[photopress:Dragon_Bridge_Village.jpg,full,alignright]A new volunteer service program has been started with 600 groups of students from 1,000 Chinese universities pledging to offer volunteer service in 10,000 rural villages.
‘I want to see with my own eyes the poor areas of my country and the lives the people there lead,’ a student surnamed Wu from Beijing University of Science and Technology told Xinhua.
Wu’s classmate, a girl surnamed Cui from the poorest area in west China’s Gansu Province, is expected to return to her hometown and do something ‘useful’ for her countrymen.
She is a major in information technology and said, ‘I will gather information on water management for farmers, so that they can better plant crops in an arid area.’
Shi Zifeng, a student of Southwest University in Chongqing, who participated in the volunteer service program last year said, ‘I can’t forget the old farmer whose grandson died from ingesting poisonous pesticide.’ Since the he has made up his mind to work in rural areas after graduating.
A major in agriculture, Shi taught farmers how to judge and apply pesticide, and how to protect themselves against poisonous pesticide. During the two-week program, Shi made door-to-door visits to nearly 100 households.
Shi Zifeng said, ‘Volunteer service is a way of applying academic knowledge to practical, everyday life.’
Zhang Lin, a student majoring in information technology in Peking University said, ‘Practice is a good teacher’.
She helped the local government in northwest China’s Gansu Province to build up an e-government system.
Wang Zhaoguo, vice-chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, said ‘the volunteer service program helps college students better understand the country’s overall situation and their own responsibility.’
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the program. Wang Zhaoguo said more and more students felt obliged to contribute to the country after taking part in the program, and they voluntarily chose to work in poor areas after graduation.
So far, the Beijing University of Science and Technology has had 60,000 students go through the volunteer service program. In 2006, 350 graduates chose to work in poor areas, more than a quarter of the total number of graduates. And Chinese college students have carried out nearly 40 million volunteer service sessions in rural areas in the past ten years.
Source: China View