors. When it was all done the volunteers with an artistic eye, decorated the various classrooms with educational posters/lessons/art work and teaching material to brighten the premises.
Although it was tough work as many things needed to be done, the group of volunteers were more than happy to have participated in the exercise. One of the volunteers, a past recipient, had just been laid off from his job, but still assisted and through his act of kindness, for a moment his sadness was replaced with joyful giving.
Tzu Chi Commissioner Sandra Cheung is grateful to all the volunteers who took time out of their busy schedules to assist in the clean up and sprucing up exercise and help bring a smile to the face of teachers and pupils when they started school on Monday.