One year after the Yunnan Ludian Earthquake, the roads to the disaster areas were reconstructed. When I together with some volunteers from the Bayer China Volunteer Association, came to the resettlement area, it was the first time I had come to this area since the earthquake. I was prepared psychologically and had some scenes inside my head beforehand, such as of collapsed houses, resettlement sheds, bumpy roads. But when I actually saw the area, I still felt pretty shocked and touched by the rows of blue resettlement sheds, the locals who had lost their families, and the crude bathrooms and kitchens. I felt sympathy for people here and I thought that I, as a volunteer of the Bayer China Volunteer Association, should do something for the locals.
Bayer made the decision immediately after the earthquake not only to donate RMB 520,000 to the disaster areas to support the reconstruction work and the training of emergency treatment personnel, but also to provide psychological training for around 50 local social workers from One Foundation. The company further provided 1,500 hours of volunteer services . I felt lucky to be part of this meaningful activity.
What we did first was to visit local residents and get to know their real needs, on which basis we could then hold a series of activities, such as the program Making Science Make Sense with hands-on science teaching elements, a physical education class or aNew Year's Gala. I was deeply touched by the kids’ enthusiastic and curious eyes while I conducted the “Making Science Make Sense” class with them. They were eager to learn about science and to explore the surrounding world. I felt my responsibility to help them.
Before the earthquake, most of the young people here worked in the big cities, leaving the elderly, women and children behind to lead a boring life – just chatting with the neighbors and the children playing hide-and-seek games outdoors. This earthquake totally disrupted their life, and parents, who were focused on rebuilding their homes, had no time for their children. The children always helped do some housework or played in the sheds after class. What they ate was unhealthy food, and nobody had taught them about good health or helped them develop healthy life habits. Some teachers from the Ludian Shunxin Service Center undertook the work of looking after the children after class. These teachers could only do some simple activities, such as reading and telling stories to the children, due to a lack of human resources and facilities. But I realized what the children really needed was to find out more about natural phenomena, such as learning about science and developing good habits.
Therefore, my colleagues and I decided to design a series of interesting and highly hands-on classes for the children. Because of the long distance between each resettlement area, we decided not to specify a place for study, but to go ourselves with the relevant facilities and search for some safe areas, which could be changed into our temporary classroom.In 2017, volunteers from the Bayer China Volunteer Association are planning to go to Ludian three times. I will join again with “Bayer’s Mobile Lecture Room.” I firmly believe that through games and classes, children can acquire extensive extra-curricular knowledge, lay a good foundation for developing good life habits, and live a healthy and happy life. Only if they stay healthy and keep up their passion for exploring the world, can they have a future full of possibilities.
In 2017, volunteers from the Bayer China Volunteer Association are planning to go to Ludian three times. I will join again with “Bayer’s Mobile Lecture Room.” I firmly believe that through games and classes, children can acquire extensive extra-curricular knowledge, lay a good foundation for developing good life habits, and live a healthy and happy life. Only if they stay healthy and keep up their passion for exploring the world, can they have a future full of possibilities.