My initial passion for social justice stemmed from a volunteer teaching experience in rural areas in China. After learning more about the lack of access to education for children in this area, I saw the important role NPOs can play in tackling social issues effectively and efficiently. However, due to lack of resources, non profit organizations must prioritize their focuses and areas such as program management, human resources management, fundraising and fiscal management tend to suffer. That is why we need to truly motivate the younger generation to develop China’s social sector. I decided to intern for the Social Venture Group this past summer because I wanted to better learn how NPOs can find more sustainable strategies for supporting their target groups.
I’m so lucky to have spent a summer with a group of lovely people who are dedicated to empowering individuals, families, and communities. Through SVG’s and other organizations’ research on the current landscape of China’s social sector, I now have a clearer picture of the current situation for NPOs here. I’ve learned how to analyze emerging complex social issues and how they affect communities on macro and micro levels.
The majority of my time was spent working on the development of a vocational education program. This work gave me insights into the many facets involved in the management of a new program from goal development and strategic action planning to community engagement and student and staff training. During the program preparation, I learned how to select and construct measures for evaluation and assess their validity and reliability. I saw the importance of anticipating the monitor and evaluating phase of a program and how it is one of the primary ways one can see if the needs of the target population are being met. In addition, I gained hands-on experience in data collection and interpretation as well as effective ways of presenting the results. Finally, I learned the importance of communication especially when working in conjunction with other organizations or governmental agencies.
Although I was new to the SVG team, my questions and ideas were always warmly welcomed. During this time, I was able to cultivate my interests with the guidance of my coworkers. The experience of assisting in the development of the vocational program inspired me to apply to a graduate program that combines research as well as implementation skill sets as I pursue my passion for supporting marginalized communities. I also hope to learn more on how to develop efficient organization structures and ways to inspire greater participation within the social sector.
I really cherish my summer with SVG and want to thank all the team members for their mentorship.
Contributed by Wu Hao