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