A Special Kind of Summer Camp
According to data from the China Women’s Federation, there are some 50 million children regularly left at home when their parents have to work as migrant workers in other parts of the country. These children lack supervision, attention and care from their parents for extended periods of time.
In July and August, Hong Kong NGO Wave5 and Pou Yuen footwear company organize a summer camp for nearly 700 of these “left behind” children, and Timberland employees in China volunteer for the project. Below, photos and first-hand accounts from Timberland volunteers who are spending their summer making a critical difference for these children … and creating impact for themselves in the process.
“I admired the volunteers from Hong Kong tremendously. They were full of love, used their own vacation time, paid their own fee to come and take care of these ‘left behind’ children. Although many of them could not speak Mandarin very fluently, they used their hearts to convey knowledge, happiness and love to the children, the future of our mother land.”
“(At dinner one night) one of the girls carried her plates to the dining table, crying. The food almost fell. I hurried to help and by the time I reached the table, five or six of other little girls were crying as well. I asked them why they cried. From their broken sentences, I realized this was the last meal and their volunteer teachers had to leave. These girls didn’t want to say goodbye to their teachers. They made cards with red hearts for us, saying they would remember us and would love us forever. I saw them working on those hearts and folding paper the day before during my class … it was only now I realized they were making gifts for us.”
“In the past week, I didn’t think I taught them anything, but they taught me to be pure, honest, simple … to trust and love. In the name of volunteering, I gained tremendous amount of love and blessings.”