Archive for November, 2012

On Location: Beijing, China, Day 3

Friday, 30 November, 2012

The last couple of blog posts tell of our visit to a remote village in China, learning about the challenges of children whose parents have moved to the cities looking for better work.

Today, we spent time with children who moved with their parents to the cities as their parents seek jobs and economic opportunity.

These “migrant children” have significant needs related to education. Children of migrant families don’t have access to the same government-funded schooling as their urban peers, and need assistance from others to bridge the gap.

Amway is helping by building libraries and supporting other programs for children. We visited the Beijing Hongshan School, one of the recipients of this support.

Victoria Han and Amy Wu joined us. Both are Founders Council level Amway distributors, and big supporters of the Amway urban education program called Project Sunshine. They spent time with students in the new school library, and shared their stories with us.

We have much to consider and much more to share as we wrap up our trip to China. Look for more posts in the weeks to come, as well as a video that will tell the full story of the need of migrant children in China, and what Amway is doing to mobilize others to help.

Big thanks to our hosts Paula Peng, Rowley Luo, and the entire team at Amway China and the Amway Charity Foundation.

On location: Long Ma Village, Nanning, China, Day 2

Thursday, 29 November, 2012

We returned to the Long Ma Primary School, another three-hour drive out of the city, across the great fields of sugarcane, and through winding mountain passes.

We stopped along the way for a birds-eye view of the villages, and watched the many people going back and forth with their harvests and produce, each working hard to secure a better life.

Two married couples visited the village today and volunteered – Jack Zheng & Lucy Zhou, as well as Wang Cheng An & Yin Jianping. Both are Founders Council level Amway distributors and significant supporters of the Spring Sprout program. They toured classrooms, served meals, played games and distributed toys.

We had a chance conduct interviews of those in charge of the school, including the county mayor, as well as the Amway leaders. We even talked to some students who were “left behind” by parents that sought work in the cities.

There are some amazing partnerships happening in China through the leadership of Amway in the rural areas. This is only a glimpse, which we will expand into the full story in the weeks to come.

Tomorrow, we visit the city and learn what is being done to help children who join their parents in leaving remote village.

 

On location: Long Ma Village, Nanning, China, Day 1

Wednesday, 28 November, 2012

After hours of planes, shuttles and busses, we arrived in Nanning, China, then traveled further on to the Long Ma Village, through winding, bumpy roads surrounded by tropical hills.

Sugar cane takes up nearly every acre of arable land in this lush, green area of southern China. The fields are mostly maintained by older people and the few working adults have not moved to the big cities to find work.

For those who do follow China’s economic boom in urban areas to improve their opportunities, they have to decide whether to take their children with them. Many are left behind with grandparents and relatives in quiet towns and villages, where parents send their earnings.

This is the focus of our first visit, and after winding, bumpy roads through beautiful green hills, we arrive at the Long Ma Primary School, where at least 50% of the 361 children have parents away in the cities.

There, we met Jefferson Ren and Miao Dongmei, two Amway Founders Council-level distributors who have been big supporters of the Spring Sprout program, which aims to ensure that children left behind in rural areas have adequate nutrition and are well cared for.

A partnership between Amway, local schools and local and central governments, is outfitting school kitchens and enhancing them with staff and nutritious food.

We spent some time with the students, staff and Amway volunteers, learning more of the story.

Stay tuned for more!

 

Wheels up for China!

Monday, 26 November, 2012

We’ll be traveling to Beijing and Nanning this week, meeting some of our top Amway distributor leaders who have reached the Founders Council level of achievement, and are highly engaged in helping children.

There are two projects we will focus on in our travels, all supported by the Amway Charity Foundation. The first is called the Spring Sprout Project, which helps malnourished children in rural areas of the country. The second is called Project Sunshine, which provides resources to underserved schools in urban areas.

Can’t wait to share these stories when we return!

In good company

Friday, 23 November, 2012

The Amway One by One Campaign for Children is largely a grassroots movement driven by Amway distributors and employees worldwide. Empowering and supporting our people to help address needs for children in their local communities is highly effective for a global, diverse company like Amway.

But how do we measure our impact?

We’ve been able to track $166 million raised, 2.5 million volunteer hours, and 9.5 million children impacted. These are great measures that demonstrate scale and quantitative reach. We also channel our efforts into four issue categories to ensure we are focused: LIVE (basic needs), LEARN (education), ACHIEVE (special needs) and PLAY (access to recreation and play spaces).

But what difference is it making?

Most companies are struggling with this same question. Amway recently joined a pilot group through the Association of Corporate Contribution Professionals to try a measurement model established by the London Benchmarking Group. Widely used among major companies in Europe, the model looks at your total inputs, the simple outcomes and leverage of these social investments, and the long-term impacts that they achieve.

There are so many needs and so many ideas for how to make a difference. Amway One by One will continue to seek tools and partnerships so we can ensure that we are mobilizing the most resources we can, and also making the most lasting change in our local communities.

Universal Children’s Day

Tuesday, 20 November, 2012

Today, November 20, is called Universal Children’s Day by the United Nations.

Every day should be a children’s day, and every day you can probably find an Amway person around the world helping children.

Still, there is some value in commemorating a single day with acts of service and recognition. In fact, many countries around the world have established their own Children’s Day and use it to highlight social issues and opportunities for all of us to help improve the world for our most vulnerable citizens and future leaders.

Remember November 20. Next year at this time, we will be doing something very special on this date.

But for today, please give … volunteer … advocate … learn. There are many children out there that need your help, and no act is too small to begin.

Learning through experience

Monday, 19 November, 2012

Sixth-grade student Wang Wenbo never thought he could have such interesting afterschool classes: reading club, making kites, making puppets and learning musical dramas. Even for urban children in China, some of these courses are hard to come by.

Since Spring, the Amway Charity Foundation has been supporting hands-on classes that expand the learning of underprivileged children. They are called “One by One Interest Classes.”

Wang counts the days until Friday, when he and his schoolmates from a migrant school in the suburbs of Shanghai go downtown to attend classes.

Wang and his family moved to Shanghai when he was just five years old so his parents could find work. He kept up on his studying whenever they moved, spending a lot of time reading and building his interest in the world around him.

The One by One Interest Classes offer a way for Wang and others to now experience many of the things that, before, they only read about in books.

This Friday, it’s kite making, and as they learn, their kites begin to soar … and so do their imaginations.

Thanks to Vivian Yuan Yuan and Christy Xin for sharing this story.

Disaster relief from New York to the Philippines

Friday, 16 November, 2012

 

A delivery is on its way to Easter Seals centers in New York and New Jersey, with 64,000 Amway products to help local families, from laundry detergent to food bars to personal care items. Amway Independent Business Owners will help with the distribution.

This is phase two or our disaster relief efforts, and adds to the $70,000 raised on our website by Amway IBOs and employees for the Red Cross, which will be matched by Amway.

A little over a year ago, a similar effort was underway.

Incessant monsoon rains flooded the streets in Barangays Sumilang and Bagong Ilog in Pasig cities in the Philippines. The government declared a state of emergency. Residents left their houses, businesses and farm lands to seek for shelter. Clean water and food were scarce. 

Amway Philippines General Manager, Leo Boon Wang, led a group of employees to help 300 families affected by the rain. They rolled their sleeves, put on their rubber boots and braved the pouring rain to deliver survival bags full with emergency items. 

Working with local government, Amway Philippines volunteers did what they could to provide immediate relief to those families in need.

It is reassuring to know that when major disasters strike in our communities, Amway people are there to help out.

Kicking Since 2002

Wednesday, 14 November, 2012

About ten years ago, in anticipation of the launch of the Amway One by One Campaign for Children, we looked around the world to see what our people were doing to help children in their local communities. 

In South Korea, we found a small soccer program with a big story.

Soccer is wildly popular across Korea, and many children grow up playing. In fact, when we visited a Child Welfare Center in Seoul last year, children in the crowded neighborhood played on the roof of their building.

Yet not every child can afford the team fees and equipment to compete with their peers, particularly groups of families from different countries that may not understand the language and culture, and that struggle financially.

The Nutrilite Soccer Teams (named after Amway’s Nutrilite brand of vitamins) was established in 2002 as a sports and nutrition program for children of ethnically diverse families in South Korea. The children who were often misunderstood and suffered from discrimination were given a chance to join their peers and develop a common bond, creating a build bridges across international cultures.

Today, the program is still going strong, and was recently profiled in Joongang-ilbo.

Play on!

Immersive experience in Tibet

Monday, 12 November, 2012

“I thought environmental pollution in Tibet was caused by natural disasters, while environmental pollution in a big city like Guangzhou was caused by artificial factors. When I got to Tibet, I learned something different.”

These words came from Zou Aitong, a student of Guangya Experimental School in Guangzhou. Recently, she and 30 other students joined 11 peers in Nyingchi for a four-day workshop called the Green Print Program, organized by Amway and environmental education partners.

Nyingchi is a prefecture in southeastern Tibet in western China, containing some of the world’s highest mountains and deepest canyons. It is considered as one of the few pure lands on earth that have not been disturbed by humans.

Guided by environmental experts, 41 students measured wind speed and ultraviolet radiation, drew maps, studied mountain ecology and tried out solar-powered model car racing.

For the first time, these students from Guangzhou experienced the power of nature and the potential threat of pollution. Meanwhile, students from Nyingchi learned how to protect their beautiful lands.

Thanks to Vivian Yuan Yuan and Christy Xin for sharing this story.