IBO blogging in China

Feb 04, 2010

If you can read Mandarin, click here to hear the stories of Amway distributors volunteering in remote areas of China. The rest of us can follow the story below …

Since 2002, graduates from universities in China volunteer to teach in remote mountain area schools through the Amway China Education Aid Program. Why? In the words of one volunteer, it’s to “bring hope, as well as knowledge, to students, and gradually help them find the most necessary things, so that they can look for and find their way to a better future.”

Last month, six distributors and one employee walked a day in the volunteers’ shoes in Liannan, Guangdong. To be exact, they walked 72 hours in those shoes, and experienced some amazing things.

Amway distributors arrived at BaiJinDong Primary School, Yao Minority, with a mission to improve areas of the school and touch the lives of students. They first visited the home of 10 year old Xuehua Shen, who is passionate about learning, and it reflects in her school performance.

The distributors were surprised to learn that in addition to her school work, Xuehua also tends to the housework and other home duties as they only child living with her elderly grandmother. Yet, despite her home responsibilities, school is her first love and remains a priority.

Next, distributors were put to work at the school. In rainy, cold weather they spread piping, put up a water tank, repaired windows, and much more. They worked tirelessly, even with frozen hands and numb fingers, because the warmth in their hearts pushed them on. And when the water tank produced water for the time, the students cheered and enjoyed the not-so-routine task of finally washing their hands. Their hands were clean, yet still stung from the cold.

Students celebrated when they were each presented a pair of warm gloves, which for many were the first pair they’d owned. To her delight, a 45 year old mother with her baby nearby the school received a pair of gloves too. Distributors also spent time in classrooms watching students experience the creative learning tools they brought to share. The laughter of the students echoed off the classroom walls as they viewed an educational cartoon and learned their ABCs for the first time by skipping and playing games.

For these distributors, the hardest part of the 72 hour journey was leaving. But they left knowing this was not the last time students would find hope through Amway volunteers. They would be back to do more and more to help them find their way to a bright future.

Since 2002, Amway China has sponsored 22 institutions of higher education and organized 571 graduate volunteers to launch the Amway Education Aid Program in 21 poverty-stricken counties within 14 provinces and regions. More than 50,000 students benefit from this program each year. To read more stories about this volunteer program visit the story or watch our video on the Amway One by One website.

– From guest bloggers Lindsey Kerstetter and Lisa Xia Li.

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