China’s Youth Exchange Program inspires hope
Ms. Mayra, who comes from Village Rajkandi in the hilly region of Azad Jammu Kashmir, goes through a monumental struggle in her life. She has an elderly mother, four sisters, and a brother in her family. Her father died 13 years ago and she has been dependent on her uncle ever since. Three years ago, her uncle was paralyzed and the whole family had to rely on assistance to survive. Fortunately, the arrival of the China-Pakistan youth exchange community brought hope to her, who was mired in anxiety.
Affected by the epidemic, the lives of many needy families in Pakistan have worsened. To help these poor families and deepen China-Pakistan ties, the China-Pakistan youth exchange community launched a public welfare activity themed “Belt and Road, Passing the Love” in Pakistan. The volunteers looked into the specific conditions of the local poor groups in advance and identified 200 families in dire need of help.
The community members allocated the daily necessities for each family, including rice, flour, oil, sugar, beans, dates, etc, that are enough to meet the needs for one to two months. Dressed in costumes with the “China-Pakistan Friendship” logo, the volunteers went through the rugged roads and delivered the supplies door-to-door. Upon receiving the supplies, Mayra’s uncle excitedly held the volunteer’s hand for a long time and said with tears in his eyes: “Chinese friends are providing timely help. Now we can have a happy Ramadan with a peaceful mind.”
There are many families like Mayra’s. Many people in this area are women, children, orphans, and the elderly, who cannot work and have no source of income. Due to the language barrier, the local recipients expressed their gratitude with simple words and smiles.
So far, the community has visited more than 1,400 poor families, poor primary schools, refugee camps, and orphanages to bring love to special groups such as the lonely elderly, the disabled, and impoverished students. Since 2017, the public welfare campaign has won the support of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, Chinese universities, Overseas Chinese Association of Pakistan, Chinese enterprises, and overseas students.
Ma Bin, Secretary-General of Overseas Chinese Association of Pakistan, said that Chinese enterprises and individuals in Pakistan actively assume social responsibility. “At present, some Chinese enterprises have the intention to train local vulnerable groups and utilize cross-border e-commerce and other platforms to export their handicrafts to other countries,” Ma concluded.