Magnolia: After the Charity Bazaar
My first close contact with migrant laborers, who work at construction site, is attributed to more than two hours from the charity bazaar on Sunday. For me, the life of those people is too distant and I have only learned somewhat from the news. Thanks to the charity bazaar, I really got to know more about their life-- the dust, the tiredness, the lunch box, and the shabby place they live in. All of those things are just as remote as in another world. Since I have always been taken care of by my parents, I did not know how cruel the society is! Though short, the charity bazaar touched my heart and I lose myself in my thoughts.
When picking out clothes at the charity bazaar, the migrant laborers only ask whether the clothes are wear-resistant and offer good movement. I have found that they only have small bills like 1yuan and 5yuan. One man can not afford a pair of trousers since he only gets $.63 at hand. Adding to this, streamed bun is and will always be their dinner for weeks and months. I feel very sad from what I have seen and learned. Their life is too tough that common people can not understand. By the way, I greatly admire the work done by the volunteers of Mulan. They have a high spirit of dedication. For example, a girl volunteer, was patiently telling one of the children at the construction site that he can go to the Work University to learn skills and that guitar lessons were free.
D-Starine: Please Raise Your Hands
"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.
TFish Fund: December E-News
Thank you to our East Villagers interns, who recently raised over $1200, fully funding the remaining Transparent Fish Fund children listed on The School Fund's website. In fact, they raised more than was necessary, and we were thrilled to be able to use the extra funds toward special prajects for Little Red Scarf, like a pacemaker for Jingbo, a baby with congenital heart disease and cleft palette.
To express their gratitude, Mr. and Mrs. Chao took the interns out to lunch this past weekend, during which we were able to get this beautiful photo for our holiday newsletter! To read the newsletter and see the team's Christmas photo, click here or click read more.
Ms. Zhou Couseling: Teaching in the Village
Yesterday, some leaders and I came to teach in a village called GuanYuan. At 8 o’clock in the morning, we came to the meeting room which was nice and bright in the village. Upon arriving, I only saw two people there. I asked why there were so little people and someone said that the old branch secretary broadcasted the news that the lesson was about health and the villagers were sick of selling medicine and health products so they didn’t want to come.
The women’s federation chairman in the county accompanying me, was somewhat embarrassed. I was also very upset. The president decided to introduce myself and my lessons by the big trumpet immediately. Then, we went to wait in an office upstairs. After about 10 minutes, a village came to us and told us to begin teaching because there were so many people. I went downstairs doubtfully. Oh my God, over 60 people had come to the meeting room.
TFish Lab: Beijing Office News
[Every month, NGOs supported by the Transparent Fish Fund write updates on their latest activities and progress. This is a general update that covers a few of these NGOs] Congratulations to the six Commonwealth organizations, including the Sunflower Community, The Red Pencil Charity organization, Shalom Leprosy Compassion Ministry, Happy Checkers, Magnolia Community Center, and One Heart for their successful promotions. These organizations are partners of the Transparent Fish Fund. Please support, encourage and congratulate them! We look forward to sharing more of their stories.
D-Starine: Tibetan Mastiff Princess
Kangzhou is six years old and is the second child in her family. She has three other brothers and sisters. She was so attached to me, as if I were her father. Every time she saw me, she would ask for a hug. And every time I embraced her, she would snuggle up in my arms. She seemed to be so absorbed in her thoughts that she would never fall asleep.
Whenever I drove by her home, even if I was still hundreds of miles away, she would hear me, even if she was in bed, in her tent, or by the side of the river. She would then stagger to the middle of the road and look at me, with her hair blowing in the moment. I would roll down the car window and say hi to her, but she would always stick her face up to the window and ask for a kiss.
Lina's Penpal Reply to Ally
Hi! I am Lina. Hearing the story about you, I think you must be a very vivacious girl, and I think we will become good friends. I am looking forward to your coming to China. At that time, we can think about the future together.I have a younger brother also; he is in grade nine now and is the top of the class. I am proud of him. You said you like singing and dancing. In fact, I like them also. However, my dancing is not very good because I have no chance to learn it. So maybe I can learn it when I enter college and take part in the dance community. Now my primary task is learning and going to college. You should also work hard for your dream. When I talked with brothers and sisters in "Little Red Scarf", I found there are a lot of things to learn. And I understand the true meaning of an old saying in China: "One is never too old to learn”.
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The Inadequate Education in China
As school has been in session for the past three months for my peers and me, I find that the majority of us has been placed under a tremendous amount of stress. From AP Calculus to AP English to Physics Honors, we often find ourselves asking the same questions: Why did we do this to ourselves?, When will these matters ever play a part in our everyday lives?, and, my all-time favorite, What sleep?!
What we fail to recognize, however, is that we have been given such an amazing opportunity through acquiring a top-notch education from supportive teachers and parents. Unfortunately, this is not the case in other countries, such as China, where the lack of education is a prominent problem for many. Specifically in Gansu, China’s second poorest province, a stronger effort to increase investment in education and improve educational facilities is crucial to increase the amount of children who attend school.
In Gansu, education is a dominant factor in determining whether or not rural laborers have the capability to attain more profitable occupations outside of the farm. Unfortunately, children from the poorest households with the fewest amenities to support education or social welfare are the most at risk for an absence of education. Furthermore, the ones that are barely allowed to receive an education are thrown into schools with poor infrastructure and unqualified teachers. Now let me ask the question, does this sound fair? Is it justifiable that children who have no control over their economic backgrounds are forced to settle with an improper education?
Although this is still a major problem, steps have been taken to expand the accessibility of education to those who cannot attain it otherwise, regardless of the reason – travel restrictions, language barriers, limited transportation, or poverty. China’s reformation saw the decision of 1985, consisting of the requirement of a nine-year obligatory education, which rural areas financed through tuition and miscellaneous school fees. Additionally, the decision called for the increase in vocational instruction, reinforced educational leadership, promoted subsidies, and financed an overall reform by providing new resources.
Beginning of a Movement of Philanthropy
_Philanthropy is not simply about sums of money being donated from one party to another. On a greater level, it necessitates educating minds, stirring hearts, and inspiring action - all driven by a collective compassion to address issues of human need. One of our hopes is to engage a unique population with this essence of philanthropy: students. This past weekend, we were excited to sponsor a charity dinner - planned and executed by our high school interns - with the hope of initiating a movement of philanthropy amongst the youth in the Bay Area.
Nearly 80 guests, mostly consisting of high school and college students, gathered this past Saturday for the charity dinner. The interns led a variety of fun and informative activities aimed at raising awareness of the world’s social injustices, and even got to share some of their personal reflections from interning at the TFish Fund and the Chao Foundation. One intern, Emily, shared:
"We see the differences that distinguish them [the LRS children] from our routine lifestyles, and we have a better perspective of their dire needs. Their difficult living conditions are heartbreaking to see. Growing up in the Silicon Valley, an affluent area of an affluent nation, I feel a sense of guilt, and this sensation is uncomfortable. But, I believe that this guilt is accompanied by a sense of responsibility to reach out to these victims of social injustice."
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