As winter approaches, colleagues in Hong Kong and mainland China offices joined a donation drive from 16 to 19 October to provide jackets for the underprivileged children in Butuo, Sichuan province, a nationally designated poverty county in West China where most residents are from the Yi minority group. The temperature there can drop to -20°C in winter.
This was part of the Sending Love programme organised by Sowers Action, a Hong Kong-based charity committed to building schools and promoting educational aid in rural China. This initiative aims to provide new jackets, and increase school attendance rates on cold days – helping these children to break the cycle of poverty through education. Overall, this years’ sending love mission distributed a total of 10,000 jackets to 89 primary schools in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.
Our staff donated a total of RMB 43,000, equivalent to 414 jackets; and the firm donated a further 586 pieces. In recognition of our support, Sowers Action produced a special version of the jacket with the Arup logo.
Our staff helped distribute 1,000 jackets in five village primary schools. The jackets, in apple green and sea blue, brought a sense of vigour and vitality to the remote mountainous area. The kids just couldn’t wait to put on the new clothes, eyes beamed with excitement. Our jackets, in four sizes, were produced based on the age of the children, but long-term malnutrition has resulted in these children being very small for their age – for many of them the jackets became stylish oversized down coats! At least the jackets can warm them for another one or two winters!