Donor, Vision Trip Member (November 2011)
CRRS always uses the fund raised wisely – focusing on helping more students instead of inviting famous movie stars or celebrities to be our ambassadors. Most importantly, CRRS believes our sponsored students and teachers can feel and appreciate more deeply of our support, compassion and love when they realize that those who visit them are in fact their sponsors. Every year, CRRS organizes two self-funded vision trips to Guangxi to monitor the sponsorship programs and to visit the students.
After supporting and promoting CRRS for many years, I joined a self-funded trip to experience the visit for the first time in November 2011. A group of 17 (including staff, members and donors) flew to Nanning from Hong Kong where we started on a 29-hour bus ride to get to Loon-Ling in the Region of Baise – the most northwestern part of Guangxi. Then, we travelled eastward to Rongshui, Longshen and Guilin. Besides meeting with our sponsored university students in Nanning and Guilin, we visited the students of a total of 8 schools in 3 of the 7 rural counties that are sponsored by CRRS. We also visited the family of four sponsored students.
“Home Visits” are the most touching and memorable experiences. I was saddened when I saw their shabby homes and poor living conditions – without hot water and heat. Could you imagine how it feels when you have to do washing or take a bath with icy cold water during the winter season? All the students are from very poor families, many of whom are orphans or from single-parent family or with disabled parent(s). In the rural areas, with an average annual income of less than RMB$300(about CAD$45), many fathers and/or bread-winners have no choice but to leave their families in search of hard labour work in the big cities.
During my trip, I was moved to tears on many occasions when I listened to students telling us about how desperate they were because they were forced to quit school and had no hope of a future. However, with the help from the CRRS sponsorship program, they could continue their education. When the students told their parents about the support from CRRS, their parents cried with joy.
When I heard about the happiness which a mere CAD$180 could bring to the students and their parents, my tears poured down my face without control. It was at that moment I came to realize how much our efforts and donations (no matter how small) meant to the children and their families.