Eastern Tibet Training Institute, Zhongdian, Yunnan Province, China
Education: UCLA, B.A., International Development Studies
Reason for Joining VIA: I joined VIA because of the unique opportunity to work at an NGO and to teach underprivileged students in northern Yunnan.
Previous Experience: 10 months at an education evaluation research center.
Highlights: Seeing the impact ETTI's vocational programs makes on the students' self-confidence, job skills, and self-motivation has been inspirational to continuing my work at ETTI. The experience at ETTI truly illustrates how education changes lives.
The volunteer serves as an English teacher for the 16-week vocational training program in the fall. The content focus of these classes will be primarily on tourism and hospitality. The VIA teacher also develops the English capacity of staff, liaising with potential donors, writing/editing proposals and helps to conceptualize new project ideas.
ETTI is a non-proﬁt organization working to improve the livelihoods of remote communities in China’s western regions through training-based poverty alleviation programs. Among other things, the institute hosts a vocational training program designed to help students from rural areas bridge the gap to urban job opportunities. Every year, more than 90% of graduates go on to a paid job.
Zhongdian is a small town located in northern Yunnan at an elvation of over 11,000 feet. The population of Zhongdian consists of different Chinese ethnic minorities, the largest group being Tibetans. It is the capital of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and is often used by travelers as a gateway into Lhasa.