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Passing Hope Project - University of Nottingham China Campus
Passing Hope Project: University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC)
In 2017, a UNNC student named Zhoucong Feng watched a television programme about a disadvantaged Chinese boy called Jianjiang Ma, who desperately wanted to play football but had never seen a pitch before. Zhoucong, eager to make a difference to the lives of others, was inspired by the story and set to work his idea of raising donations the help build Jianjiang’s village a football pitch. Zhoucong posted an appeal on social media to help raise funds and, within a week, he had been inundated with donations of football equipment and funds that amounted to over 5000RMB (600GBP). Most gratifying, however, were the offers of help from 17 construction volunteers to actually build the pitch. And so, the Passing Hope project was formed.
The first pitch that was built in the remote mountain village of Guobuga, around 2000 meters above sea level. The volunteer team had to trek up a mountain for two hours to get the equipment to the area that that had been selected for the pitch. The team had the job of clearing and leveling the land, digging the drainage, laying the turf and finally marking out the pitch.
Since the first pitch was built, Zhoucong and UNNC’s Community Fundraising team have got 7 other universities on board to support with the Passing Hope project.
The project has in total built 25 pitches so far with the 26th currently being built in Congjiang, Guizhou province. One pitch that got completed last summer was in the Qinghai province which, 10 years ago, was hit by an earthquake and is the highest pitch to date at over 4000 meters above sea level.
In total, over 7000+ children have been impacted upon through the 22 projects so far. In addition, the project has now started to look at providing education along with building of the pitches, including delivering PE lessons, English, Chemistry and Physics lessons, and also valuable life skills as well such as CPR and first aid training as well.
The long term aim is to build 100 pitches by 2022 in collaboration with a growing list of volunteering partners, with an aim of having University of Nottingham UK (UNUK) students and University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) join in the project from 2019 onwards.
Opportunities for UNUK & UNM students
Volunteering and sport often go hand-in-hand, and university provides a perfect environment for students to undertake both at the same time. UNNC are looking to create more connections with UNUK and UNM in order to grow the sporting collaborations between all three campuses. Undertaking a project of this nature is a fantastic way to develop both your personal and professional skills and is a great addition to your CV. Employers look favourably on graduates who have learnt valuable like skills through extracurricular projects, especially international volunteering.
We are looking for motivated, enthusiastic and committed students who want to make a difference to the lives of children in rural and underprivileged communities throughout China. Students would need experience or a theoretical background in teaching/coaching skills to young children, either sports-related or other subjects, and would need to have a good level of fitness for when labour is required to help with the pitch-building. The project would last for approximately 7 days in total, with students needing to be available over from early to late June 2019.
An approved visa would need to be obtained prior to travelling, which UNNC can support with in terms of processing. UNNC would also like to host student volunteers for several days before and possibly after the project, so you can experience life at the Ningbo campus and around the city should you wish to consider an exchange semester(s), or additional course for the following year(s). Of course, you may also want to do some travelling around China afterwards!
For westerners experiencing eastern culture for the first time, it can often seem exciting but also very daunting, so an open mind is certainly required! Food, social customs, language can all be challenging for someone who hasn’t visited China before. However, we guarantee that you will also find it exhilarating, rewarding and life-changing, with local people making you feel extremely welcome and very much a part of their community.
Whilst on the project, accommodation will be very basic – sometimes volunteers even sleep at the schools! Food and transportation will be provided throughout the project for you, along with translators, and English-speaking UNNC staff who will be coordinating the project and with you throughout your whole time volunteering.
Whilst staying at UNNC before and after the project, you will be provided with free hotel-style accommodation. However, you will be expected to pay for your own meals – don’t worry though, the cost of living in China is much cheaper than the UK or Malaysia! UNNC Sport staff will give you a detailed insight into life on campus and what you can expect if you were to come here in the future to study. There will also be information provided about Sports Leadership Academy Scholarships which are available to you should you wish to come and study at UNNC.
In terms of your international return flight to China, 50% of the cost will be covered by UNUK and the other 50% being covered by yourself, along with the Visa application fee (approximately 100GBP).
Upon arrival to Ningbo, a typical itinerary for the week would look as follows:
•Day 1: Arrive in Ningbo. A driver would collect you and bring you to the Campus where you would meet the Sports Development Manager and be checked in to your accommodation (or just directly checked in if it’s a late night arrival).
•Day 2: Tour of the Campus, and a meeting with the Director of Sport & PE who would provide a detailed insight into sports operations, programmes and a tour of the sports facilities. You would also get to meet the Passing Hope Project team to discuss the plans for the week ahead.
•Day 3: Experience Ningbo and Chinese culture in and around the city with a personal guided tour with the Sports Development Manageror other support staff.
•Day 4: Leave for the Passing Hope Project. Meet the locals at the site for the project, and experience rural life.
•Days 5 to 10: Deliver the Project in terms of helping to build the pitch, and delivering coaching/educational sessions to the participants. You would also get to experience local cultural activities and undertake some sightseeing.
•Day 11: Return to Ningbo.
•Day 12: Depart Ningbo for UK or for further travel plans.
*Please note the above is the anticipated itinerary but may be subject to change depending on factors such as travel, staff availability and timescales linked to the project.
If you are interested in the project and would like to find out more, please email Prathiv Kholia, Sports Development Manager, at UNNC at Prathiv.firstname.lastname@example.org who can provide more details and send you an application form should you wish to apply to be a part of the project. There are only two places available on the summer 2019 project, so make your application stand out from the rest!
199 Taikang E Rd, Yinzhou Qu, Ningbo Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China, 315000, 315000
You must be over 16 years old
Open from Saturday 1st June 2019 to Monday 1st July 2019
Closing on Monday 6th May 2019 in 18 days.