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Intl. Volunteer Day | Meet our unsung heroes at Peking University
Dec 04, 2023
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∆ PKU volunteers in red vests help newcomers settle in (read more)

Peking University, December 4, 2023: December 5 marks International Volunteer Day (IVD), as commemorated by the United Nations. Volunteers are the unsung heroes of society. Hailing from diverse backgrounds and aspiring to improve the communities and assist those in need, they dedicate their time and energy to helping others, expecting nothing in return. 

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∆ Student volunteers in PKU Library (read more)

Since Peking University (PKU)'s founding in 1898, volunteering has played an important role in its rich and enduring history. PKU offers a plethora of volunteer opportunities, allowing faculty, staff, and students to give back to the community.

At the center of all major PKU events lies the dedicated PKU volunteer bodies. At Peking University, student involvement in a diverse range of initiatives is facilitated through various student volunteer organizations, including the PKU Youth Volunteers Association, PKU International Volunteers Association, and PKU Environmental Volunteers Association.

Their steadfast efforts guarantee the success of every event, such as the recent Beijing Forum and the Peking University International Culture Festival (PKUICF). On this IVD, let’s hear from three volunteers from Peking University who recently participated in the 20th Beijing Forum in November. Their dedication has been an integral part of the joint efforts to make the campus a brighter and better place.

Yan Zhen, a second-year Ph.D. student from the School of Marxism
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My most recent volunteer event was the Beijing Forum. I signed up for a volunteer interview with my classmates in order to improve my skills and broaden my horizons. Competition for the interview was very fierce. Fortunately, I passed the interview and served as the volunteer leader of the transportation team, where I was in charge of arranging transportation for all guests during the conference, route guidance, and volunteer scheduling within the group. 

During the entire event, my service was recognized by everyone and many guests expressed their gratitude to me, especially Dr. CHHOEUN Bun Chha. I had an unforgettable time, forging many friendships and improving my organizational and coordination skills. 

Su Zhaoyi, a second-year graduate student from the Graduate School of Education
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Volunteering for the Beijing Forum gave me an opportunity to hone soft and hard skills, connect with like-minded individuals, and take a temporary respite from the demands of rigorous research work. During the Beijing Forum, I was part of the Registration Team, in charge of registering attendees at the event and for pick-ups at the airport. For me, volunteering gives me unique and enriching experiences. 

Through volunteering, I’ve had the opportunity to see the importance of group cooperation, recognizing that each individual plays an integral role within the collective. In addition, volunteering has allowed me to interact with numerous esteemed scholars, whose insights were previously confined to the pages of books and papers.

Sui Wenlong, a first-year graduate student from the School of Foreign Languages

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I signed up to volunteer at the Beijing Forum because I believe it serves an important role as a platform for academic exchanges and discussions on global issues. I wanted to contribute to the seamless progress of this event through my own efforts. Stationed at the registration booth, I helped keep track of the attendance of attendees and directed them to their various venues. This work, though seemingly small, gave me insight into the intricacies of planning such large-scale academic events. 

Volunteering at the Beijing Forum has not only broadened my academic perspective but has also positively influenced my worldview. I’ve come to realize that academic exchange goes beyond the mere transfer of knowledge - it fosters cultural exchanges and enhances mutual understanding. This realization has heightened my appreciation for the significance of cross-cultural cooperation and collaborative efforts in addressing global challenges.

Volunteers give, but they also gain. Happy International Volunteer Day to the volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes. We appreciate you!

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∆ PKU Volunteers in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics (read more)

Written and interviewed by: Shabbir Jawad, Manli Lyu
Edited by: Glenda Ho
Photos by: Courtesy of the interviewees, Shabbir Jawad