Getting Underprivileged Kids out of the City and into Nature
We often become so deeply involved in managing our daily affairs and trying to advance our own positions in the world that we forget how easy and rewarding it can be to create a new and enriching experience for people less fortunate than ourselves.
This past Saturday Dali Bar teamed up with Heart to Heart Community Care, TNS, the Where there be Dragons Princeton Bridge Year Program and Village Progress to take a group kids hiking in Kunming’s Western Hills, a new experience to which they would not otherwise have access.
The students, ranging in age from 10 to 16 are from Wangjiaoqiao (王家桥), an “urban village” in Kunming that is home to many lower income working people. They are mostly the children of migrant workers, and some face additional hurdles such as having only a single parent to care for them and support them on a marginal salary such as collecting recyclable trash. Because they were born elsewhere and lack Kunming household registrations, their lives will become increasingly challenging as they near middle-school age due to their lack of registration and their families’ financial situations.
Administrators at Heart to Heart told us that this was a very special opportunity for the kids, as they rarely have the chance to get outside and play or to see nature. Their pent-up energy reserves were in full display as they charged up and down the slopes of the Western Hills laughing, yelling and thoroughly exhausting their adult chaperones.
When we were able to calm the kids down and gather them into a group we also took some opportunities to teach them about the origins of Kunming’s karst limestone geology and to discuss the origins of water pollution in Dianchi Lake. At the end of the day, we collected a sample of water from Dianchi, which we will have analyzed at a lab so the students’ teachers can share the results with this future generation and discuss ways of preventing the water pollutions that threatens Kunming’s environment.
Aside from the time generously donated by our partners and volunteers, this activity was funded entirely by our customers’ purchases of Dali Bars and sales of the Dali Bar 2015 China Outdoor Sports calendar. Thanks for your support in making a difference in the lives of these kids!
Note: Our thanks to TNS for designing the day’s program and donating staff time to run it. We encourage parents to check out their outdoor sports and nature education programs to develop their kids self-confidence, leadership and social stewardship.
If you are interested in donating or volunteering to help improve the lives of migrant workers in Yunnan, get in touch with Heart to Heart, which does incredible work with educating and empowering this often overlooked group of people.
Thanks also to the students of the Princeton-Where there be Dragons China Bridge Year Program who volunteered their time chaperoning, plus Kiara who managed the whole process of delivering this great experience to the kids.