Taking time to give back, our team spent Saturday morning hanging out with some of the coolest kids we know!
Our team was able to send 12 members to help children work on their holiday cards cards for the year. These students are part of the hearing disability group that MCF supports and the Rotaract team spend a few hours on Saturday morning giving back.
We caught up with Julia Bikkul, who organized the event with MCF and asked her a few questions about how she started out & what led her to create the opportunities for other Rotaractor's to participate in the activities with the kids!
I participate in Rotaract because it makes me feel more connected to society by doing something meaningful. By society, I mean the Chinese one that I live here in Beijing. Besides, you have a great opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world.
Can you give us a short introduction of your initiative & what kind of activities take place?
After joining Rotaract, I've been introduced to the MCF volunteering sessions taking place at the rehabilitation school for children with hearing disabilities in the TongZhou district of Beijing. I came there as a regular volunteer and I loved it. After a couple of sessions, the local teacher asked me if I wanted to teach kids how to draw, which I was more than happy to undertake as my personal project. I became a coordinator for the Rotaract MCF sessions since I already have a contact with the school. The activities may vary, from art and crafts related things like drawing, play dough, Lego’s etc., to baking sessions where we taught the kids how to make muffins, bread and other tasty treats.
What inspired you to start this initiative?
What has inspired me to start doing this is that after 6 years spent in China as an expat, I was seeking ways to contribute something to the local society and these kids just inspire you to do more.
What has been the most impactful part of this experience for you? How about for the volunteers you’ve been able to recruit to help out?
The most impactful thing for me was to see the kids learning something from our sessions and my classes and especially seeing them interacting with us and opening up. Since we are dealing with deaf kids, their ways of getting information is different and it's harder for them to
What would you recommend to other Rotaract clubs about starting their own initiatives?
To all Rotaractor’s I'd recommend to just start at some point. Everyone is busy, the timing is always bad and you may not necessarily make it to every volunteering session, but as soon as you get to feel how nice is it to do something meaningful by helping people in some kind of need, you'll get a truly different China experience. For instance, for the last MCF session there were 4 absolutely brand new people in the Rotaract club, they had no clue and were unsure whether it would work out with them speaking zero Chinese, but right now they are asking when the next one is coming up because it feels great to put yourself out there to help someone else, regardless of your background or language fluency.
We're proud of our team for helping make a difference! Thanks to Julia and all the Rotaractor's who made it to this event!
Article By: B. Dobbins 10.25.16