Love travels thousands of miles across moving clouds and flowing waters
-Anzheng Charity Foundations’s Dream Project enters Weiyuan Po’er Elementary School in Gansu Province
Text/Wang Guiping from Brand Management Center
The charity donation, organized by the Cultural Department of the enterprise, was held in the lobby on the first floor of Anzheng Fashion Group’s headquarters in Shanghai on June 6th 2013. All Anzheng staff contributed their care and love for the children in Po’er Primary School in Weiyuan County, Gansu Province. On July 4th 2013, three charity ambassadors from Anzheng Fashion Group travelled thousands of miles to Gansu Province to deliver Anzheng’s love and compassion to the children in Po’er Primary School.
Travelled thousands of miles just for you
At two O’clock on July 4th, three charity ambassadors from Anzheng Fashion Group (Gao Min from Executive Office, Yan Fangfang from JZ Brand Project Department, and Ni Rongting from IMM Brand Project Department) and two other employees brought the love and affection from all Anzheng staff and set foot on the journey to Gansu. Although the plane was late, we managed to arrive in Lanzhou at 9pm. After getting off the plane, to their great surprise, it was still bright like day! We were totally amazed. Later we went on board a bus and arrived at downtown of Lanzhou City an hour and half later. Totally exhausted, we found a place and settled down, waiting to hurry to our destination-Weiyuan County-early next morning.
Early next morning, we went to Lanzhou bus station and hurried to Weiyuan. It took three hours’ drive from Lanzhou to Weiyuan. All the way, deserving the name of the Great Northwest, we saw the yellow earth dotted with specks of greenness, unable to conceal the vast land of yellow earth.
On the way, any vehicle passing by would kick up the yellow dust “high into the air” and the dust and dirt would soon fill the entire air. Although tall trees are not to be found on loess plateau, the watermelons growing in the yellow sand looked rather attractive. Seeing the watermelon lying quietly in the field for the first time in our lives, we screamed in great amazement until our eyes became sore and the charity ambassadors dozed off. The bus drove all the way to the east. When we woke up, what we saw was not sky filled with yellow dust any more but green trees and grass on the mountains and plains, which made us wonder if we have arrived in grassland full of endless greenness in summer. Occasionally, white walls with red roof tiles in the green fields flashed by on after another outside the window, presenting a most harmonious picture.
For the first time we saw the rape flowers blooming in July, as well as the potatoes full of purple and white flowers. Due to the high altitude and the bumpy ride, our charity ambassadors started to show symptoms of dizziness. After three hours, we eventually arrived in the downtown area of Weiyuan County. Resting for less than half an hour, our charity ambassadors again hurried towards Po’er Primary School. Although attacked by dizziness and nausea again, one of our charity ambassadors just swallowed some water and threw himself/herself into work immediately.
From Shanghai to Weiyuan, travelling over 2000 kilometers, our charity ambassadors, having overcome the difficulties of late flight and physical discomfort, have been looking forward to the moment to meet with the children in Po’er Primary school, hoping to give them the most genuine care and warmest love. For them, they went thousands of miles with bravery and perseverance.
The most genuine love and the deepest gratitude
We arrived at Po’er Primary School at 3:50 in the afternoon. By the time we arrived, children have already been dressed neatly and queuing to wait for our arrival. Upon arrival, they clapped their hands uniformly, which greatly moved us and made us at loss at the same time. Standing under the sun, they waited for our arrival. We did not know how much we could help them, but we could tell that how much they were in need of help.
We saw the walls of the school have collapsed, and they had to pile up with stones. Teachers have forbidden children from coming close to such walls as rocks might slide down any time. In two of the classrooms the author saw podium stacked with rocks, roof made from thatches, and “patched tables and desks” that have been damaged and repaired again and again. At the back of one of the classrooms there were tens of stoves and heating pipes with varied sizes for keeping warm in winter. In winter, here the lowest temperature could drop around ten degrees below zero. Only a few stoves would not be sufficient enough to chase away the severe cold weather. Although by now it was already spring, the frost bites on children’s hands could still be seen.
Our charity ambassadors brought school supplies tied with red ribbons and filled with best wishes from all Anzheng employees. Holding their school supplies, children’s faces were beaming under the blue sky. Under such remarkable picture, all the hardships from the long travel instantly got paid off.
On the same day, children interacted with the charity ambassadors, painting “my dream” together. When we first entered the classroom, we found all the children sitting in their seats, quietly and cautiously. In order to encourage them to blend into the interactive activity, three ambassadors divided children into groups of three or five and lined up all the desks and chairs together. Some children sat around a picture without uttering any word. With the guidance and explanation of the ambassadors, they started to notice that although the picture looked good, it was but outlines and sketches and hasn’t been colored yet. Ambassadors told them that: “You will have to color in the picture. Take up the color pens you have and color the picture into how you like it to be because it represents your future and your dream. You will have to fulfill your dreams with actions.” Although cautious in the beginning, children became active eventually and grabbed the color pens and started coloring in. Some were chirpy and giving oral instructions, others were drawing. Occasionally they would look back other the progress made by other groups. Soon, the group led by ambassador Ni Rongting finished first, unveiling a wonderful picture in front of all of us. Children grabbed the pen with their favorite colors and signed their names on the picture and started taking a photo of the picture one after another.
They may not have the opportunity to enjoy an abundant and wealthy life as urban children do, however their innocence and joy has not been reduced in any way because of the poverty. They were carefully painting their future and welcoming their future with the most enterprising hearts. The smiling faces left in the picture became the most beautiful souvenir for this trip.
A pair of shoulders holds up a family’s hope
After the donation, led by the teachers, the charity ambassadors visited the homes of the poorest families. Following Wang Yahong, a 5th-grade student, we went to her home. We almost travelled all the way up the hill for about half an hour, which kept us panting due to lack of exercise and we had to half-crawl sometimes. The dirt road, after being washed by the rain water, was extremely bumpy. You had to walk on such road no matter in sunny days or rainy days. We came to a small river. Because it didn’t have any bridge, we had to walk on a wooden bridge simply made from three logs and the water flowed above the wooden bridge. We kept wondering how children could pass the bridge in rainy days.
All the way we climbed up mountains and crossed rivers. Usually it took Wang Yahong about half an hour, however today it took us over forty minutes. When we eventually see her home, we were totally shocked. This home had nothing but four walls with mud piled around the house and formed a yard. In a charcoaled mud house sat her mum with leg disability sitting on the floor to tidy up the wild grass to be fed to the cattle; her white-haired dad was sunbathing the millet; and her six-or-seven-year-old sister was doing homework by herself. In an even shorter barn was the only property of the family-a donkey. The entire yard was filled with mosquitoes and flies. This is Wang Yahong’s home. This nine-year-old girl has suffered too much. She was the only hope of the family, assuming the responsibility of looking after the lives of the whole family at such young age.
Although still going to school and only nine years of age, she had to worry about the three meals of the whole family. As mom had problems with legs and sister was still too young, every day she had to cook breakfast before heading to school and come back to cook lunch during lunch break, and again cook dinner after finishing school. Day after day, she knew her responsibility well in face of old parents and young sister. She was also aware that she was the hope of the entire family. That was why she has been working so hard and excelled in her study.
Facing this child and her family, we understood her difficulties and were deeply moved by her strong will. In face of this child with such persevering mind, we had all the reasons to believe that she could undoubtedly create a bright future, which might be full of hardships but would sure end up with brilliance.
Our flight was supposed to be at 20:20 on July 6th but we were not boarded until 23:00-“the whole journey had to be covered by flight delays”. At 2am, we returned Shanghai with exhausted bodies but affected and purified souls after three days’ hard work. The three-day charity travel was not easy but we harvested happiness and perseverance. We hope to help more people in need in the future and look forward to more and more people joining such charitable activities, and look forward to the next “Dream Project” trip of Anzheng Charity Foundation!