Two International students from the Contemporary Development of China (CDC) program, School of Social Development and Public Policy (SSDPP) at Beijing Normal University volunteer for China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA).
Rabina KC Baral and Pauline Munah Ponyene are International students from Nepal and Liberia respectively. They are members of the 2015 cohort for the CDC program and final year students. After attending several lectures about “Volunteering” the two students got a chance to practice and experience volunteering in China during the third the Great Walker hiking fundraiser event organized by CFPA on September 10 this year. Interestingly, more than 3,000 people participated in the event, walking either 50 kilometers or 100 kilometers continuously. At the same time, more than 3000 volunteers served along the routes. They came from all sectors of the society, including CFPA staff, college students, doctors, nurses, and emergency rescue personnel. SSDPP International students, Rabina and Pauline, form part of the International Development Department team of CFPA to serve the walkers with snacks and water to support their journey. The walkers also found it attractive to meet foreign students and requested to take many quick selfies with the students.
In total, all the participants fundraised more than 4.71 million Chinese yuan this year. Donations will be used to purchase winter clothing for the impoverished children in the Guizhou Province, as well as to build kitchens in those children’s schools and to fund Tongban Project, designed to provide care and services to the kids in countryside whose parents work in other cities. CFPA first organized the Great Walker hiking fundraiser in fall 2014. It was designed as an opportunity to invite CFPA donors and the public to participate in an outdoor event that served as a platform for networking and raising awareness of the existing programs of CFPA. More importantly, the Great Walkers participants have to mobilize their friends and families to donate to the event. Donations will also go towards other poverty alleviation projects.
Additionally, the two international student volunteers expressed their joy after the event, and both of them received certificates for participating.
Rabina: “I have learned about volunteering in class and having this experience is really great for me! I enjoy volunteering and I feel happy to work and serve others”. Rabina is one of the three students (2015cohort) from Nepal in the CDC Master program.
Pauline added “I have served as a volunteer many times in my country. This opportunity to serve as a volunteer especially in another country (China) makes me happy. Also, it has given me more understanding about fund raising and motivations to serve others.” Pauline is a Liberian student (2015 Cohort) in the CDC Master program and an Intern at China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA).
CFPA was founded in March 1989 and it is an organization specialized in poverty alleviation both in China and overseas. It was rated as the top 5A foundation in China by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in 2008 and 2013. The organization has been well recognized by the public through its proper internal governance, project management and outstanding social performances. It has also become a philanthropic organization with the largest scale and greatest social impact in poverty reduction. CFPA is providing education, health, community developments and disaster relief support through programs in 15 countries.
Written By Pauline Munah Ponyene (2015 Cohort)
Photos by Rabina K C Baral (2015 Cohort)