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The City of Changzhou Volunteer Association would like to thank you all for providing us with funding and support! We are an non-profit organization that provides volunteer services, organizes community service activities, advocates for dedication, friendship, and social awareness. We seek to improve the living quality of the people, improve the social climate and promote a love and passion for social service as well as the spirit of helping others. Thank you for helping us fulfill our goals.
In August, many students entered our school, but because of the financial situations of families that live in Jintan Mao Shan Xue Peng Shan village, there are many children that have difficult family situations. Changzhou Student Volunteer Association president Jing Hua and bureau director Li Peng represented the volunteer association and worked together with the Cultural Exchange Center and went to the Punta mountain village to participate in activities that promoted education and kindness. Wonderful people have donated many books to them, and they have supported ten children by donating a total of 10,000. We believe that the children are the flowers of the motherland; they are tomorrow's sunrise. Poverty should never prevent them from reaching their dreams and aspirations. To us, a scholarship may only be able to buy us a meal for a day, but for them it can make a big difference and help them reach their dreams. We wish them all a bright future!
Story 2: Respecting and caring for the elderly has always been a cherished value of our country; it is a spirit that has been fostered from generation to generation. On this day of the Moon Festival, the workers and volunteers from the city of Changzhou Volunteer Association came to this nursing home and celebrated the festival with elders. The volunteers played the flute and Guzheng for them, and performed traditional Chinese musical pieces. They even brought them boxes of various flavored moon cake along with their blessings. We believe that the elderly are society's treasure and wealth. Let us be thankful towards their contributions and help create a better living atmosphere for them!
Story 3: In the year of 2013, Changzhou volunteer association has helped may people step up to a new platform and reach a new potential. We have kept our pledge towards transparency, keeping detailed records of all our donations on our website. Furthermore, each and every donation sum will appear on the website in account for the donors. Thanks to you, Changzhou Volunteer Association has built a bridge between the donors and the recipients of the donations; these children now know that people care about them and wish them well, and they will be encouraged to help others who are in need. We hope that we can continue to work with Transparent Fish Fund to write another chapter of our stories and not only help those in need but also motivate the rest of society to take action.
We thank you again for providing us with financial support and encouragement, and for enhancing our philosophy of public service! Best of luck for future work!
Leaving summer behind and going back to school has always been bittersweet for me. I never want to awaken from my blissful vacation from homework but at the same time I’m eager to see how much my classmates have changed! Mountain View High School just finished building a set of brand new classrooms and I got to see all the fancy features first thing in the morning, during my first period AP Spanish class. The second I set foot into the classroom, I knew it was going to be one of my toughest classes, but I always love a good challenge. I especially loved my AP Literature class and teacher. She does a countdown to graduation every week (40 weeks now!!!) and highlights a different student every Friday. Although I’ve been close to drowning in the homework load of that class, I know it’ll be one of my favorite.
Our NHS cabinet recently held a meeting for ideas to get the members more involved in community service, and we decided to create a website that could keep track of their hours to make sure they meet their monthly requirements, and also have a page where members could post volunteer opportunities. If we can figure out how to get this website up soon, I could post about TFish Fund and the volunteer opportunities they have to offer. The club has at least 50 members so I think it’d be a great way to spread awareness.
Senior year definitely has a different vibe than last year. Although it’s difficult trying to prioritize and balance school work, college apps, standardized testing, and of course a social life, I know that hard work will eventually pay off. Here’s to an unforgettable year!
Hi, my name's Kaitlyn and I'm a senior at Mountain View High School. I was a part of the EV internship my sophomore year and I'm so excited to be returning for another year of hard work. Although the previous cohort of wonderful interns have moved on to college, I'm really looking forward to meeting amazing new people (that's you!) and working together to spread the spirit of philanthropy to others.
The community service activity you'll often find me doing is definately tutoring. I tutor both inside and outside of school. Outside of school, I volunteer through a club called HOPE, Helping Other People Excel. The HOPE Mentoring Program provides academic support to students at Graham Middle School who are struggling in class or just need an extra push in order to graduate and move on to bigger and better things in high school. I also tutor for an Enhanced Alebra class, and an after school Academic Support class. Being a mentor/tutor for these students is refreshing and rewarding. Not only do I get to pass on my knowledge to them, I learn a lot from them too. Where else can I practice explaining math in a different language? This year, I am an officer for both the HOPE club and Mountain View's NHS club. I'm always on the lookout for collaboration and new ideas, so feel free to hit me up!
Besides tutoring a lot, I also have a passion for art: photography, literature, sculpting, dance...the list is endless. My taste in music ranges from indie, to alternative, to korean pop. I have an increasing fanscination with language; I am fluent in Mandarin and can communicate to an extent in Shanghainese, Cantonese, and Spanish. My recent obsession is with anything from Brandy Melville (obsession may be an understatement). I hope you've gained a better understanding of who I am after reading this. Here's to another year of service before self!
With 200+ submissions we have a lot of reading to do! I have read about the broad variety of ways many high school activists accross the country serve the elderly, youth, homeless, ill, etc. I have read about how community service has made an exceptional impact on their lives, or how it has inspired them to pursue a career in a certain field. The depth of personal growth and the strong dedication to service in some of these essays are astonishing.
Steve was welcomed into the elevator this morning to find 5 interns sitting on the floor waiting for him with anticipation. Most of today's work was the evaluation of the essays. Since the deadline is approaching, we started recieving a lot more submissions! I guess that means most people are procrastinators. (; There were many passionate, elaborate essays that I came across during today's evaluation. Reading the essays had opened my eyes to the various ways service can impact or impel an individual.
[Hemophilia Home of China, founded in September in 2009, in an NGO that provides treatment and financial aid for hemophiliac patients. If children with hemophilia can receive early intervention, many of them can enjoy the same health as normal children. Unfortunately, hemophilia treatment is extremely expensive; many families, especially rural families, cannot afford treatment for children. To learn more about Hemophilia Home of China, clickhere.]
On April 27, Beijing blew strong winds, but the strong winds could not blow out the thankful fire in our hearts.
On April 17, 2012, the day of the 24th World Hemophiliac Day, Hemophilia Home of China and Rare Disease Care Center held public benefit activities in the Shijingshan Wal-mart, Zhichun Road Wal-mart, and Wanjing Wal-mart stores. Our staff contacted the Wal-mart Group before activities. On hearing that we wanted to hold public benefit activities in the hall of Wal-mart stores, they were willing to support us and allocated areas for us at once, which helped us greatly. We spread basic knowledge about hemophiliacs to the public during the activities. In order to let more people know about hemophiliacs and help them, we discussed the particular difficulties hemophiliacs were going through.
Holding a flag that read “Care for hemophiliacs, love unites in Wal-mart” in our hands, we took grateful hearts to the Wal-mart stores. Thanks to their help, we could successfully hold the event. Here on, Hemophilia Home of China would like to give their thanks to all the staff of Wal-mart. Thank you for your love and support. We believe that pain and difficulties are no longer problems as long as love exists in the world. Facing life and future we will become stronger.
Hemophilia Home of China expresses their gratitude towards Wal-mart for helping host the event:
We had a smaller group today, but our productivity was not affected by that. I read through and edited two of Light of Love's updates. One of them was about an ice breaking gathering for their new members. Their attempt to establish trust, work together, and persevere for their dreams was admirable. I also did created a few graphics for the upcoming April Transparent Fish Fund newsletter using photoshop. Looking back, we have gotten to know not just one another but the people we have been serving. We really put our heads together today, when brainstorming about improvements/additions to the newsletter and also a fun and memorable way to end the internship. ^_______^
[Light of Love is a student organization dedicated to improving health and education for underprivileged populations in China. For more information about them, please visit here.]
In April, 26 new members joined Light of Love, which brought new blood to us. The team became larger and larger, including the 9 principal members that joined the team last year. In order to help members know each other well and enhance the cohesion of our team, we held a training themed “ice-breaking trip”. The training began with interactive games.
Before the activity, everyone needed to sign up and write his or her name on a sticker. Then they put the sticker on their left arms so others could see.
The first game was called “Name Relay.” The member needed to repeat other members’ names before him or her. The purpose of the game was to help members remember each others names and be familiar with each other. Finally with the help of each other, no one was punished. When the last member spoke out all the names of members before her, we all applauded for her excellent memory.
The second game was “Emotional Virus.” The game shows that a sad virus was easily infected by happy virus, and it is the same for happiness. Therefore we should have happy hearts and spread happiness to others.
The third game was “Hold Dreams for 10 Minutes.” We wrote down a dream on a piece of paper and lifted our arms with the dream paper for 10 minutes. The game helped the members understand that dreams are not just dreams in our mind, we need to fight and persevere for them. What’s more, when you feel tired, you will find you are not the only one on the way to your dream, you have teammates who you can you rely on and share the difficulty with you. The role of teammates is power of friendship.
The fourth game was called “stone to make soup.” The purpose of the game helps teammates know the personality and ideas of each other and enhance the communication between the old members and the new ones. Though we played the game many times, we had a different understanding about the game every time we played. Everyone’s idea was different with each other, so when we were listening to others, we learned a lot from them. We need learn from each other, and make progress together.
The last game, initiated by brother Chao was “driving blind cars.” One member pretended to be a car and closed his eyes, the other commanded his teammate and made sure that they would not run into other cars. When the game was over, members talked about their feelings and thoughts, which made the game more meaningful.
When all the games were over, we wrote down our wishes on the wish wall, which recorded our wishes for ourselves, our team and the children over there.
When the training was finished, a warm song named “The Best Future” came on. Though not everyone was familiar with this song, the devout attitude on everyone's faces touched me. Seeing their sincere faces, I believe that Light of Love will have a bright future.
[Light of Love is a student organization dedicated to improving health and education for underprivileged populations in China. For more information about them, please visit here.]
On April 12, 2012, Nan Jing City Flower Temple Community Service center welcomed the representatives of the national civil public service to their observation.The Ministry of Civil Affairs Minister Li LiGuo, governor of Jiangsu province Li Xueyong, Nanjing Municipal Party Committee secretary Yang WeiZe, and other representatives came to visit and observe the site. Vice minister Jiang Li, discussed Light of Love’s "Young Old Romance" project, which was organized by student Dai Xianwei, and listened to the details. At the end, the executive director of One Foundation, Chinese Public Welfare Research Institute Executive Director, and the former Executive Chairman Miss Zhou all gave Dai Xianwei tips and guidance.
This conference served the purpose of providing a clear direction for implementing and developing a program to provide for uncared senior citizens, and also reflected my school's emphasis and focus on repaying society and obtaining a good reputation with the leaders of the country.
Today, I worked on translating the summaries for Transparent Fish Fund's new assosiate members: Spine China and Neuromuscular Care Association. Both these organizations are catagorized under medical care. We had a 45 minute chat with Nancy where she informed us of the latest news and updates on NGO activity, the monly newsletter, the drafting of a ton of new NGOs to partner with, loans, funding, etc. The information she provided us will help us improve upon our work in the future. I also translated an article on the postoperative conditions of children treated by Little Red Scarf Care. Almost all of the children recovered well and apparently became...noticeably chubbier. I was unaware that LRS made calls to the families after their child's operation. This aspect makes their work more well-rounded.
[ Little Red Scarf CARE manages poverty relief programmes in rural China, Gangsu. After surgery, the staff make phone calls and visits to the children in order to ensure that they have recovered properly. The following post consists of the conditions of the children discharged in November, 2011. To learn more about LRS Care, please gohere.]
Little Red Scarf discharged 36 children in November 2011. Postoperative phone call and visiting have been completed. Let us take look at the conditions of these children.
Xiao Xiaohu: 2/05/2011 discharged, 03/21/2012 review Xiao Xiaohu is 9 months old already, and has recovered very well. He has gotten more plump, is sleeping well, and has stopped crying. His father said he has began to talk.
Taotao: 12/06/2011 discharged, 03/14/2012 review Taotao is 9 months old, precuts excavatum has been discovered and his family is quite worried. We are trying to find away to help them into the hospital.
Yaxin: 12/04/2011 discharged, 03/12/2012 review When Yaxin was in the hospital she was 21 kg, now she weighs 28. Her mother said she recovered very well, has lots of daily activities, and also a great appetite.
Xiao Hui: 12/29/2011 discharged Her dad said that because of the surgery, she had to go on a leave of absence from school for a year, but now her condition is much better and she often reads at home. She can also help him cook. She is growing up, and he doesn’t have to worry as much.
Jing-jing: 12/13/2011 discharged Her mother said that after surgery, Jing-jing gained 2 pounds, usually doesn’t cry, caught a cold once, but recovered quickly. Now she is very cute and active.
Haixia: 12/19/2011, discharged 03/15/2012 review Her mom said that Haixia recovered well, did not catch a cold, and gained some weight. Tomorrow, Haixia will go to a bread company to work in Shandong. Over there she has lots friends and they can look out for each other.
Xiao Rong: 12/10/2011 discharged, 03/12/2012 review His father said that Xiao Rong is now in kindergarten. He’s been very naughty and gained 2 pounds. He jumps around all day. After being discharged, he hasn’t caught a cold and his body condition has improved. The family is very happy.
A Peng: 12/15/2011 discharged His mother said A Peng is now in kindergarten. He’s very naughty, gained 2 pounds, and after being discharged, only caught a cold once, but now it’s much better.
Zhi Jiang: 12/20/2011 discharged 04/09/2012 review His dad said that after the surgery Zhi Jiang hasn’t caught a cold, gained weight, is very naughty, sleeps well at night, but doesn’t like to eat much. Seeing the child growing day by day, his family is very happy.
Xiaochun: 12/19/2011, discharged 04/19/2012 review The mother said Xiaochun he gained 3 pounds after the operation. He is in a good condition. When we called her mother, she was fooling around and wouldn’t let her mother speak. The family intends let her go to kindergarten next semester.
Jia Li: 12/29/2011, discharged 03/25/2012 review Her dad said that Jian Li gained 2-3 pounds after the surgery. The wound recovered well. Just like a normal child she is very happy! They plan to let her to go to school next semester.
Dong Dong: 12/23/2011, discharged 04/11/2012 review Her dad said Dong Dong recovered very well, gained lots of weight, didn’t catch a cold, and he is planning to let him enter 5th grade in next semester. Dong Dong is already starting his review lessons at home.
Peng Peng: 12/27/2011 discharged His dad said, Pengpeng overally recovered very well. He is already in 4th grade, studies very hard, and ranks 5th/6th in the class. He gained 4 pounds, and is very lively. His family is very content.
Tong Tong: 12/29/2011, discharged 03/27/2012 review Tong Tong is now temporarily taking a leave of absence from school. In September, he will be in 4th grade. After being discharged, his body is doing well, he hasn’t caught a cold, is eating well, and often plays around with friends. His family is very pleased!
Shaobao: 12/08/2011, discharged 03/26/2012 review His dad said Shaobao has been eating very well after being discharged and is obviously getting fatter. The wounds still need more time to recover, though.
A Jin: 12/29/2011, discharged 03/22/2012 review A Jin has gone to second grade. His father said that his situation is very good and he has gained weight. His grades are above average.
Beibei: 12/26/2011 discharged 03/05/2012 review BeiBei gained two pounds, is still very naughty, has a good appetite, sleeps well and no longer catches colds.
Alian: 12/02/2011 discharged 03/05/2012 review A Lian already had review in Lan Zhou, and went back to kindergarten. His father thanked LRS and said he would tell more people about the organization.
Yongbin: 12/01/2011 discharged Yongbin's sister answered the phone, and said her brother was in fifth grade. She is only one year older than him. Their parents work in the field. They told us Yongbin is not behaving, only likes to play, never does his homework, but the two siblings are very close to each other.
Da Long: 12/28/2011, discharged 03/26/2012 review Da Long is in third grade now. His father said he studies well and ranks 3rd in the class. His school is a mile away from home, and every day he walks back with his classmate, and never asks his parents to pick him up. His family is very happy to see him so studious and healthy.
Jia Bo: 12/23/2011, discharged 04/06/2012 review The mother said Jia Bo lives with his grandmother. They have gotten jobs. The kids are very good, never catch colds, and are very peaceful.
Yuan Yuan: discharged 03/22/2012 review: 12/16/2011 Yuan Yuan is getting much better. She gained a little weight and is now 1-year-old and three months. She learned to walk and call father and mother. Her mother thanked LRS for their help, and said she would spread word to get other children treated for CHD.
A Zhi: 12/15/2011, discharged 03/15/2012 review A Zhi has already gone to the kindergarten. The postoperative recovery was smooth. He is behaving well. His dad said that after the surgery, Zhiyong’s body condition got much better, he no longer gets asthma attacks and his face doesn’t turn purple anymore.
Xiaoya: 12/15/2011, discharged 03/12/2012 review His father said that Xiaoya’s appetite was very good so she gained some weight. The wound has recovered. She caught a cold after the operation, her family got nervous but she recovered after taking some medicine. The family is very happy and relaxed.
Pei Pei: 12/28/2011, discharged 02/05/2012 review Her father said he planned to let Pei Pei go to school on next semester. Now Pei Pei loves to read. After being discharged she got better and is fatter than before.
Jing Ying: 12/20/2011, discharged 04/01/2012 review His Uncle said that Jing Ying recovered very well. He hasn’t caught a cold and gained some weight. He runs in and out of the house everyday.
A Xuan: 12/16/2011, discharged 04/05/2012 review His mother said A Xuan has had a good appetite recently. After surgery he gained 4 pounds. It used to be very difficult for him to participate in physically demanding activities, but now it is much easier, and he is getting lots of exercise.
Bo Wen: 12/28/2011, discharged 03/20/2012 review His mother said he gained weight, didn’t catch a cold, and recovered well overall.
Yuqiong: 12/28/2011 discharged in March in the local review Yuqiong is now in middle school, and lives in the school. He studies very hard.
Xiaoqian: 12/29/2011 discharged His dad said Xiaoqian grew taller and is in good spirits. The wound is healing well and he is eating well. In September, she will go to preschool.
Last Saturday, I worked on some customary translation and editing work, but the highlight of the day was reading the essays. This time, a few really stood out to me as exemplary compositions. Their passion, dedication, and reflections were clear and compelling. Can't wait to reveal the winners! During my experience at East Villagers, I have obtained so much knowledge about social injustice around the world and at the same time I was able to put in an effort and do something about it. Seeing the internship video (btw, good job Sophia) has reminded me if why I am here in the first place, and I hope to end the program with the best of efforts.
Today, Emily and I worked on updating the TFish Fund sites strategic and assosiate partners. The three levels of partnership do a good job in ensuring the financial transparency of the NGOs. I wrote the descriptions for each assosiate partner, to inform donors of the missions and visions of the multifarious non-profits that would soon be allowed to have the 'donate' button. While scrolling through their websites, I saw that every NGO provided support and aid for a different group of people. For example, Little Sapling helps disabled children and their families, whom I know are often neglected in Chinese society. There are also NGOs for migrant workers, farmers, underpriviledged children, etc. Together, these NGOs cover almost everyone in need of a helping hand.
[Hemophilia Home of China, founded in September in 2009, in an NGO that provides treatment and financial aid for hemophiliac patients. If children with hemophilia can receive early intervention, many of them can enjoy the same health as normal children. Unfortunately, hemophilia treatment is extremely expensive; many families, especially rural families, cannot afford treatment for children. To learn more about Hemophilia Home of China, click here.]
Yesterday afternoon at 2 PM, I went to the Beijing Children’s Hospital to check on Little Shou Hao who was recently supported by Hemophilia Home of China.
I only spend about 30 minutes on the road and reached the hospital quickly. I contacted Hemophilia Home of China’s employee Yin Lu, and we went to the ICU where Little Shou Hao was staying. There was a time limit, so Yin Lu went into the room and got some pictures of Little Shou Hao and his mother, and talked discussed his surgery with the doctor. The doctor said he still needed to do the infusion with postoperative care. I heard from the doctor that Little Shou Hao’s mother would come to the hospital gate every early morning and wait for to see her child, no matter whether she was able to see him or not, she would be there all the time, every day the same, and would leave once he had gone to sleep. It really made me feel the mother's love for her own child, it was very touching.
After that, I went to visit Little Shou Hao, and he called me “big brother.” His mother told me that before, he could not even speak full sentences and was only be able to say papa or mama, but after the surgery, his speech has been very clear and lucid. It appears that his surgery was successful one!
I had simple chat with his mother as well. Those nurses are kept telling me that the time limit was over, (they are quite ferocious, but I understand they are just doing their job), so I took few pictures with Little Shou Hao and his mother, introduced Little Red Scarf and Toumingyu, gave them two masks and informed them about the seriousness of air pollution in Beijing. They seemed very happy.
The visit made me feel that the support of the our non-profit was greatly helpful, and feel the greatness of maternal love, and realize there are many more children that need us to care and love!
Little Shou Hao's smile left a deep impression on me.
[Little Red Scarf CARE provides caring programs for children in rural Gansu Province. The following article is about a little boy named Nazhuang, who has congenital heart disease. To learn more about LRS Care, please click here.]
When Nanzhuang was in the hospital, his grandma and grandpa spent a lot of time taking care of him. Today I went to see little Na Zhuang. He was put on a drip, and his arms and hands will feel some pain afterwards. After seeing his grandma gently rubbing his little left arm and small hands, and his grandpa washing the right hand on the right side, seeing two people with graying hair care for his so much, I asked him: "Nanzhuang, do you like grandpa better or grandma?" Nanzhuang turned back to look at them and said, “Neither.” This little spoiled one who doesn’t know how to speak the right words. Grandma heard this and deliberately said, “If you don’t like us, we will leave, and you will have to stay in the hospital alone.” Nanzhuang noticed that his grandma might really mean it, and immediately said, "I like grandma." His grandpa then cut in,"Then I will go, you don't like me anyways." Nanzhuang worried and said: "I like grandpa." What an adorable child. He thought that he could only pick one between his grandparents, not both!
Last Saturday, Emily and I worked on the Trasparent Fish Fund newsletter for March! We got to choose recent stories to highlight and photoshop images to make it look as nice and informative as possible. The website we used, MailChimp, was very effective in that it allowed us to view how many people in certain countries open the newsletter, and how many people actually clicked on the pictures or links. We can use these statistics next time to find ways to improve our appeal to our recievers.
[Vertebral China (or Spine China) is a TFish Fund Friend member, established in March 2010. It helps provide disabled people with medical assitance. The following article is about a girl named Zhuo Hongqian and her condition. To learn more about this NGO, please click here.]
Zhuo Hongqian is from Yu Cheng City in Shandong province. Shortly after birth, she was abandoned by her parents and went to live with her struggling adoptive parents. The family lives by subsidies. Zhuo Hongqian has double hip dislocation, and after being abandoned by her parents she was unable to pay the medical treatment. As a result, she has suffered the pains all her life. Hongqian was raised by her grandmother but when she was 20 years old her grandmother passed away. This means that this girl who can't walk and is incontinent with bedsore has to depend upon herself. Chores in the eyes of ordinary people are simple but for her it is a very difficult task to accomplish, she has to climb to places where the wheelchair cannot pass. Her skin, because of long time friction and oppression developed into serious bedsores on her legs and hips and has decayed to the bone. She was in desperate need of treatment. From then on, Hongqian went on the road for help. After years of searching, she got help from the society. They put a catheter in her so that she could urinate properly. Although some good hearted people helped her, her condition continued to swallow her life. Zhuo Hongqian was also the recipient of Happy Giving association, but from the 2011-3-10 relief she only got RMB 2000 endowment, which was far from meeting her operation needs. Due to the urgent need to get bedsore treatment, the China Spinal Surgery Donation started to help. They had her put into a treatment project, and used various resources to try to save this bright but ill-fated girl. Last year, Zhuo Hongqian traveled with the China Spinal Surgery Donation to Wuxi for the Barrier Free Traveling activity and the Chengdu Youth Leadership Training Camp. During participating in these activities she used her own wheelchair. It is difficult to imagine a paralyzed girl traveling so far away alone, but she accomplished it and with her own courage she touched everybody. In December of 2011, she went to Beijing for a checkup. The doctors told her she needed to receive treatment for her bedsore as soon as possible otherwise it could potentially threaten her life. Hongqian’s problem was very serious, but with even with the donations she was far from meeting the operation costs. She got in touch with a traditional Chinese medicine doctor in Chengdu, and they decided to have Hongqian go to Chengdu to accept suggested conservative treatment using traditional Chinese medicine. In early March 2012, Hongqian went to Chengdu to accept treatment. Her life has settled down, we will continue to report further information on Hongqian and her treatment.
[The Lotus Flower Cultural Welfare Center is a museum that provides activities and resources to help the children of the working class grow up in a positive and healthy environment. In the following article, a worker writes about the children who reguarly visit the center. To learn more about this NGO, please click here.]
The last few weeks due to partition, trainee meetings, and investigation, the museum was closed temporarily. At that time we told the children it would only take two weeks, but when two weeks had past it had only begun to obstruct. Today, during the leadership training, SL called asking when it would open. When I explained to him, he said, “why has it changed again change again!?”
Yes, why has it changed again? We promised the children two weeks, but it took a month. This is the promises adults make. We always forget to keep our promises. Why do children not trust adults? Probably because we don’t pay attention to these small details. Last week the birthday of PY was almost missed because of the business of the museum remodeling. Luckily, I called his mother and found out his birthday is on the lunar calendar, so it is not until March, I was relieved. When we speak to children we really need to be careful of what we promise!
However, today is a happy day. The children from The Dandelion Middle School have finally set up their own volunteer group. Although they are far away from Tongzhou, and also are not particularly fitting with Daxing’s Two Trees Project, I still hope to give the children more opportunities to meet their desires. It is not easy that they have this good intention. I offer them praise from the bottom of my heart. It will also provide me with a great encouragement for my work.
Last Saturday, our group began brainstorming ideas on how to branch out our promotion for the Essay & Art Contest. After researching and looking in to a bunch of scholarship websites, I realized that it is quite an effective way to get more entries. I have never used scholarship websites in the past, but I will look into them further in the future seeing that they are full of good oppurtunities and contests. Aside from that, I also edited 2 articles: One for the Little Red Scarf about a boy named Yuan Chang, and one is about NGO's that have moved up a level in the collaboration with TFish Fund. They can be found here and here, respectively.
[ Little Red Scarf Care manages poverty relief programes in rural China, Gangsu. This is a story about a strong boy with a weak heart, and his loving mother. To learn more about LRS Care, please go here.]
Yuan Chang is a naughty 10 year old little boy. Doctors found out that he had congenital heart disease 6 days after he was born. As he was growing up, Yuan Chang had to be hospitalized and caused his family to worry a lot. He also has a sister who suffers from epilepsy. Their parents took her get treatment several times in Lan Zhou, but each treatment was ineffective, and after taking the drugs she still stayed in the same condition. The illness of these two children caused hardship for their family. Unfortunately, something unpredictable happened in 2008. The engineering team of their father brought terrible news. Their father got in a quarrel with another working and was killed in a fight. After they heard this news, all them were cried. Although the children were very young, they understood how hard it would be without him.Their mother washed away their tears. It has been three years since, but every time their father’s death is spoken of, their mother would shed tears again.
The village changed over the years. Some rebuilt their houses. Their mother always said to the children, “if your father was still alive, we might have been able to live in a nicer home.” Every time Yuan Chang would answer, “don’t worry, when I grow up I will build up a new house for you.”
In fact, their mother’s greatest wish is to help the children heal their illness. But Yuan Chang’s disease has been delayed too long. His pulmonary hypertension has worsened. After several days of examination, doctors found his surgery at high risk advised them to go to Beijing for further examination. But their mother is not literate, and the surgery has cost too much. When she heard the surgery would be unable to take place, she started to cry again. Yuan Chang always playfully said to his mother, “why cry? I am doing fine right now.” She said to him, “If there is a way to heal your illness, only then will I not cry.” His mother’s wish is simple but at the same time difficult. Let us gather our strength to help this helpless mom be strong. Let us make her wish come true.
[In order to ensure financial transparency, the TFish Fund partnership includes three stages of collaboration: TFish Fund Friend, TFish Fund Assosiate Member, and TFish Fund Strategic Partner. To read the original article(s) in Chinese, please go here or here.]
The Transparent Fish Fund has added four new partners!
On behalf of Transparent Fish Fund, I express my sincere gratitude towards their cooperation and support. We are very pleased by the common aspiration of spreading awareness, understanding, and sharing. Let us work together and do our best! We all know that there are many excellent NGOs on this platform. There are many interesting projects and great stories. We look forward to receiving more updates from them and to continue promoting them.
Original Articles translated by Transparent Fish Fund Team, edited by intern Kaitlyn Cheung.
Last Saturday Sarah and I created a rubric for the Essay & Art entry evaluation and catagorized the ones we have recieved so far. We referenced past rubrics and past winners. Getting to read the essays was VERY interesting and enjoyable. Evaluating the essays required some more thought, considering I wanted to make sure I gave each one a fair score. I look forward to meeting again tomorrow and I'm sure we'll encounter some persuasive and inspiring esssays or works of art. (:
Last Saturday we had a small group meeting with Sarah, Sophia, Steve, and I. Wow, their names all start with "s", I feel left out. Anyways, all of us were interviewed about our internship experience. I was never very articulate when it came to on the spot things, but I managed to get it over with. In spite of breaking into a nervous sweat, watching the interviews afterwards was quite amusing, especially with Steve lurking in the background. Looking forward to the final product, Sophia! Speaking of interviews, Sarah and I edited the interviews of certain NGOs and posted them here. I also went on a forwarding rampage to elementary school teachers about the Essay & Art Contest. Everything went quite well. (:
[The following is an interview of the Hua Kai Institution, an institution that provides services for children after school. To watch the original interview, please go here.]
T-Fish: Transparent Fish Fund is committed to free technology support, marketing, fundraising and management consulting services to help NGOs raise funds and support for their projects. It is our honor to have the founder of He Hua Kai Cultural Public Welfare Institution, Mr. Yu Zhong Chun here with us today. Can you introduce yourself?
Mr. Yu: Hello! I am the founder of He Hua Kai Cultural Public Welfare Institution. Children usually call me brother Yu.
T-Fish: Why did you choose to do public welfare?
Mr. Yu: It is said that people who help others also help themselves. At first I had the thought to do public welfare, but it never really happened because there weren’t many public welfare organizations at the time. Later, after being a volunteer to an NGO organization, I managed to do so.
T-Fish: What inspired you to create a culturally related welfare program?
Mr. Yu: I love reading, so I wanted more children to have the privilege to read. I realized that many children are laborers, after school they don't have good place to go to, so I wanted to provide them a good environment to make their life more interesting and colorful outside of school. After I established the organization I found out that many children do not really like to read, they enjoy playing more, perhaps due to the fact their parents do not pay much attention to them. Playing is also very important for children because you learn a lot through social interactions with other people.
T-Fish: What’s your biggest reward from doing public welfares?
Mr. Yu: The biggest reward I have gotten is the feeling of satisfaction. Although it is difficult to achieve, I have found my own direction. Also through interacting with children, I have learned to change myself. I have learned how to not to exhibit the bad things of myself, but to show and teach them them good things to guide them. I also thank my friends and family for the support they have me during hard times.
T-Fish: How did the transparent platform help you?
Mr. Yu: After employing the transparent platform I have discovered other people who are doing the same thing. Before, I knew that people involved in children’s welfare existed, but now I have really gotten to know them better, by communicating with them I have learned how to do things better. I contacted a person named Du Ming who came and taught the children how to play chess. All these are real benefits. With my own effort it is very difficult because I don’t know where to get support from, but Transparent Fish Fund has helped me overcome this difficulty.
T-Fish: How did the NGO plan help you overally?
Mr. Yu: With other organizations, the funds are usually short term and you have to do things by their model. For me, that method is hard because I need to modify many of my concepts to in order to collaborate with them. But with T-Fish, I can have more independence. With the cooperative model the funds can be for long term use and are more stable. Therefore I can devote myself to research and to implement my concepts. Working with T-Fish, the funds are transparent therefore it gains support from society. This transparent concept also helps other organizations as well.
T-Fish: Thank you for being here today. I hope your institute improves day by day and I we hope to continue working with you, Mr. Yu.
Translated by Transparent Fund Staff, edited by intern Kaitlyn Cheung.
[The following is the interview of the Mu Lan Coummunty Center, an organization that provides social services to the working class and their children. To view the original interview in Chinese, please go here.]
T-Fish: Transparent Fish Fund is committed to free technology support, marketing, fundraising and management consulting services to help NGOs raise funds and support for their projects. It’s our honor to have the founder of the Beijing Mu Lan Community Center, Ms. Qi Li Xia here with us today. Please introduce yourself, Ms. Qi.
Miss Qi: Hello everyone! It’s a pleasure to be here today. My name is Qi Li Xia, I am from Henan province. While I was working outside of my hometown I got the chance to be a volunteer. After two years of volunteer service I found volunteer work very meaningful. Since then I decided to take on public welfare jobs.
T-Fish: What inspired you to start this activity center?
Miss Qi: While I was working outside of my hometown I met many fellow employees. I realized that there weren't many public welfare organizations for these working sisters. I thought maybe we could start an organization to serve these working sisters and their children. We came up with the name "Mu Lan" because we started out with four ladies and we thought the name could express our expectations. First of all, Mu Lan is a flower which in China represents females. Secondly, Mu Lan is a famous ancient figure who possesses many characteristics similar to our sisters. For example, working far away from home and making contributions to the family and society. I hope that we sisters can be as brave and courageous as Mu Lan, challenge the old tradition and be self independent. It is our hope that through this organization more and more workers and their children can receive our services.
T-Fish: Thanks you for this information. What is most rewarding about what you do?
Miss Qi: I think doing public welfare is not just about helping others but also about fulfilling our own values at the meantime. It has made me more satisfied with myself.
T-Fish: How did the Transparent Fish Fund platform help you?
Miss Qi: Since we started this organization ourselves, we did not have much management experience. Transparent Fish Fund has helped us organize our information and resources better. Also through T-Fish we have transparent finances from people who support our organization.
T-Fish: What do you think about the T-Fish NGO plan?
Miss Qi: It encourages us accomplish the step by step process and finally to establish a cooperative relationship with T-Fish.
T-Fish: Thank you for sharing with us. I hope you receive more support for your organization in the future.
Translated by Transparent Fish Fund staff, edited by intern Kaitlyn Cheung.
[The following is an interview by Transparent Fish Fund to the Xing Xing Yu Organization, a organization that helps children with autism. To view the original interview in Chinese, please click here.]
T-Fish: Hello everyone, this is the Transparent Fish broadcasting office. Welcome to our 2nd interview. The Transparent Fish Fund is committed to free technology support, marketing, fundraising and management consulting services to help NGOs raise funds and support for their projects. Today it’s our honor to have the executive officer of Xing Xing Yu, an educational organization, Mr. Sun Zhong Kai here with us today.
T-Fish: What’s the concept of autism? What is the current situation of autistic children in China?
Mr. Sun: The problem with autistic people is that they do not know how to interact with other people. The three main symptoms include language, behaviour, and a narrow range of interests. The reason for this problem is not well-known, and internationally the statistics show that 6/1000 people have this problem, a relatively large group of people. We now have over 3000 families receiving training and consultations at Xing Xing Yu.
T-Fish: I know that Xing Xing Yu has had many difficulties. Could you share with us what the biggest challenge is?
Mr. Sun: I joined Xing Xing Yu in 2002. I have studied society services so I understand what services and social securities should be provided in order to achieve a well developed society. I think the biggest challenge is the lack of professional resources. We began our training simply using a pamphlet from Taiwan until we received help from foreign experts who were volunteers. It is difficult to find professional support here in China, but now we have started to provide training services for other organizations. There are other challenges as well, for example trying to get more support from the society, and finding a stable office. Things have improved since we realized that the society is constantly improving are we are getting more and more help from the government. We want to create a transparency concept similar to Transparent Fish Fund’s, the concept that all organizations are welcome to join if they meet the following criteria: the organization must aim to help others and the finances must be transparent. By meeting the criteria we will be able to train the organization for free. Our community has been expanding fast. T-Fish: Thank you for the information that you shared with us. It was wonderful to know more about your organization.
Translated by Transparent Fish Fund staff in China, edited by intern Kaitlyn Cheung.
Today was a productive day! We're still busily spreading word about Congenital Heart Disease week. Facebook has finally become a place not only for procrastination. I also find Tumblr quite effective. TUMBLR IS GREAT. We're at 368 likes now! Imperia and I have been looking into elementary schools to email for the Essay and Art Contest. I think I'll even be encouraging my little sister to apply.
[Mianzhu Family planned an event to serve the lonely and elderly people around their city on Chinese New Year. To learn more about Mianzhu Family and its projects, please go here for Chinese, or here for English.]
The Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year) is one of China’s most important holidays. It is a traditional that people have family gatherings, watch the Spring Festival Gala, eat, drink, and enjoy each other’s company. But the elderly and widowed that live alone are not able to carry out this joyful tradition. Mianzhu Family’s volunteers will solve this problem! We will act as their family and keep them company. We have planned a bountiful dinner on Chinese New Year Eve, and together, we will celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Dragon.
Invite 100 widowed/elderly individuals to the New Year’s Eve dinner
January 22nd, 2012
A nursing home or a rented location
100 widowed/elderly people
20 accompanying persons and department head of nursing home
5 media reporters
5 health care securities
Organize groups and divide labor on 12/26/2011
Calculate number of people who fit with our conditions and according to the list determine final list of participants/guests on 1/10/2012
Contact chef and determine menu by 1/12/2012
Contact volunteers and drivers, who are responsible for looking after the guests
Purchase clothes and socks to be given as gifts by 1/20/2012
Decorate and create a festive atmosphere at the venue the day before the event
contactlocal health authoritiesandthe police stationto obtaintheir assistance
allvolunteers will be assignedto their posts.One group ofvolunteeractivitieswill put signs on the rented vehicles, and drive the vehicles to thehomes of the guests. Another group ofvolunteers will greet the guests and sign them in.
Before 11:00 PM
One the guests arrive, the ones who are in need of hair dressing will be seen to by volunteers. The others will watch the prepared slidshow/video.
An hour of cultural performances will be presented by the volunteers.
Food is served by volunteers.
Liu Hua Jin will give a toast and everybody will celebrate the arrival of the New Year.
Banquet officially begins.
Banquet will come to an end, gifts will be passed out.
Guests are dropped back home by specific group of volunteers, remaining volunteers clean up the site.
12 tables and refreshments on each. 470 RMB.
50 volunteers, reporters, and health care securities total. 15 RMB/person for a bento. 750 RMB.
100 gift bags, each costing 50 RMB. Total 5000 RMB.
12 rented vehicles, each 100 RMB. Total 1200 RMB.
Car stickers/signs, name cards, decorations. Total 540 RMB.
Cost of renting venue, 100 RMB.
The volunteers entertain the guests with short performances.
A volunteer serves drinks.
Boxes are filled with the gift bags that contain new clothing and other necessities.
[ Mianzhu Family’s service volunteer team is currently working on a project to help the elderly around them to live better lives. To learn more about Mianzhu Family please go to: http://www.tfishfund.org/mianzhu-family.html ]
Mianzhu Family’s kind hearted volunteers have covered every corner of the city of Mianzhu, taking care of the elderly, providing them company, playing games with them, and doing chores for them. Through these activities we have slowly understood the necessities of the people we serve. To improve upon our service, during future visits we will play the role of their family, so they will feel more at home and less lonely. In order to provide them with a more comfortable standard of living, we are starting to visit their homes on a regular basis. Our activities include health check-ups, doing housework, hairdressing, increasing standard of personal hygiene and environmental welfare, birthday celebrations, providing every day products, washing/replacing clothes, shoes, and etc. From 2008 to 2011 we have served the single, elderly, and disabled. In 2012, our focus is to care for and help the lonely and financially unstable elderly. Also, twice every month, our warm-hearted team visits nursing homes and provides them with our service.
1) Purpose: to use our loan and accomplish Mianzhu Family’s condolence visits, maintain the normal functioning of our institute, strengthen sector management, ensuring that every trip is planned for carefully, enabling our service to be of best quality.
2) Expectations: use the loan to financially support Mianzhu Family’s volunteer service for the first half of 2012, reducing the number of volunteers that must pay the fees needed themselves, in order to avoid disrupting their enthusiasm for public service.
3) Amount of loan: 3000 RMB, mainly used for funding trips
4) Key indicators:
4.1) Contacting Fees
a. Number of people employing: Main people, 1 (Mr. Liu responsible)
Other people, 7-8 (Volunteers)
b. Number of times: 10 or more times/month (during the activity, informing)
Expense of 100 RMB/month
4.2) Transportation Fees
a. Mileage: 7-8 kilometers, around 10 people, total travel distance 70-80 kilometers
b. Fuel fees: 50 RMB/time
c. Number of trips: 5 or more/month
4.3) Printing Fees
a. Printing data: 50 RMB/month
b. Printing team management manual: 100 copies, each 3-5 RMB
c. Printing of health and maintenance records: Mainly to establish paper-based data
Current cost is 200 RMB. As we continue to print records for the elderly, the maintenance fees are expected to increase to 300 RMB by the end of 2012.
This week, our focus point is on Civil Society by Lao Mo. So what is civil society? Civil society is in fact a type of social governance. It gives the citizens space to move about freely, enabling them to participate more actively in public affairs. Usually, the government and the market are the two main forces of society. The more developed a country is, the greater the citizen participation and community efforts. In a developing country, there is a small government and a large society. On the contrary, in a third world country, there is a big government, but a small community.
Civil society can lead a country towards the direction of justice and fairness. The main values of civil society are reflected through three aspects: rights, participation, and tolerance. The “rights” that are spoken of here are in existence to protect an individual’s rights and values, but their individual rights and values are achieved through the community. “Participation” refers to groups that contribute in developing themselves and their community. “Tolerance” means the acceptance of social diversity and differences, the act of understanding, and compromising.
The main functions of civil society are supervision, social services, and social resources. “Supervision” is mainly necessary to limit the rights of the state in order to protect the freedom and rights of individuals. “Social services” refer to a user-friendly and low-cost provision of service. “Social resources” includes network, equality and reciprocity, in order to promote healthy social relationships between people.
We also learned about NGOs and how they relate to community development. Community development primarily refers to the four areas of political, economical, cultural, and social development. So what are the characteristics of NGOs that take part in community service? Their characteristics are mainly reflected in three aspects: 1) NGOs are based on third-party involvement. They serve as an external force. It functions to promote citizen participation I public affairs. 2) NGO work is driven by the community. In other words, the work of an NGO must meet the needs of the community. 3) The working approach is bottom-up. Their work includes discovering the necessities of the community, and using appropriate methods to work.
Determined by the nature of this work, you must conduct a detailed research of the community you will serve. The three main researched areas? Community resources, community needs, and structure of community rights. Community work is mainly to promote the self-organization of citizens and to increase civic awareness.
Through the study of this course, I not only absorbed this knowledge, but I also gained a better understanding of NGOs and their missions. NGOs strive to promote social justice, which is also a significant responsibility every citizen carries.
My days of being a volunteer are not the days of a normal lifestyle. I carry a heavy responsibility while living a life that is seemingly different but not entirely the same. Let me tell you what it is like. Every path we take brings us life lessons. No matter if it is subtle happiness or hints of sadness; these lessons exist for a special reason: they bring us inspiration.
When you work with your teammates, you will discover that there are still so many principles to life, so many things to learn, so much to consult in others, so many ways to improve upon yourself. When you make a mistake, have the wrong idea, say the wrong thing, you will feel ashamed, but you will also feel lucky. Why? Because you are surrounded by people who will aid you, care for you, guide you, and help you find your weaknesses, pointing you to the correct direction.
My teammates and I have experienced this type of lifestyle. We have tasted the bitter and the sweet. We have overcome embarrassment and through other hardships and difficulties we have grown to become better people. We have explored the principles and morals of life. During our days of being a volunteer we have understood so much. We learned a lot, and gained tons. This experience has taught us to have a positive outlook on life, be kind to others, and respect ourselves. If you want life to forgive you, you must forgive life first. A healthy mindset is more powerful than one hundred words of knowledge. There is a kind of lifestyle, a lifestyle you will never know how much hardship it contains until you live it. There is a kind of hardship, a hardship you will never know how much happiness it contains until you experience it. There is a kind of happiness, happiness you will never know how pure it is until you feel it.
Many people ask me: “What can a volunteer do? What do can you figure?” Well, based on the actions of the volunteers around me I can tell you. Do you think they are happy? They are perfectly happy. They have gone from strangers to family. You can literally read the word “happy” off the face of that elderly woman. Her happiness brings us happiness. She speaks and says, “I am not lonely, because we are family.”
Does this scene look familiar to you? It’s a car accident. But just look at the indifference! Where have the traditional Chinese virtues of heroism and kindness gone? They are nowhere to be found. I feel frustrated and sense a crisis of confidence between people. We live today in an industrializing and cultured world, we should realize how valuable one’s mindset is. We will all age, we will all have troubles. If people do not learn to trust one another, if people continue to refuse to take a step towards compassion, in the end we ourselves are the ones who will suffer the most.
The injured man in the picture works at Mianzhu. December 1st, 3 PM, was a painful event for him. He was riding his motorcycle and was hit by a truck. The driver immediately fled the scene. There were many witnesses, but none tried to help him. At that moment, one of our volunteers was passing by, took this photograph, called for the ambulance, and took the wounded man to the hospital. Luckily, the driver of the truck had accidentally left his license plate behind! With the help of this volunteer, people began to surround the scene. Someone lent a helping hand. “If you want to help people in need and give back to the society, you must start from yourself.” He said his name was Lan Hua Chen.
"Dear students, those who are willing to engage in the work of an NGO after graduation, please raise your hands." After asking, I looked around the classroom. Not a single hand was raised.
Seeing this, I asked a slightly milder question. "Students who have any brief intention to join an NGO after graduation, please raise your hands."Again, there was an empty show of hands. However, I did not feel embarrassed at all. I asked one last question that made all the students reflect upon themselves. "Since you have never thought about doing so and you are not willing to do it, why do you come to school every day to attend these courses?"
It was a Wednesday afternoon and I was in a class open to the first year postgraduates at a university. These students came from all different kinds of majors, including ideology and politics, Chinese and foreign culture, international relations and so on. The course I was invited to start was The Operation and Management of Contemporary NGOs: Opportunities and Challenges. I prepared for this course with great care. I was not the teacher but only the guest, thus I paid more attention to the classroom interaction. The students responded to my questions in a very roundabout way. For them, their priority was to work for the government, or something like that. Only one or two students responded a bit positively.
I told my students that there are some people these days that are superficial and have a skewed perspective. They refuse to do things that do not benefit themselves. It is a slave like way of thinking, as they do not consider themselves the master of their environment, nor do they feel the need to take responsibility for the society.
On the other hand, there are some people who make short-term sacrifices for long-term interests and put their lives into the career of helping others. They are free to do whatever they please, but they choose this path not for the money, but for righteousness. I spoke to the students about our partner, Transparent Fish Fund, where the staff members are outstanding young people who graduated from good universities at home and abroad. Further more, I explained that their salaries are not high, but they are willing to devote themselves to tasks that are irrelevant to their majors for a good cause.
We often hear stories about those Chinese who move to North America and lead a middle-class life, but find it difficult to enter the Western mainstream society. Why?
Some say it is because the Chinese have no money abroad, thus they were unable to enter the mainstream society. Wrong! There are numerous Chinese people who purchase from the Louis Vuitton retail stores and splurge on luxury houses and flashy cars, aren't there? However, they could not enter the mainstream society. It was not because of their Zhejiang accents, but mostly because their fathers were named Mr. Li Gang. (Reference to 2010 Li Gang incident)
Some said foreigners discriminate against Chinese, that whites discriminate against those with “yellow” skin. Wrong! Firstly, the United States is not entirely a white country, as a Negro was elected as president. Secondly, racial discrimination is a serious crime in a western country, and the degree of it is now lower than that of geographical discrimination in China.
Why is it that in Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Africa (where there are no Caucasians), most wealth is concentrated in the hands of rich Chinese, but the lower-class Chinese were always the ones who were killed, robbed and whose shops were burnt first when suffering from war and coup?
Why are Chinese still suffering from discrimination and hatred? Because they are unable to enter the mainstream society.
So what is mainstream society? To my understanding, the society is composed of groups of people who are willing to make contributions, whether individual contribution or contribution as a group/organization, to promote the life changes of residence for other ethnic groups, decrease inequality, eliminate disease and misery caused by various social problems.
People enter the mainstream society naturally. Whether they are rich or poor, born privileged or unknown, they are deemed that devoting himself/herself in fulfilling what others need is their responsibility. The mainstream society is the core to changing the world and the cradle to cultivate great leaders.
My dear students, why is it so difficult for you to raise your hands? Because the lust for a scholarship, a postgraduate degree, a good job after graduation, or immediate benefit ? I can tell you that all of you would get these things naturally at the age of 40, as you have received a high level of education, and then what would you want? Wouldn't you feel empty?
I told my students that working for an NGO is worthy of respect. First of all, a well-educated person is willing to choose a job that does not offer a high salary, because it suggests that they are a free and independent person. Secondly, people working for NGOs under the certain circumstance that they do not hold power or wealth, are required to have a wide vision, broad knowledge structure, a good grasp on public relations, reliable finance skills and strong leadership and mobilization ability, not to mention a favorable personality, a good public image, and a self-learning ability, since they needed to lead a group of volunteers that do not receive stipend to cooperate with one another. Most importantly, these people are part of the mainstream society. What they do is not only help the poor and weak, but they also bring different values to the world and influence the well development of public policy. In other words, they are changing the imperfect world.
Two classes flashed by in the blink of an eye. I now know the reason why some famous business leaders turned to engaging in social responsibility campaigns after attaining the wealth and status that are pursued by young students. Maybe it was because they understood the quote: "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" We as humans, are created to live for a meaning.
Hi! My name is Kaitlyn Cheung. I am currently enrolled in Mountain View High School as a sophomore. Some activities I find
interesting and enjoyable are dancing, painting, track and field, and writing. I also love to watch Asian dramas, jam out to Korean pop, and shop until I literally drop to the ground with exhaustion. I am definitely one of those people who look forward to being trampled on Black Friday. Some see me as introverted and quiet while others see me as outspoken and headstrong.
I grew up in a family of four with a younger sister, and as a result lugged around the burden of playing the role of the “good influence” 24/7. The young childhood version of me feared the dark unknown, and admired those who were daring enough to plunge into it. Although urged by my parents and peers to simply loosen up and do something crazy for once, I did not yield. I was sensitive to who I was seen as through the eyes of others and had problems saying “no” to others. As a result, I was often walked over. Then in the midst of it all, a spontaneous event occurred that changed my old ways.
Moving to Shanghai, China, changed me for life. Shanghai, considered as one of the most modernized and prosperous cities in the country, the major financial center, the Oriental Pearl. I cannot bring myself to say that I was exuberant upon hearing the news that I was going to attend public school half way across the world, but it sounded somewhat glamorous to me. I expected the city to appear similar to downtown San Jose, but with an innumerable population and an uncontrollable humidity. It all seemed true when I first arrived; I found myself gaping at the looming skyscrapers across the Huangpu River, the ancient buildings on the Bund etched with history of imperialism, the fanciful restaurants and the savory food. Although strikingly industrialized, there were things I could not help but notice. Resided adjacent to my neighborhood was a large cluster of shacks. I remember walking past it every day, not failing to note that the roofs were peeling and falling apart. The size of one of them might have even been less than the area of my kitchen back in America. I knew this, having been inside of one, since one of my classmates lived there. Beggars were a daily sight. Some would roam from street to street, person to person, shaking a tin can while murmuring incomprehensive Chinese. Some would kneel by the sidewalk, hopelessly begging passersby to spare a yuan. I saw children, adults, elderly, and handicaps among them. The native people did not find it shocking, for it was such an ordinary sight to see, but I was completely dumbfounded. All this time, I had been living in the refuge of a protective bubble, and at that moment it was popped, exposing me to the harsh reality of the human race. That year, I was eleven years old.
As a fifteen year old adolescent, I am here because I want to make a difference. Being an EV intern means more to me than simply representing my generation. It gives me the opportunity to take action and responsibility for what I saw three years ago in the country of my roots, the opportunity to spread awareness about those who live in the darkness. Together, we will be strong. The pitch black room will soon be illuminated with dancing lights, helping them find their way out of the dark to bask in the glorious sunshine. I understand that the world will never be a flawless utopia and we cannot mold it into one, but what we can do ismake it a more beautiful place to live.