AISG volunteers help faculty return to GZ
With the Chinese New Year holiday, many of AISG’s faculty and staff were traveling. COVID-19 threw a bit of a wrench into many plans and more than 60 of them and their families were displaced outside China as borders shut down to contain the spread of the virus.
After excellent containment of the virus, China is allowing foreigners to return and for many of our teachers, it has been more than six months since they have been in Guangzhou. To date, AISG has been lucky enough to welcome 42 displaced teachers and their dependents back to Guangzhou, with more on the way!
But before returning and new teachers can settle into their apartments and enjoy life in Guangzhou and AISG, they must complete a 14-day hotel quarantine. With their much anticipated arrival to Guangzhou, AISG formed an 18-member Quarantine Support Group and the PTA organized over 20 volunteers to welcome them and to help them be as comfortable as possible in quarantine.
Did you know? This welcome would not be possible without the Quarantine Support Group and the additional volunteers that put together care packages and arrange the logistics of its delivery to the hotels that are scattered all around Guangzhou.
The care package from the school administration includes bottled water, portable WiFi, hygienic tissue and a countdown calendar with a custom AISG stamp. The PTA sends another care package that includes granola bars, instant noodles, special teas and drinks, and many other goodies.
More importantly, the volunteers perform daily phone calls. Being stuck in a small room for 14 days with no person-to-person contact is no easy feat. The AISG volunteers are also available any time of the day or night for a chat, a pep talk, or an ear for listening.
“It was a no brainer to join forces with school to create this care package for our returning and new teachers. The box might not be big in size, but the love and care we put in it is far bigger than the actual box because it is for our Ram family,” says PTA President Tania Walla.
The volunteers have become an indispensable contribution in helping teachers get through hotel quarantine and it's evident in their testimonials:
Ms. Fiona Bullard, a Grade 2 teacher, commends them and says, “The care and attention the parent volunteers showed me on my return to Guangzhou was amazing; just as I was starting to get bored or feel like the walls were closing in on me, I would get a knock on the door with a package or a notification on my phone with someone checking in!” Some of the amazing deliveries Ms. Bullard received were beautiful fresh flowers, fresh fruit and dim sum, and even a visit outside on the ground floor by one of the volunteer’s children, who made her a joke book.
Mr. Andrew Donham, a Middle School Social Studies teacher, is a new hire to AISG and this is his first time in China. Mr. Donham is pleased to see the conservative approach the country has taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 and is also very thankful for AISG’s volunteers for getting him through his first 14 days. “I want to thank the PTA volunteers, HR department and AISG administration for all the support during my transition to China and the Ram community. It’s maybe been one of the strangest moving experiences I’ve ever had, but everyone here has made it so much better than it could have been. Thank you so much!”
The Elementary School also welcomed back Preschool teacher Ms. Amy Silverman and Grade 4 teacher Ms. Amy Lee. Ms. Lee says, “The PTA and the Staff went beyond any expectations I could have imagined. The attention to details and thoughtfulness made my transition positive and as smooth as it can be. I’m so grateful.” Ms. Silverman says, “Receiving the care package from school and a meal on my first day made me feel welcome. I felt taken care of when a former preschool student’s family sent me fruit and nuts. I really appreciate all the school community is doing to welcome us back.”
AISG is very happy to welcome returning and new AISG teachers and proud of our volunteers for all of their diligent work in making sure everyone is well taken care of. We are looking forward to more arriving in the coming days so we can celebrate our RamNation in the near future and in person!