Voluntary Teaching for China was founded by Cecilia Xu, Kevin Wei and China’s “One Heart One Bodhi” Founder He Hai Yang. The goal of the organization is to provide educational support to children living in impoverished areas and to strengthen communication between the West and the East.
The idea first took roots in 2009 when Cecilia and Kevin, while visiting their hometown, sat down to dinner with a group of family and friends. Mr. He Hai Yang, then a stranger, was quickly introduced to Cecilia & Kevin by a mutual friend for their shared passion in education. During that time, Mr.He was spearheading several projects very much like VTC, where he sends Chinese University grads to teach in rural schools across the nation. However, due to time conflict, the project could not run as smoothly as he’d liked.
So, conversations led to collaborations: Cecilia and Kevin proposed to send Canadian volunteers to participate in this project, while adding a new element alongside of English education – Music.
Beginning in 2010, Cecilia & Kevin’s Music Studio gathered their first group of volunteers (“VTC guinea pigs”) to participate in the first ever Vancouver’s Voluntary Teaching for China. The group only consisted of 8 members, and they taught at Beijing Blue Sky Elementary School (北京蓝天学校). The project was a huge success, and the organization was formally established that year.
In 2011, Cecilia & Kevin Music Studio raised money to rebuild the library in Blue Sky Elementary School. In 2012, they started the first VTC book drive to donate English books to the rebuilt library. That same year, VTC volunteers were invited by the prestigious Tsinghua University to perform a concert on campus.
In 2013, VTC sent volunteers to Ming Xing School in Yuncheng, Shanxi for the first time. The school was located on a mountain and could only be reached after a two hour climb by a truck.
In 2018, VTC sent volunteers to Wu Chuan High School in Guizhou for the first time.
Now, VTC makes their annual trip every year to China and teach English and music to students living in rural areas.