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am Liu Jing,

A Public Welfare Professional.

Liu Jing: The first primary beneficiary of Project Hope from China who returned to work for the programme.

中文故事

希望

刘静:中国第一个受助于希望工程,又回到希望工程工作的资深公益人

 
心中有爱

在刘静的记忆中,母亲的形象是模糊的,因为很小的时候母亲便生病去世。父亲也因为脑血栓导致左手和左脚失去知觉,必须依靠拐杖才能行动。往后的十几年里,他拖着残缺的身体拉扯大了四个小孩。在刘静的心目中,父亲就好像一座大山。

父亲无论遇到多大的困难,从来没有要放弃过。每次他拄着拐杖去田里锄地,用一只手锄一次,整个人用手支撑往前挪一小步,再用一只手锄一次。从田的这一头到那一头五六百米,他就这样一步步地坚持不懈地锄下去。-刘静

即使因为家境贫寒,亲戚劝他只供男孩读书,女孩可以早点嫁人,他却从来没有放弃过家中的女孩。在他看来,知识是唯一可以改变寒门子弟命运的武器。每每想起父亲拄着拐杖向乡里乡邻借钱筹学费时的场景,常常让几兄妹感到锥心之痛。

在小学三年级的时候,为了给家里减轻负担,刘静选择了辍学在家帮忙务农、照顾父亲。因为没有见过外面的世界,年幼的她还不知道辍学意味着什么... 

幸运的是,半年之后刘静遇到了希望工程,希望工程帮她承担了那每学期二十块钱的学费,她终于重返校园了!

 “有了这二十块钱,我重新可以返回校园了,之后就没有想过要放弃过,或许之后有些日子比当初更难,但是已经不一样了... "  - 刘静

之前的人生,贫穷让她站在人生的十字路口时都选择了更现实的一条路。希望工程给了她爱和希望,让她感受到了和外部世界的连接。也知道了原来自己还可能拥有另外一种活法,多了几分与命运抗争的勇气。

希望工程在刘静的心中埋下了一颗公益的种子,这颗种子随着时间的推移生根发芽。在她开始好奇,究竟这是什么样一个组织?是一群什么样的人?慢慢地她开始对公益事业感兴趣,朦朦胧胧之中有了一生去追随公益事业的念头。

 
眼里有光

2003年,刘静入职黑龙江省青少年发展基金会,立志像当初帮助她的人一样,去帮助更多像当时的自己一样在农村陷入困境的孩子。投入工作之后,刘静开始对公益事业有了更多的认知与实践,并做出了很多可喜的成绩,获得了“希望工程20年特殊贡献奖”和“领导力奖”等。

随着责任越来越大,刘静也重新思考自己的定位。在她立志终身从事公益这条路上,自己还能再发挥什么样的作用。看问题的视角会从局部的细节拉伸到大局的整体上,在她眼里不只是有希望工程,看到了更多的公益形式和整个行业发展。

于是她萌发了再去学习充电的念头,当她得知了新加坡国立大学李光耀公共政策学院招生的消息,果断地在疫情期间排除万难来到了新加坡求学。

 
脚下有希望

来到新加坡之后,刘静发现这里的公益组织的特点是小而美、精而专,它们在体量上、在人员数量上并没有很庞大,但是很能够发挥杠杆的作用。影响力投资、社会企业和社会创新以及家族慈善等领域,新加坡都有很好的实践和探索,是一个非常值得相互交流和学习的地方。

由励基金发起的中国国际慈善领袖计划(China Philanthropy Leaders Fellowship)第一期于2021年6月正式启动。 励基金被刘静的故事打动,选择她成为此计划的第一个学员。

通过励基金,刘静有机会进入亚洲慈善协会Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC)实习和交流,进一步了解亚洲慈善与新加坡公益组织,不断地参与一些项目,未来也多了更多的可能性。

整个项目过程中,刘静接受了来自励基金以及APC关于亚洲慈善发展、跨文化沟通与领导力、公益金融、公益组织运营和家族慈善规划等方面的系统培训与学习,并参访了新加坡多种类型的社会组织。

刘静:“这一年半的新加坡之旅,我收获很多,让我有了国际化具体实践、以及未来探索与推动国际慈善交流与合作的可能。我相信这只是一个开始,励基金未来也将挖掘和培养更多有生命影响力的国际慈善优秀年轻领袖。我更相信亚洲慈善以后在国际舞台上可以发挥更大的力量!”

这一路走来我一直相信的是向光而生。

只要你自己不放弃,心里有那道光能够照亮自己,人生就一定不会很差。

如果这个光足够温暖,足够有力量,你也可以去照亮别人。如果每个人都能够眼里有光、心里有爱,脚下就一定会生出希望。我也愿意为此,一直走下去。—刘静

关于希望工程
中国最有社会影响力的公益品牌

希望工程是由中国青少年发展基金会于1989年发起的以救助贫困地区失学少年儿童为目的的一项公益事业。其宗旨是建设希望小学,资助贫困地区失学儿童重返校园,改善农村办学条件。从1989年发起至2019年9月,希望工程总共援建希望小学20195所,资助家庭困难学生599.42万名,是中国社会参与最广泛、最富影响力的社会公益事业之一。

Love in Her Heart 

Liu Jing was a little girl when her mother passed away from illness, leaving her with a vague memory of the motherly figure. Her father also suffered movement impairments in both his left limbs following a stroke and had to rely on crutches to get around. Over the next decade, Liu Jing’s father managed to raise all four children despite his handicap. Liu Jing looked up to her father who was stronger than just a pillar of support.

Liu Jing’s family was poor. Her relatives advised her father to only send the boys to school since girls could get married earlier and that he could lessen his financial burden. However, her father did not heed their advice to give up on his daughters’ education. He believed that knowledge was the only tool to change the fate of the poor. It pained the siblings till this day when they recalled how their crippled father would hop around the village hastily to borrow money for their school fees. 

In Primary 3, Liu Jing decided to drop out of school just so she could lend a hand in the farm and ease their family’s financial burden while taking better care of her father. She had never once come across the outside world at that point and was too young to understand the repercussions of leaving school. Fortunately, Liu Jing was enrolled into Project Hope half a year later which helped waive off her school fees of 20yuan per semester. With such financial support, Liu Jing could return to school!

In the past, poverty compelled Liu Jing to decide on a more practical path while faced with the crossroad of life. Luckily, Project Hope showered her with love and hope. It created a bridge to the world beyond her hometown where she could feel a connection to a larger community. She also understood that there were alternative ways to stay alive. With such realisation, Liu Jing found the strength to muster up more courage in the battle against her own fate.

Project Hope planted a seed in her to do good and contribute to social welfare. With time, the idea took root and grew into a seedling. As she began to wonder the kind of an organisation it was and the kind of people they had, Liu Jing gradually developed a keen interest in philanthropy. The thought of pursuing social welfare for the rest of her life began to take hold.

Sparkles in Her Eyes 

In 2003, Liu Jing participated in the China Youth Development Foundation at the Heilongjiang province. She was determined to help more children in need from rural areas, children who were just like herself when she was a kid, in the same way others lent her a hand when she needed it the most. After joining the foundation, Liu Jing gained more knowledge and insights into common welfare practices. She attained many achievements worth noting, such as the 20-Year Long Term Contribution Award of Project Hope and its Leadership Award.

As she carried more responsibilities on her shoulders, Liu Jing began reflecting on her position. What other responsibilities can she undertake in her lifelong commitment to public service? From a tiny idea to a bigger concept, Liu Jing saw the importance of not just Project Hope, but the development of the entire industry through new forms of service.

Therefore, when she came across the admission enrolment sent out by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of National University of Singapore, Liu Jing decided that she will defy against all odds to study in Singapore during the COVID19 pandemic.

Hope Beneath Her Feet 

After arriving in Singapore, Liu Jing recognised the characteristics of the local public welfare organisations. They are smaller, yet more refined and specialised. Though they are not significant in terms of scale and the number of staff, but they do have high leveraging power. Singapore observes good practices in managing areas such as impact investment, social enterprises, social innovation and family philanthropy. These factors made Singapore an inviting country for learning and exchange.

The first phase of the China Philanthropy Leaders Fellowship, as initiated by Li Foundation,  was launched in June 2021. Li Foundation was astounded by the life story of Liu Jing and enrolled her as the first participant in the programme. With the help of Li Foundation, Liu Jing was offered the opportunity to take on an internship at the Asia Philanthropy Circle (APC). Her time at APC opened new avenues to building her understanding on the Asian philanthropy circle and local philanthropic organisations. She also participated in ongoing projects, which seek to create more possibilities in days to come.

Under the programme, Liu Jing received systematic training from Li Foundation and insights into philanthropic development in Asia, cross-cultural communication and leadership, philanthropic finance, philanthropic organisation operations and family philanthropy planning during her APC internship. She also visited social organisations in Singapore of various calibre.

Liu Jing: “I have gained a lot from the past one and a half years in Singapore. It opened doors to concrete international opportunities, and the possibility to explore and promote international philanthropic exchanges and collaborations in near future. I believe this is just the beginning, as Li Foundation continues to identify and nurture more outstanding young leaders who can create life-changing impact on the international philanthropy scene. Moving forward, I believe that the Asian philanthropic community can take on bigger roles on the international platform.”

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Play Video: The story of Liu Jing, a public welfare professional.

My father never gave up, no matter how difficult our situation was. Whenever he worked in the fields on his crutches, he would yield the crops with one hand while supporting himself with the other. He would then take a tiny step forward before propping himself up and hoeing again. From one end of the crop field to the other, her father would cover 500 to 600 metres, with one step at a time.

- Liu Jing

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With 20yuan, I could return to school again. Since then, I have never once thought of giving up. Certain days were perhaps tougher than before, but it is not the same anymore…

- Liu Jing

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I have always believed in chasing the light of life. As long as we don’t give up on ourselves and keep that light in our hearts burning bright, life would not be too miserable. If the light is warm and powerful enough, you can shine on others too. If everyone can preserve the light in their eyes and love in their hearts, hope will surely carry them beneath their feet. And for this reason, I am willing to go on.

- Liu Jing

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About Project HOPE

The most socially impactful public welfare project in China.

It’s a Chinese public service project organized by the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF) and the Communist Youth League (CYL) Central Committee. Started on October 30, 1989, it aims to bring schools into poverty-stricken rural areas of China, to help children whose families are too poor to afford to complete elementary school education. They have also sought to improve educational facilities and improve teaching quality in poorer regions.

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