We have some amazing supporters across the world, and we are always extremely grateful for their support to our work. In Beijing, China, at the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China (RDFZ), we have a fantastic group of young supporters who have formed an ‘FI Club’ – and we are very pleased indeed to publish this guest blog from the current leader of that club, Ms. Cherrie Zheng, on how she became involved and on the future plans for the club.
“When I first got to know Friends-international, I was in my first year of high school. Student leaders of the FI club in my school came to my classroom for recruiting new members. Thinking about being a children-saver, I decided to give this club a hit, as I really love adorable kids, and consider it cruel to let these young, rising potential powers suffer in deep predicaments. Honestly, I did apply for a bunch of clubs at that time, being lured by their fancy recruiting videos and introductions, but FI became the one I decided not to quit at last. I’d never been aware of any other charitable organization that has the same running mechanism as FI does— I was, am, and will be attracted by how this organization decides to help the children out. FI doesn’t merely asking people to donate, to show pity to the poor, which is a very awful and ineffective way to do, but it is trying to help these poor families radically, to improve their abilities to alter their life by themselves.
In this way, FI started the ChildSafe campaign to protect children, and with their income generation project is aiming to give poor people opportunities to learn how to make products like bookmarks, postcards, jewelries, bags, wallets… By selling out these products, they are able to make money with their own hands, rather than simply accepting charity. We also make these products available here at school for teachers and students to buy, and thus while enjoying having these products, they also spread their kind-hearted spirits.
I attended several charitable events in FI club before I became the club leader: selling ChildSafe products on campus, holding a tie-dye charity bazaar… Hence, when I became the leader later, I already possessed the basic knowledge of running this club— I surely have to give a big thanks to the former leader of FI club, Hermi Wang, for making me the current leader of such an awesome club; she allows me to enhance my significance of existence in this world, and gives me the best leader opportunity ever. Besides continuing the “traditions” of this club, I have developed further on club activities. We currently have several future plans, and are on our way for preparations.
Firstly, in order to enlarge the potential customer scopes, rather than merely focus on teachers and students on campus, we are planning to open an online shop for selling ChildSafe products specifically, and thus allowing more people to know FI, to care about marginalized children. Secondly, we are now cooperating with a local English audio book recording program, and they have agreed to let us pass the recorded books to Cambodian children who are in connection with FI, so that more available learning resources can be available for these kids. Thirdly, online video guest speaking sessions may be held with the support of James from FI, and the topics may be on child issues, working systems of FI, ways to do an efficient volunteer work… Students here are really trying to engage themselves into such charitable activities, but it seems that they will usually find it difficult to keep these activities on the right track. Lastly, a photography and essay competition will also be brought out for youth in China with the theme related to “helping kids”, so that more people can be aware of this issue, and more people can know FI. I hope this can be a great interaction with ordinary citizens who may never care about child safety issues before, but are good at writing or taking photos.
There is certainly a lot for us to keep doing, and we really can’t figure all these out without the help of the FI Support Office, so, special thanks to James and Rathanak.
Together, building futures for children, with our global friends!”
Sincere regards from China.