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May 27, 2008

Chinese students reach out

by okanagancollegesustainability

The aftermath of the May 12 earthquake that rocked China’s southwestern Sichuan province left Okanagan College students feeling helpless. The quake, which registered an 8 on the Richter scale, has quickly become one of the worst national disasters to affect China in decades.

Last weekend a group of domestic and international students from Okanagan College came together to show their support for the victims and launched an impromptu fundraising campaign.

The group came up with the slogan ‘one world one family’ after feeling a deep sense of connection to the victims of the quake, despite living on the other side of the globe.

One of the leaders of the fundraising campaign, Yukai (Nick) Xu, came to the College in January 2008 to study English as a Second Language.

“We have been hearing lots of news about the victims of the earthquake and I wanted to do something for my country,” said Xu. “I am here in Canada at Okanagan College but I am Chinese and I wanted to do something within my power.”

The group of concerned Okanagan College students were joined by a few Chinese students from UBC Okanagan and with support from the College’s International Education department, set up information tables and donation boxes at Costco and the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market last Saturday.

Okanagan College Business student Zhen Zhou has been a driving force behind the campaign. Originally from Shandong province, Zhou has been at Okanagan College for four years and felt compelled to contribute to victims of the quake.

“Our slogan is ‘one world one family’ because we believe our love can change everything,” said Zhou.

Zhou and her fellow students have been touched by the generosity of Canadians who have given to support the cause.

“On Saturday we were at the Kelowna Farmer’s Market and a 70-year-old woman donated $50 to our fund,” said Zhou. “She told us that the money was from her pension but it was really from her heart. We were very moved by her action.”

The fundraising effort began last weekend and will carry on through the week at this weekend’s Farmer’s Market on Saturday. Zhou and her fellow College students don’t know how much money they have raised but all of the proceeds will be delivered to the Red Cross’ earthquake relief effort

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