In May, 2010 Peking University held their annual NGO Culture Festival, which allowed NGO organizations to exhibit themselves as well as encourage university students to volunteer for the charity businesses. As a charity organization, we always actively participate in exhibitions to make Care for Children known to more people.
As usual, I brought some publicity materials about CFC. I also took with me two sets of volunteer registration forms; one for recruiting CFC volunteers and the other for recruiting volunteers to go to Qinghai, where a disastrous earthquake had just cost thousands of lives. A Hong Kong-based charity planned to go there, and they asked us to help find some volunteers for them in mainland.
University students always take an active part in public welfare work. In universities, there are various associations concerned with environmental protection, caring for children, disease prevention and so on. Corresponding activities are regularly held, for publicity, advocating action, and recruiting volunteers. When disasters happened, it seems all the students are moved, as one can see from the sadness conveyed through BBS, popular donation boxes, and the latest casualty news put on publicity board. Therefore, when volunteers for charitable activities are needed, university students are always the most active group. As expected, after learning that we needed a group of volunteers to go to Qinghai, and for Care for Children, many students left there names on the forms. A girl who just graduated from high school showed great interest in going to Qinghai as a volunteer. I told her that we only accept sophomores or students of higher grades. Her mother was with her and she insisted leaving their names, "My daughter's English is OK and she's going abroad to attend college. She can sing and draw for the children and teach them English and Chinese." Touched by their enthusiasm I wrote the girl's name down.
At this NGO Culture Festival, I also got to know other NGO organizations. If I hadn't come to work for Care for Children, I wouldn't have known these organizations, the people they are helping, or the environmental problems they are fighting against. It's the first time I knew that there is a kind of disease the patients of which are beautifully called "China Dolls" but suffer painfully from fragile bones. Even a sneeze could cause fracture. I got to know that there's a special train which has restored the sight of many poor suffering from cataracts.
I introduced Care for Children's work to everyone I spoke to, telling them how we managed to help 200,000 abandoned and orphaned children to find foster care families and at the same time trained their foster parents, and staff in orphanages, to take care of these physically, and/or mentally and psychologically, injured children professionally and skillfully. But I couldn't tell all the moving stories of the children and their parents, and the miracles that happened to the children.
It's really warming to know that many people are working to make this world a better and kinder place. Care for Children gives me far more than a normal work experience. It also gives me a different way of understanding the world, a subtle way of discovering the kindness around us.