1. Description of Our Community
Jianying Village of Qingshuiyi Township, located in the northest of Yuzhong County, is in the great lack of water due to natural and historical reasons. With an annual precipitation of only 300-400mm and evaporation of as high as 1000-1800mm, people and animals here almost live on the limited rainwater artificially collected. People build containers which are called water cellars to collect rain water. Because people do not have enough money to harden them with concrete, those cellars are soon in bad conditions. The great shortage of water results in difficult life, primitive production, poor education, stubbornly high disease rate of women and neonatal mortality. Women here are undertaking the life burden many times heavier than those who live in normal environment. In order to help people and especially women there quickly get rid of poverty and backwardness caused by serious water shortage, China Women’s Development Foundation carried out a plan – raising money from the public to build concrete water cellars for water-lacking areas in northwestern China, so as to allow them to effectively collect rainwater enough for one year’s consumption by using the collecting facilities such as building roofs, yards and valleys. The water cellars at Jianying Village of Yuzhong County are built on the initiative of Lanzhou Women’s Federation and Yuzhong Women’s Federation, and funded by PepsiCo Foundation. So far, 616 water cellars have been completed. They have greatly improved villagers’ life and are affectionately known as “Water Cellar for Mothers” by local people.
2. Summary of Our Project
We began to plan our participation in the web page competition on October 16. We have successfully got the access to the competition under the guidance of teacher Zhang Yinghua. Then we began to collect materials and information. At the same time, we had interviews with the village chief and common people in the village, and went to investigate the construction and utilization of those water cellars. Then we got all materials and pictures together. After a month of preparation, we began to upload the web pages with the help of administration teachers and got all things done before November 15. We have suffered much to come so far and realized the importance that our society has attached to villages and farmers. Li Shen in our group is a student coming from Jianying Village of Qingshuiyi Township. She knows “Water Cellar for Mothers” well and has deeply felt the benefits brought by it. With her help, everything went smoothly.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:4-6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
1. Time limitation. We are all students in Grade Eight or Seven with heavy study task. Except for school time, we couldn’t get more pare time to make web pages, so we had to make interviews and web pages in the evening or our spare time. 2. Internet limitation. Owing to slow network speed and limited computers as well as the fact that our teachers should sometimes work on those computers, we just had little chance to get access to the Internet. We should make use of all the possible time to use computers when they were unoccupied. In this way, difficulties had been settled to some extent. 3. Difficulties in using computers. Since the students involved in the competition all came from countryside and did not know much about the Internet, our school master specially invited computer teacher and guidance teachers to train us and give us advice.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Over the period of time, we have gained a lot. We have got improvement not only in our knowledge but in our visions. In addition to some computer knowledge, web page making techniques and interview skills, we has also learned the hostile environment in western arid areas and the hard life of people there, as well as the love and help offered by the society for Jianying Village. It is really true that love is eternal.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our research on “Water Cellar for Mothers” has involved not only art, computer and social communication, but also the teaching of our school. Through making web pages, we have learned how to use computers, process pictures and input text faster. Moreover, we have realized that protecting and improving the environment are bounden duties of us young people. Love is a kind of duty as well, and the world will be ruthless without it. Teachers have told us in class to pass the love down to our descendants, thus making every people grow up in the sea of love. Through investigations and interviews, we have felt the great power of love and understood the hard life of people in northwestern arid areas as well as the importance of protecting the environment.