Smiling Olympic volunteers were ubiquitous on the streets of Beijing this August and September, and news of their helpfulness was reported in several media outlets. These legions of volunteers are just one part of the growing culture of community service in China. This trend isn’t limited to the local Chinese population though, as there are a growing number of opportunities for visitors to China to devote some of their time to service. This is especially true for educational and non-profit groups, and WildChina is committed to organizing activities that aid local communities and enrich traveler experiences.
In Guizhou, a rural and mountainous southern province, WildChina has worked closely with Baibi Village to improve their school facilities and infrastructure, building a basketball court, stairs, and bathrooms. This fall, we will return with a school group from Shanghai to help maintain the mountain roads that lead to their farmlands. WildChina has also worked closely with the Guang’ai School for Orphans in Hebei province, orchestrating musical exchanges with other schools and planting trees on their campus.
Individual and family travelers also have opportunities to lend a helping hand on their trips through China. In Beijing, visitors have an opportunity to meet with local NGO representatives to learn about preservation of the rapidly disappearing hutong houses in the city. Visitors to Guizhou also routinely contribute to the WildChina Library at the Biasha School by donating books, stationery and school supplies.