Our last few days of Session One were jam-packed. We visited Beijing’s iconic Temple of Heaven, strolled underneath the large LED screen of Shi Mao Tian Jie, and checked out the contemporary art of the 798 district. Couple sightseeing with daily volunteering, discussion, and delicious dinners and you’ve got yourself one eventful day!
We also were able to visit Half the Sky’s Beijing office to learn more about what they do and talk to some employees about their experience working at a non-profit. Half the Sky’s Sarah Cramer, who has been a wonderful leader of this trip, as well as some other employees shared why they liked working at Half the Sky. For most, it was about giving back and about a welcoming work environment with colleagues that hold many of the same values.
On our second to last day, we had an invigorating discussion about the adoptee community. Laney and I, representing CCI, talked about what sorts of adoptee organizations currently exist and what sorts of things they do, then we opened up the floor to everyone’s personal experience with the adoptee community and/ or adoptee organizations.
This discussion led to one of empowerment. One of CCI’s main goals is empowerment, giving them back a voice in the adoptee community, but also showing them that they have the power to manifest their ideas into something larger than a single voice. If you have an idea, CCI and our community can help you turn it into a project proposal, and then encourage you to find the dedication to follow through to an end result. CCI believes that making things happen doesn’t have to be some large commitment; you just have to start somewhere.
Thus Half the Sky and CCI have created this trip with a final project element. This final project should be a way to continue your trip and what you have learned beyond our two weeks in China. It can be on the Half the Sky or the China’s Children International side. For instance, one of the girls has decided to make a promotion video for CCI on which we will have more information later. Another participant may decide to volunteer with kids back in her community.
Today our first session has come to an end. First sessioners, it’s sad to say goodbye, but we can’t wait to see what you can do!