Today, with the help of the U.S. Consulate, we held the First Annual Green Volunteers Forum in Guangzhou. Fifty (!) of my students attended the event.
The first part of the event included local Guangzhou representatives of environmental non-governmental organizations to talk about volunteer opportunities for students. The group included reps from Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.org.cn), Institute for Sustainable Communities (www.iscvt.org, www.iscchina.org, www.ehsacademy.org), Wildlife Conservation Society (www.baohu.org), Green Eyes (http://www.greeneyeschina.org/), and Green Camp of Guangzhou. I think students were most moved by the WCS presentation which showed photographic evidence of the illegal trade of wildlife in China.
The second part of the event was a Digital Video Conference with students from the University of California, Santa Cruz. The seven Santa Cruz students participated in a volunteer water quality activity and shared their experience, and had a discussion session with my Chinese students of student organizations and volunteering. The Americans students truly struggled to understand political, economic, cultural constraints for Chinese students who which to be more active in their communities.