David Begbie, the co-founder and Director of Crossroads Foundation, visited AISG last week as a part of our Speaker Series. During his visit, he shared a powerful message on how each person can create change for a world that needs help. Nobody is too small to make a difference.
His three-day visit included students, faculty, staff and caregivers who participated in his simulations and listened to his inspirational talks. He was also our featured speaker for AISG's special invitation for an "evening talk" with the greater Guangzhou community.
Begbie's poverty simulation provided a far more impactful experience than a simple speech or presentation. Our students, faculty, staff, and caregivers participated in these simulations, taking a few steps 'in the shoes' of those in need. During the poverty simulation, they experienced manual labor and corrupt market practices, as well as the struggle for shelter, food, education, and medical care. The simulation allowed everyone to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by those in need.
Begbie also hosted talks, where he shared his personal stories about service, explaining how he and others once felt too small to help, but discovered that by asking yourself 'what can I do?' their small contribution became part of a collaborative effort that grew to reach millions of people in need. His charisma was inspiring, and our students were greatly moved by his message.
The "evening talk" was led by Begbie's remarkable story of how Crossroads was founded by being the connecting point of getting surplus resources to vulnerable people in need. This was followed by AISG’s Director, Kevin Baker asking the Guangzhou community, how can we serve and provide connections right here in Guangzhou? Corporate social responsibility is an AISG strategic priority, and thanks to the inspiration of Begbie, our work has just begun in building these connections and serving our community in need.
When asked afterwards, our community members expressed how emotional they were after experiencing the simulation and listening to Begbie's stories. Students wrote thank you notes and expressed what they learned from his visit. And the greater Guangzhou community was extremely grateful to start this conversation and is looking forward to helping make a difference. It was truly inspiring to see how much he had affected our community and beyond.
Fun fact! Begbie is a former student of our Director, Mr. Kevin Baker! This personal connection brought extra meaning to his visit and it was a wonderful reunion. Mr. Baker was also Begbie's coach while they were both at HKIS, which also means that Begbie grew up in the international school environment and is very familiar with the culture of being a diverse and multicultural school.
Crossroads has been a GCED group at AISG for many years and it was a fantastic opportunity when our Upper Secondary students in the service group had the chance to meet Begbie. Our Crossroads students just went on a service trip the week prior to Xinning Primary School, where they made donations and helped the school with their extracurricular activities.
A big thank you to David Begbie for coming to AISG and helping our community to think about the effective and accessible ways that we can help out those who are less fortunate than we are.