As part of ClearWorld Media’s new company policy where employees are encouraged to apply one day of the month to volunteering, on Monday May 21st, I (Suvi Rautio, Project Manager) joined the Rotary Club of Beijing to visit a small kindergarden and primary school of 166 students in Ping Quan county, Hebei province. The aim of the trip was to visit one of the 39 schools in Hebei province who have recently received a generous donation from the Beijing Rotary Club to build a library of 500 children’s books, one set of teacher’s books and a variety of educational toys. The donation was made possible with the help of The Library Project.
The overall journey time to and from Beijing was around seven hours, which took us past mountains and remnants of the Great Wall. After enjoying a delicious local (and organic!) lunch with the school principal and organizers of the Library Project, we were brought to the school and pleasantly welcomed by the kids. We were taken to an old dance room (which was to be replaced with the library and reading corner) and immediately got to work putting together the shelves. The students were so curious in what we were doing and before we knew it took over our role and swiftly got to stamping the books and organizing the shelves all on their own. In no time our work as library “builders” had been happily done for us. After a brief photo shoot, the school held a brief speech to thank the Rotary Club for their generous donation and visit to their county. Once all the formality of speeches were done, the students could finally choose a book of their choice, which ranged from short stories to history and science books, and enjoy a short reading break.
The overall excitement of the kids made our day and to think that we could return back to Beijing knowing that what was an empty dance hall before our arrival now consists of a range of educational and leisurely books and reading corner, means it is one step to improving the livelihood of rural China made possible with the donations from the Rotary Club and professionalism of the Library Project.
For more information about The Beijing Rotary Club’s contribution to The Library Project visit here!
Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Over 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographic areas. But they also have 270,000 Interactors, 170,000 Rotaractors, 150,000 Rotary Community Corps members. The main objective of Rotary is service – in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today’s most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. During and after World War II, Rotarians became increasingly involved in promoting international understanding. In 1945, 49 Rotary members served in 29 delegations to the United Nations Charter Conference. Rotary still actively participates in UN conferences by sending observers to major meetings and promoting the United Nations in Rotary publications. In the area of medicine, Rotary has been in the forefront of the campaign to eradicate polio from the world.
For more information about the Beijing Rotary Club visit http://rotaryclub-beijing.org/
The Library Project believes in education to bringing about change and work passionately towards making this happen by providing donations of books and libraries to under-financed schools and orphanages in China. Started in 2006 with five friends, including founder Tom Stader, in two orphanages in Dalian, China, they now have over 600 libraries in China and Vietnam combined and have donated over 360,000 books ; 668 libraries; impacted over 200,000 children; trained just under 9,000 librarians.
The Library Project provides a wide range of local language children’s full color and high print quality books including: history, science, short stories, fairy tales, books for very young readers, children’s dictionaries, children’s reference books, and an assortment of comic books. Each school also receives a full set of children’s encyclopedias for older students. The Library Project has plans to donate in Vietnam in 2012 and Cambodia in 2013.
For more information visit http://www.library-project.org/