My name is Wu Hao and am in the third year of undergraduate school pursuing a degree in Teaching Mandarin as a Second Language at the Shanghai International Studies University. After graduating, I plan to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Justice with the goal of helping to bring equal access to education for youth in China.
In the past, I have had the opportunity to work as a volunteer teacher in Guizhou, Hubei and Anhui provinces. I have also worked as a teacher’s assistant at the British School in Shanghai as well as a Chinese teacher in Sweden. The juxtaposition of these experiences has made me realize that children do not always have equal access to education. The quality of one’s education is not always based on merit but rather one’s circumstance or background. These experiences drive me to help those with underprivileged backgrounds have the same opportunities as those with access to more resources.
I currently run the Raindrop Volunteer Association at my university. This organization is dedicated to equal opportunity in the realm of education. We engage in many activities ranging from volunteer teaching, events geared at raising awareness, and various fundraising events with proceeds donated to a fund that assists underprivileged students in rural parts of China to finish their studies. We also founded a volunteer teaching conference for students in this region. This conference serves as a platform for those interested in equal access to education can communicate and connect with various NGOs and volunteer associations.
At the end of 2014, I started working as the Volunteer and Events Coordinator at Shanghai Young Bakers (SYB), which is a nonprofit French baking training program for underprivileged Chinese youth. This internship has given me an intimate view of how an NPO functions and has given me opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life and develop my communications as well as interpersonal skills.
My experience with SYB has grown my interest in social enterprises and over the summer, I have been interning with SVG to better understand CSR in China. I have been specifically assisting on the launch of a hospitality vocational school. My time at SYB was spent making sure an established program continued to run well while this summer has been spent on the initial phases of a new project. Helping to launch a completely new program from student and staff recruitment to real estate procurement and the design and research of the program has shown me the many challenges involved in working within the social sector.
While there have been many personal challenges, I have found this summer very rewarding. I feel like I was truly part of a team and gained good friends. I learned the many ways one ensures donations are being used effectively and how to work efficiently when implementing a new program. One of the most important lessons I learned is the important of transparency in the social sector and how this can lead to greater impact.
I hope to continue to explore my passion for education by continuing my studies abroad and returning to China to work with NPOs and use my knowledge and experiences gained.