NANCHANG, China — While it had been six months since his last visit to Jiujiang Sun Village Orphanage, one thing really impressed Praveen Cherian, the Chief Program Engineer of Ford Transit MCA: the children from the orphanage remembered him.
On June 16, more than 50 volunteers, including employees from Jiangling Motor Corporation, Ltd. (JMC) – Ford’s commercial vehicle investment in China, students and staff from some local universities, took four Ford transit vans on the three-hour journey to Jiujiang Sun Village Orphanage where they were greeted by some very excited kids.
Divided into small groups, volunteers spent an unforgettable day with the children.
“I do not have much experience being a volunteer, so I felt a little awkward at the beginning and didn’t know what to do or say,” said Hong Ye, Mr. Cherian’s assistant and a key member of the group activity. “But those lovely children’s enthusiasm really got into me and we started to play games.”
Volunteers and children ate together, flew kites, played table tennis, basketball, jumped rope, climbed, painted, sewed their own purses, coloured pictures, stamped books, built model crafts, made balloon hats and simply spent quality time together.
Many of the volunteers headed out the door as early as 6.30am to catch the vans and got back home pretty late. "We gave up a whole day for these kids but it was so worth it!” –said John Scholtes, JMC VP of PD, who is a new Ford ISE at JMC and an active member of the group. John came back from his week long business trip but still joined the event.
"This being our second trip in six months, I did not expect the kids to remember us but many of them came up to us and said that they remembered us and were so happy to see us," Mr. Cherian added.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to participate in this volunteer activity, we only have a team with tiny help, but we shared love with those children.” said Miss Hong, “When a shy boy asked me if I will come and visit him again soon, my heart really melted and felt a sense of responsibility and mission to care for them more.”
The visit was the latest event that Ford families have organized under the Nanchang Cares4KIDS program for the benefit of underprivileged children in Jiangxi Province. The voluntary group is planning to hold more community activities to make the world a better place.
|Volunteers having lunch with the children.
Volunteers find a way to be kids again.