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Young Chinese come to Kenya as volunteer teachers

09 September 2015, 20:39

Nairobi - Zhang Miao, a 24-year-old Chinese girl has always dreamt of coming to the continent of Africa.

Her opportunity came when she stumbled upon an advertisement in her university in north China, Tian Jin Normal University, recruiting volunteer teachers in Africa.

The girl, who had just completed her bachelor's degree in comparative literature, arrived in Kenya early this week for a one year term as a Chinese language teacher.

She will be teaching at the University of Nairobi's Confucius Institute alongside six other volunteers.

"My time in Kenya will be an adventure and I will help impart Chinese culture to the students," Zhang told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday.

But it is not the first time the Chinese girl interacts with Kenyans as she got acquainted with Kenyan students in her university in China.

Also read: Museum official accuses Maasai elders of self interests

Her arrival in Kenya came a few days before China commemorates Teachers Day on Sept. 10.

"I will observe the Teacher's Day by helping to spread Chinese culture in Kenya," she said.

Zhang said that after she completes her time in Kenya, she hopes to enroll for a masters course in literature, and probably in African literature.

"I am considering focusing on African Literature given that there is very limited knowledge of African written culture in China," she said.

Li Ruxue is another Chinese volunteer teaching at the University of Nairobi's Confucius Institute.

Having worked for the past six months, Li said she had acknowledged the role teachers can play in enhancing people-to-people cultural exchanges.

"We have a chance to interact with ordinary Kenyans and so as to help increase the understanding between the Kenyan and Chinese cultures," she said.

Li said there are a lot of similarities between African and Chinese culture.

"We just need to increase the exchanges for the mutual benefits of the two peoples," she said.

"I love Chinese culture and I want more people to know and understand the rich Chinese culture," she told Xinhua.

Li Yao is the two girls' co-worker. He graduated from Wuyi University in south China where he majored in English.

"Teaching Chinese in Kenya has also given me an opportunity to practice English and learn Kiswahili," Li said.

He noted that there is a lot of interest in Chinese language among Kenyan students due to the growing China-Kenya trade.


- Xinhua


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