News

Mt Hehuan hiking project

2022-03-31

This month we’d like to share a story about how Konfu helped students in Zuojhen Junior High School to have a hiking trip to the main (3,417 meter) and north peak (3,422 meter) of Mt. Hehuan in Taiwan. Konfu’s founder Mr. Char-Fu Shea founded a hiking club at a young age. When he started to support the operation of Zuojhen Junior High School, he encouraged students to be open to outdoor activities. In 2014, 34% of students were overweight, which is higher than Tainan city center. In order to improve students’ fitness, then-principal Yi-Shing Tsai promoted a 3km morning run campaign, twice a week, along the trail of Mt. Olives near the school. At the same time, Mr. Tsai initiated Hehuan hiking to make it a goal of students’ weekly training. Mr. Shea fully supported the plan and provided necessary equipment like trekking poles, backpacks, raincoats, and headlamps. Before the trip, students worked in groups and learned how to recognize animals and plants, equipment maintenance, and first aid. From 2014 to 2021, Zuojhen Junior High School made it a tradition to hike, rain or shine. Every student joined the activity with no exceptions. Even the student with the worst physical strength insisted on completing the 4 hour walk. He told the reporter that he was given the task to carry the school flag, so he must go on. In the past, the number of students at Zuojhen Junior High School decreased as the population aged and emigration numbers increased. With Mr. Shea’s support, principal Tsai turned the tide and made increased the student numbers from 30 to 80 within 4 years. Mr. Tsai understands that most disadvantaged students have low self-esteem because of poor academic performance. The way he builds the students' self-esteem by guiding the students to hike mountains, lets them know that they can reach the peak, even if it's at a slow pace.