Expats help fund heating system

By Zhang Xiaomin (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-12-20 14:54
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Expats help fund heating system

A primary student studies in a classroom. Students of rural primary schools in Dalian can now study in warm and clean classrooms with the newly installed heating systems. [Photo / China Daily] 

Dalian - Students of a rural primary school in Dalian can now mop their classroom floor with impunity this winter after a heating system was installed, preventing ice from forming from the left over water.

"In past winters, we seldom used water because the floor might get iced up," said Wu Zhen, headmaster of Yaojia Primary School in Pulandian, Dalian, a city in Northeast China's Liaoning province.

The school used to light traditional coal stoves. This year, the International Club of Dalian (ICD) donated more than 200,000 yuan ($30,020) to help them upgrade the heating system.

Expats help fund heating system"Now our students can study in warm and clean classrooms," said Wu, who expressed his gratitude to the ICD, an organization that aims to provide networking for expatriates living in Dalian and to raise funds for charitable projects.

"Our foreign friends didn't act out of improper motives. They always pay attention to our real needs. In addition to the heating system, they donated some teaching equipment, including computers, recorders and a photocopier," he said.

According to Wu, some local enterprises in Pulandian were moved by the ICD's charity work and supported two other primary schools in installing new heating systems.

The ICD takes an active role in organizing charity events and activities. Earlier this month, its annual Winter Charity Ball was held in the Shangri-La Hotel Dalian. At it, a 70,000 yuan check was delivered to Dalian Charity Federation.

That was the first contribution from the Rita Marie Jolly Memorial Fund, which was established in Texas, in the United States, after the sudden death of Rita Jolly, a founding member of the ICD.

Jolly had lived in China for five years. She was always ready to offer help. Her family set up the fund to carry on her love for education and children.

"Part of the money will be sent to China, the country she loved so much," said Dutch hotelier Maarten Boers, the club's chairman.

"It is good to see the expats in Dalian not only enjoy their lives but also knowing how to give back to and integrate with the local community," said Boers.

Yu Guirong, vice-chairwoman of Dalian Charity Federation, believes the expats' charity reflects their affection for the city.

She said the ICD started to reach those who need help through the federation in 2007, one year after the club was established.

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They purchased books and teaching equipment for students, donated funds after the catastrophic Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 and raised money for children who need heart surgery.

"So far, the ICD has donated more than 400,000 yuan. What matters most is not the money but the attitude to give back and share continuously with people who are less fortunate," she said.

Dalian has a positive atmosphere for doing charity work. More than 10 companies, including Dalian Wanda Group, Dalian Yida Group, Dashang Group, and Bank of Dalian, have set up separate funds.

Sources from Dalian Charity Federation said Dalian Yida Group had contributed more than 1 billion yuan to charity in recent years, including a fund of 60 million yuan.

In 2010, its charitable contribution was more than 120 million yuan.

Sun Yinhuan, president of Dalian Yida Group, said local business leaders share a common view that enterprises should recognize their social responsibilities while seeking to profit.

"People who have become rich first should give back to society. We can do more for those who need help most," said Sun.

November is the annual Charity Month in Dalian. Last month, citizens and enterprises donated generously to charity.

Employees of Amway (China) Dalian donated 50,000 yuan for children suffering from cerebral palsy. Meanwhile, Dalian Pengsheng Group set up a new charitable fund of 50 million yuan.