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Students: Keep Up the Good Work

January, 2011
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Have you ever asked the question - why should I volunteer for community service or support charity?

Some answers could be:

A). To make a difference and help others feels great;

B). This is compulsory for my IB CAS hours;

C). This is a school-organized project, and other students have participated;

D). This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen bonds with the local community, while helping those less fortunate.

E). Engaging in community service also leads to personal development as the activities you engage in help you define your strengths, weaknesses and interests.

F). Perhaps a community project inspires you to look into a career in education or social work.

Everyone may have different reasons to get involved in community service or charity work. The reasons might be less important as long as we all reach out to help.

Here are some examples of students who have already taken the initiative and are helping people.

This August, when Alan Kuo heard about the Daxing Orphanage from his mom, he decided to go there and teach the children for one week. Three of his friends happily joined him and they call themselves the "Creative Team".

There were only ten children at the Daxing Orphanage. Some of the orphans have heart disease, some of them have cerebral palsy and others have problems such as partial blindness or a cleft lip.

"We all agreed that one day there is going to be four classes and each of us will teach one class. There will be also snack time between every two classes," said Alan. He teaches the children four lessons, including English and Gymboree, Music and Math.

Because the children are very young, some of their lessons cannot be taught well. So they just picked the lessons that are good for the children and after the day they discussed and changed the lessons to better meet the needs of the children. In English class, he taught the children the English letters C and P. He brought papers printed with different letters and asked the children to circle only the letters C and P, and then count them. He also brought used items with the letters C and P on them to show the children. In the Gymboree class, Alan brought an item of Gymboree that he had used when he was little. He thought the children would love it because he used to love it a lot. He and his friends blew bubbles and let the children play with the bubbles. They enjoyed it very much because they had never seen the colorful bubbles before. In the music class, he brought different instruments such as violin, clarinet, guitar, flute, harmonica and drumsticks. The children had never seen so many musical instruments before, and Alan and his friends introduced and played every instrument so that they knew the different sounds of these instruments. He also gave each child a whistle and they performed the song "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" together.

"They used their whistles while my friends, my sister and I used these instruments. Although we didn’t perform very well together, the song still sounds great to me."

From this experience, Alan feels he has grown a lot. I don’t think we should look after them because of their deformity. I think we should give them more love. The thing I can do now is to play with them more often.


BWYA senior Bernard Liang’s project is to help some poor children in Shanxi Province. These kids, aged 7 to 16, either lost one or both of their parents or are disabled, so they cannot afford their school education.

“My plan is to have more international school students to be pen pals with these children by writing letters to the poor children in Shanxi once or twice a month and sponsoring the children 500RMB each year,” said Bernard. “Through the letters we are showing kids that there are people caring for you even if they are not beside you.”

So far, he has already got a couple of students signed up for the project. He hopes to introduce the program to other international schools in Beijing.

“There are so many poor children in China, and we cannot help all of them. By starting to help one or two, we are building the awareness among the community so that more children can be helped. To help these children makes me feel happy inside,” he said.


cisb-1sOn the weekend of the 24th of September, Chris Du and Tony Zhan, Grade 10 students at the Canadian International School of Beijing, along with other 13 high school students from CISB and IST (the International School of Tianjin) took part in a student-leadership weekend trip to Hebei Province to explore a local village and school. This trip was lead by Borja Gutierrez-Espinosa who serves as the China Program Manager of Free the Children and Me to We in China. The objective of the trip was to help and teach students of an elementary school in the small village of Gufupu in Hebei.

During the weekend, students had the opportunity to interact with the local school children, who were mostly in Grades 1 and 2. Chris and Tony taught the children English about numbers and animals and played ball games with the school kids.

“The school is very poor and small with only 6 classrooms for about 60 children from kindergarten to Grade 2. Their teachers are all volunteers and the kids don’t even have textbooks,” Tony recalled.

After they were back at school, both boys thought to do some fundraising for the village school. Soon they got an idea: to set up a game centre for their schoolmates to play games every Monday at lunchtime.

"Everybody likes to play games, so we took advantage of that and set up the game centre so that everybody wanted to come," said Tony. "They can play games like soccer or American football or any game that is suitable for pre-teens." They charge 15 RMB for a student each time. Usually, there are 5 to 7 students coming to the game centre and the boys can make about 100 RMB. So far, they have raised over 1000 RMB.

“We cannot go there often to teach them, so maybe we can use the money to buy them some books to read, and pens and pencils as well as paper to draw on,” said Chris.

Their advice for other students is: Try to help others, and be creative.


CISB 11th grader Natalie Wong joined the Global Issues Network at school and her committee is called “Animal Shelter Committee”.

"Animals are a human’s best friend. I like pets and l want to help them," said Natalie. She has raised a pet at home for seven years. In her previous school she visited animal shelters during field trips, and she felt it was a very good idea.

To raise money, they organized Dress Casual Day on campus. CISB students can donate 10 RMB to them and then they don’t have to wear their school uniform on the day. She has raised 7747 RMB in total.

“We will give the money to local animal shelters for them to buy pet food or vaccinations,” said the girl. After checking through the local pet shelters, Natalie found the Ai Dog & Ai Cats pet shelter, which is most in need of money. She decided to donate the money to them. “We plan to donate the money in mid January.”


Laura Ramoso
from Italy is a 10th grader at Beijing BISS International School. Laura has been busy selling apples on campus recently.

“The Children of Madaifu charity project asks for volunteers to sell apples in different places such as schools or work-places. I wanted to do it, and I said yes,” said the girl. “I’m going to sell apples using order forms and direct selling. I hope to help the Children of Madaifu by selling the apples and also promoting the charity so people want to buy them.”

She just received a very big order for all of the apples she has - approximately 400 apples. At 5RMB an apple the total amount of money raised would be 2000RMB.

“All of my friends and teachers supported me by buying the apples and even helped me sell them,” said Laura. “I think it’s very important for lucky people like us to help others who are less fortunate.”


ycis-charity-boy-sLast year, Lee Won Jong, a senior at Yew Chung International School of Beijing, and all the Year 12 students went to Guilin, where they visited a migrant school and taught the children English and organized many activities with them.

When Lee came back to Beijing, he decided to continue this work to support a migrant school. He found a migrant school near YCIS, where there are around 500 students (Grade 1 to 6) who are mostly from other places such as Sichuan, Henan and Anhui.

Lee hopes to help migrant school students experience happiness and enjoy better educational facilities and environments so that they can fulfill their dreams in the future.

“There are three objectives for our migrant school program,” said Lee. “The first objective is to teach them happiness. The second objective is to bring them happiness. The third objective is to convince them that they are the most important people when we are together.”

The Migrant School Program is run through stations. For example, they ran five stations for their latest visit: Soccer, Basketball, a variation of the ‘Simon Says’ game, Arts, and a Rhythm game.

He expected to do many activities for the children during the first visit to the migrant school. Before they went there, Lee and his teammates discussed how they could create the most effective activities to teach migrant school students to learn English sentences within a limited amount of time. At the school, they spent more than three hours and taught the children nouns and verbs to form simple sentences that could be used often in their daily lives. They did arts, paper origami, soccer, singing, and puzzles designed to help the children learn English and at the same time have fun.

“I saw the warmest and friendliest smiles that I had ever experienced or seen before from them when I was with the children,” said Lee. “I realized that what these children most need is attention and care. While we were together, we noticed that they were always smiling; they seemed to enjoy the idea that there were people who cared about them.”

All the YCIS grade 12 students participated when they had their first migrant school visit. However, Lee wanted to give opportunities to the younger secondary students. Now more than fifty students have joined him and participated in the program.

“We divided the work by ability. Students who were good at art led the art station, and students who were good at sports led the soccer and basketball stations. We wanted to create opportunities for the students who were interested in participating to share their skills, talents, and interests with the children.”


“The importance of ‘kids helping kids’ is huge! One of the best ways to help the world become a better place is to take action in helping another human being,” said Karen Shrimpton, School Counselor of Beijing BISS International School.

“This is more than just giving monetary donations, but of course the cash is also important. If students can be involved in baking goods for bake sales as well as supporting the charity by buying the baked goodies, even better.”

She believes the school should help to raise awareness that there are many people in the world who are less fortunate and support the initiatives that come from individual teachers as well as individual students. 

Teachers can create opportunities for awareness and discussion about charity and community service in the classroom and parents can do the same at home. Particularly when their child has the opportunity to bring something in from home or go on a visit to one of the orphanages or foster homes, it’s important for the students to have the chance to reflect on their feelings immediately after one of these visits (preferably in the bus on the return trip).

“I would encourage the students to get involved with one of the organizations already set up at school. They can also suggest to their parents that they get involved as a family to support one of the many charitable organizations in Beijing,” said Karen. “Remember, the actions of one person CAN make a difference!”

By Xing Yangjian

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  1. March 25th, 2012 at 08:06 | #1

    Is it alright to reference part of this on my page if I post a backlink to this page?

  2. March 27th, 2012 at 22:23 | #2

    YES, please go ahead.

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