Chinese volunteers bring back happiness to Syrian refugee children
By Huang Peizhao, Jing Yue from People’s Daily
Wang Ziming, a fresh college graduate, together with three other Chinese volunteers, came to a primary school in Kfifan, a small village in north central Lebanon this July, where they taught percussion music, painting, and Chinese calligraphy to Syrian refugee children, in the hope to ease their trauma brought by the war.
“The war took away educational resources from most of these children,” Wang told the People’s Daily, saying that despite of this, the stories told by the children about life and death, nostalgia, family, and dreams impressed him a lot.
On painting classes, almost all the works finished by the children had similar themes—colorful houses or Syrian national flag, he added.
Wang and his fellows worked there as volunteers under the project organized by Common Future Fund, a non-governmental organization committed to international volunteer project services under the guidance of China’s national level public-raising foundation, China Children and Teenagers’ Fund.
By organizing volunteer activities including teaching and cultural exchanges, Common Future Fund intends to help promote the well-being of the Syrian refugee families and the underprivileged families in the host countries.
By keeping accompany with these children, the Chinese volunteers soothed the fear and sorrow of the little victims of war, and lighted their hope for a bright future.
“Even though countless sad stories happened on every inch of the land of the country, these children deserve happiness. Where there are smiles, there is hope,” Wang said, adding that they were glad that they could offer some help.
“What gathers us here is nothing but the hope that we can help to alleviate the damage of wars to people, especially children,” said Liu Yiqiang, the initiator of the volunteer project.
The Chinese volunteers are warmly welcomed by heads of local schools and orphanages in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. An executive of a Turkish orphanage said excitedly that these friends from China initiated a great undertaking as they were there to care for the children like mothers, sisters, and brothers.
Guo Jiayun, a volunteer in Jordan, shared a story in her journal. After a painting class, a little boy asked her to do a favor to write two Chinese characters on his painting, and the words he chose are “China”.
“With every step we take on this land, we feel heavy responsibilities and know that we still have a long way to go. In the eyes of every child we have met here, we see aspiration for peace, knowledge, and the unknown. Smile is more powerful than tears,” Guo wrote.
Chinese volunteers and Syrian children pose for a picture. (Photo by Huang Peizhao from People’s Daily)