DR. Kymmberli Stowe from the U.S. and her expat friends had a quite busy day Saturday: They colored and painted with children at a special needs home in Longhua, visited an art village and played interactive games with local residents at Guanlan International Block Service Center.
“Today’s theme is making friends from all over the world because they came from everywhere,” said Dr. Stowe, who was recently awarded as one of the most beautiful foreign volunteers for her outstanding community service work in 2022.
The expats came from the U.S., Syria, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe and Congo, all with the same aim: to give back to the community and provide assistance in any way they can.
Louay Ali Dib from Syria just graduated from a Guangzhou university last year and came to Shenzhen to work as a computer programming engineer. He volunteered to participate in the event after learning about it from a notice issued by Dr. Stowe in a WeChat group.
He had been doing volunteer work in Guangzhou, but thought this event was special as it helped him get more involved in community service. “I was always looking for an opportunity as I do want to know Shenzhen more,” he said. He enjoyed his stay with the children at the special needs home, helping them with coloring and painting pictures. “I think patience is the most important,” he said about his interaction with the children.
Several of the expats came from the U.S.-based National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). “We just want to see what we can do with our knowledge, our resources, our time and strength to uplift the community,” said Jordania N. Rowden from the U.S. She works as an English teacher in a Qingdao university and came all the way from Shandong to join in the event. “This is the first such get-together for us after the COVID restrictions have been lifted. We are so excited,” she said.
The expats also donated toys, coats and other daily necessities to the special needs home, and shared laughs with local residents while playing games at the Guanlan International Block Service Center.
They enjoyed horse-riding at a Longhua equestrian club and were also impressed by the Edixia Art Village. “It has a lot of culture and history inside,” Dr. Stowe said.
The event was co-organized by the Guanlan International Block Service Center, which helped arrange related activities like choosing the places they visited. It also sent social workers and volunteers to every location the expats visited to coordinate communication between local and foreign residents.
ARTICLE FROM: Shenzhen Daily