In wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, UIC staff, students and alumni have been trying to figure out ways they can help those in need.

UIC Alumni Association donated and purchased supplies to support Hubei during this difficult time. In addition, staff, students and alumni from the Social Work and Social Administration (SWSA) have been providing psychological support for frontline staff.

Also, many enthusiastic students are spontaneously helping to fight the spread of the virus by raising money for supplies, taking the initiative to become volunteers and donating masks for sanitation workers.

Whether it is the faculty members, students or alumni, this winter vacation, the UIC community is dedicating their own time to fighting the virus.

‘From Guangdong to Hubei’

On 23 January, Year 3 Food Science and Technology student, Yao Zihong, who was based in Shantou, joined the charity team which was set up by friends from Wuhan. There were 29 volunteers of the team who carried out the ‘From Guangdong to Hubei’ project to raise medical supplies for Hubei.

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Yao Zihong is in charge of finding the resources and coordinating donations

On 8 February, Yao Zihong posted a screenshot on his WeChat Moments with the text “This is the best news I have heard in recent days”.

The screenshot was a conversation between him and a chemical company. The company knew that Zihong was raising medical supplies for hospitals in Hubei and said that they can donate medicinal alcohol.

Guangdong Guanghua Sci-Tech Co, Ltd expressed its willingness to donate five tons of medicinal alcohol, which excited the whole team.

However, they did experience some logistics problem. “At that time, members of our team inquired about logistics companies through their various channels, made a lot of phone calls, and finally a logistics company that had worked with us recommended a driver,” Yao Zihong said.

Yao Zihong immediately contacted the receiver to apply for a driver’s pass, contacted the pick-up matter, and prepared food, water and protective equipment for the driver.

On 14 February, the five tons of medicinal alcohol departed from Shantou. There was some concern as it was a long drive with a lot of alcohol onboard the vehicle, but they were soon relieved when they heard of the successful delivery to the medical institutions in Wuhan.

Grow in volunteering

Year 2 Environmental Science student, Peng Zigui, is from Hunan. After seeing that the epidemic was spreading, Peng Zigui, who was enthusiastic about voluntary activities at school, had been thinking about how to help the community.

As a volunteer, Peng Zigui joined the local service team with his father to guide the cars and pedestrians on the road.

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Peng Zigui (third from left) and his team

He explained even though it had been long days and he had suffered physical fatigue, he didn’t want to give up because he wanted to be seen as responsible in the eyes of adults.

For Peng Zigui, this was an opportunity to grow, allowing him to learn and contribute to society.

After several days of helping, he was rejoiced in knowing that everyone now understood and cooperated with the epidemic prevention work.

Helping sanitation workers

The Mask Zhuhai charity team was composed of UIC Year 3 Finance student, Qiao Longxuan, International Journalist (IJ) student Liu Fangze, as well as Accounting student Lin Haoqi, along with four other students from different universities in Guangdong.

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They raised funds to purchase protective materials such as masks for sanitation workers, which aroused positive responses from staff, students and citizens.

These students distributed a questionnaire at the sanitation centre of Xiangzhou district in Zhuhai, where they then collected feedback from a total of 2,423 sanitation workers.

They discovered that more than 700 sanitation workers could not receive a mask, nearly 800 used vulnerable or self-produced masks, and 200 changed their masks once every two to three days.

“As college students in Zhuhai, we hope to help them raise money to buy materials,” Qiao Longxuan said that college students have the responsibility and obligation to take on social responsibilities within their abilities.

 

Reporter: Lauren Richardson
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Covee Wang
(from MPRO)