La Salle Study Centre Changjiao



Sharing of Margaret Kam/Billy Oo and family





Brother David Liao had kept me posted from day one (about 11 years ago) of his aspiration to help his clansmen, the Hakkas.  He also sent me emails with photos, of the progress of his aspiration, faithfully.  He invited me many a time, to visit LSSC and I said I would, some day. 

Eventually, I decided to visit LSSC with my husband, Billy.  When I made known my plans to my daughter, Shirlene, she decided that she would get her family to join us.  So, my husband, my son-in-law, Paul, my grand daughter, Althea, my grand son, Jonathan and I started to book our flights.  My son-in-law my grand children were going to LSSC from England , whilst Billy & I were going from Penang , Malaysia .

And so we arrived at LSSC, in the summer of 2012.  Brother David and his nephew were kind enough to pick us up from the Coach Station in Dabu.  Then I told Brother David I was waiting to see the class rooms in which he was conducting his English classes and he asked me, “What class room?”  I replied, “You know, class rooms in which you teach English and we are going to help you teach English?”  He just said, “Wait and see tomorrow.”

Lo and behold!  What I saw was not anything I had imagined!  The “classes” were actually many, many groups of students with their respective “teachers”, sat on red stools all over, including beside toilets.  And the students came from far and wide.

What I saw was indeed amazing and what I found out from the students (both past and present) on their opinion of LSSC was truly more amazing!  They have all benefited a lot from attending the classes at LSSC.  And from my tutorials with the more senior girls (don’t know why the boys shied away from my tutorials) I found them to have truly amazing imagination.  I gave them pretty difficult topics to talk about (considering that they came from very Chinese-speaking back ground, learning English under very constrained circumstances) and they had to talk off the cuff!

Keep the flame burning, Brother David.  You are doing a GREAT job and your clan will be formidable one day soon, because of their knowledge of English.  God bless you and your great work.

Margaret Kam ( Penang )



First I would like to thank Bro David Liao for inviting me, my wife, my son-in-law, my granddaughter and my grandson to help teach English in LSSC. It was so heartening to see the five hundred over students so eager to learn English and this makes our teaching very easy and enjoyable. This one month's stay in LSSC has opened our eyes to what great work Bro David has done for the children of the community of Changjiao and its surrounding area. The years Bro David has sacrificed in this centre has seen great results when past students now studying in the University return to help out in LSSC.  This is a great proof of the success of LSSC. God gave Bro David Liao a dream and he has persevered no matter how difficult or uncomfortable he feels.  He has turned this dream to reality and a great success too. My family will continually give him the support in his endeavours and may God shower his blessing on him.  Thank you Bro David for the experience.

God bless always.




Along with my two children, Althea (15) and Jonathan (5), we were blessed with the experience of helping out at the La Salle Study Centre (LSSC) in Changjiao. There were three aims for our visit: to help teach English or at least give the students the chance to hear different English accents. Secondly, for my children to see their grandparents, who also flew in from Malaysia to help and lastly, for Althea to practice her Chinese. This gave the students three very different British accents and a Malaysian English accent to listen to. I'm not so sure how the latter aim went but the first one was an eye opener. Having taught English in Tianjin some years before, this was an altogether different experience. Classes could be up to 100 in size which made smaller group sessions more tricky to perform. I was surprised to witness the 'losing face' culture within students this young already. Having given instructions for a task and asked if they understood what they needed to do, I was greeted with a chorus of 'yes' but then, on carrying out the tasks, discovered a multitude of students who just didn't want to be seen not to understand.  Hopefully, my time at Changjiao has reduced this reluctance among a few at least. The students were generally very attentive and most studied through in to the evening. This was either going through the core learning tools provided by Brother Liao or by picking up one of the multitude of excellent reading books and seeking someone to read it to from amongst the visitors to the community.  Alternatively, some would seek to have conversations with us (but mainly Althea!) to promote their listening and speaking skills.


For my part, I found the organisation of the place amazing. To cater for nearly 500 students throughout the summer course and in a limited space was not much short of miraculous, yet it ran very smoothly. Brother David had the benefit of former students repeatedly returning to assist in the supervision and managing of the day-to-day operation of the Centre and this is most definitely a testament to the value that these students have placed on their education here. There was a really strong sense of community amongst the students, both older and younger, that was welcoming and encouraging and this made us feel at home. This was contageous, emanating from Brother David who expelled huge amounts of energy in his enthusiastic and inspiring lessons, using his own system for teaching English which was intriguing in itself!


It was a surprise to discover how far afield students had come, some having travelled nearly 12 hours by train with no more than a rucksack and no guarantee of a place on arrival. Others came daily via bus from the local villages or towns.


We were immersed in the experience, having both the same accomodation as the students and sharing meals with them all. Once we had got used to the 'harder' mattresses, sleep arrived without any problems! The meals were often simple but wholesome, catering for over 100 mouths at a time, and relied on the goodwill and generosity of the local villagers and wider community for donations, many of whom had or have had children attending the Centre.  Even when I went in to Dabu to have meatball noodles, I struggled to pay for my meal once it was discovered I had been helping out at LSSC.


It was a very humbling experience for myself and Althea (Jonathan was oblivious to most of it) when we consider the wealth of opportunities available to individuals in the UK in terms of education and career path and also knowing how much difference the ability to speak good English as a non-native English speaker can have on a person's prospects for both their future and that of their family. If we have helped even one student move closer towards that life-changing path, then our visit has been worthwhile.


I would like to thank Brother David, Lucy, Yanni, Angeline and all those that helped make our time at LSSC so memorable.


Paul Goldsbrough



The La Salle Study Centre is a local school teaching English to Chinese children, ages 7-18. It was founded in 2001 by David Liao, a De La Salle Brother. The De La Salle order is supported and sustained by a spirit of faith, a culture of service and a sense of community. Brother David started out with only a small group of Chinese students, in the village of Changjiao , and now has over 500 pupils studying English.

Besides giving free education to the children, Brother David also supplies his students with free textbooks and teaching materials. He has helped the Changjiao local schools a great deal by providing the school with funding to install necessary facilities and to implement educational activities.  

Brother David is very serious in his teaching.  Students find his lessons interesting and effective. Some pupils, who were the first students ever taught English by Brother David regard him as a father. Everyone has the greatest respect for him. On first meeting him, I could easily see what a kind-hearted, generous, religious and intelligent man he was, and I absolutely loved Brother David’s home-spun, but profound, wisdom: an example of this: ‘do what you can, and can what you can’t.’ This means that if you cannot do something, then you should forget about it, put it in a can, and stop worrying about it, as ‘you should not worry worries, until worry worries you.’  

Under his influence, most students have developed good learning habits and they are all regarded as the future hope of the village and country. In order to enhance better learning outcome, Brother David renovated an old house which belonged to his nephew (actually his grandfather’s house) and turned it into a clean and bright tuition centre last year (in fact in 2006). When I first entered the main building, where most of the teaching would take place, I imagined classrooms with desks and chairs. Instead, there were only bright red stools, stacked up high.


This summer, I was quite sad at leaving Changjiao, because I made many friends and really enjoyed my experience there, so I have decided to go back next summer, hopefully having raised money to help the Study Centre. Another word, or rather phrase, of wisdom from Brother David is that ‘all good things must come to an end, so that better things may begin.’





All good things must come to an end... that better things may begin!!!
Fraser's Hill -1976 - BDLiao