This was part of CapitaLand’s biannual initiative where staff from various countries will come together to make a difference to the lives of underprivileged children through projects supported by CapitaLand’s philanthropic arm, CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF).
Sights from our road trip, home visit, sprucing up the school, cultural exchange and more.
Read our live blog here!
19 Sep 2017 12:16 GMT+0800
Day 3 - 3 days, 42 CapitaLand volunteers, over 300 students
After 3 days of volunteer work at CapitaLand Xingfuzhilu Hope School, it's time to bid our newfound friends goodbye and return to the bustle of city life. For most of us, it's our first time here in Inner Mongolia. Beyond working for the cause, it was an eye-opening cultural experience, dining in yurts and understanding the Mongolian way of life from the locals. Before our paths cross again on future CapitaLand International Volunteer Expeditions, our staff volunteers share their personal takeaways from the trip.
“This is CapitaLand's 24th staff volunteer expedition since CHF was set up in 2005. These expeditions to projects supported by CHF are organised for our employees to contribute to the well-being of children in rural communities, such as this trip to CapitaLand Xingfuzhilu Hope School which benefits over 300 students. Through refurbishing and landscaping works as well as interactions with the beneficiaries through lessons in architecture, arts & craft as well as sports, we are also building character and reinforcing the values of respect and community among our CapitaLand staff.”
Andrew Lim, Group Chief Financial Officer, CapitaLand Limited
"I carry a hope to continuously engage with the students and to provide them with a better future through our visits to the school. Things have improved so much since I visited the school in 2011, including the amenities. The students are also very knowledgeable about the latest gadgets."
Wang Yue, 52, Manager, Quality Programme Development, North China
"It was an eye-opening experience for me. I've been involved in relief work and soup kitchens but this is the first time I'm travelling overseas to do community work. The students are very grateful and appreciative of the little things we did for them. Everyone's from different backgrounds and we're united in our cause. It feels really special."
Shin Yen, 30, Marcom Executive, Gurney Plaza, Malaysia
"In just 3 days, we have formed a bond with one another quickly without the language barrier, in a common objective to do good for the community here. It's very heartwarming for me, and I hope to join more CapitaLand International Volunteer Expeditions in future. Initially the students were really shy, but they've since warmed up to us!"
Darren Wong, 45, Guest Service Officer, Citadines Fusionpolis Singapore
"I was really excited to join this trip to Inner Mongolia to experience the culture and landscape. It's a lifetime experience and I absolutely loved it - the culture, the people and teaching the children. When I see their sparkling eyes and smiles, it touches my heart. The volunteering experience is very nice, this is a rare opportunity for me to learn the company culture and make friends with colleagues from different countries."
Andrew Lim, Group Chief Financial Officer, CapitaLand Limited, shared some words of encouragement with students at CapitaLand Xingfuzhilu Hope School as the 3-day volunteer expedition comes to an end.
CapitaLand staff also spoke about their experiences during the volunteer sharing session.
Hand in hand, CapitaLand volunteers, as well as school principals and students joined in on finishing the 'Tree of Hope' wall mural.
Besides giving English and craft lessons, helping the students with CapitaLand Little Architect Programme and gardening work, CapitaLand volunteers were also involved in beautification works at the school over the past 2 days, including this 'Tree of Hope' wall mural that livens up one of the school's student dormitories.
19 Sep 2017 07:38 GMT+0800
Day 3 - Strong winds
"Is that a sandstorm?" On the way to school, we encountered what we have been told were just strong winds, a regular occurence here.
19 Sep 2017 07:00 GMT+0800
Day 3 - Rainbow
Greeted by a rainbow before we set off to school, right after sunrise! What a wonderful sight to start the day.
18 Sep 2017 18:20 GMT+0800
Day 2 - A Mongolian sunset
After a fulfilling day of volunteer activities and getting to know one and another, we're off to dinner!
18 Sep 2017 17:05 GMT+0800
Day 2 - Home visit
CapitaLand volunteers, including our Group Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Lim, visited students and their families at home to understand their daily lives as well as their hopes and aspirations.
Li Na, 5, is currently studying at CapitaLand Xingfuzhilu Hope School. Her family works in the corn fields that surround their home. Villagers also rear livestock such as sheep and cows, which are their main source of produce.
18 Sep 2017 15:18 GMT+0800
Day 2 - Builders of tomorrow: CapitaLand Little Architect
Here at the school, we're doing what we're good at - building amazing spaces and supporting the communities we're operating in.
Our volunteers lent their expertise to teach the students about architecture and its environment. Joining us too at the classes and trip is Andrew Lim, Group Chief Financial Officer, CapitaLand Limited.
Also, check out these building blocks of love by our little architects!
18 Sep 2017 14:30 GMT+0800
Day 2 - Hello!
"Hello!" in Mongolian, and the kids trot off to some fun and games!
18 Sep 2017 12:00 GMT+0800
Day 2 - Lunch time!
On the menu for lunch today 🍽 -
Steamed eggs and tomatoes
Rice with corn millet
18 Sep 2017 10:30 GMT+0800
Day 2 - Volunteers at work
Our volunteers are fully immersed with their work at the Mongolian and Han schools, adorning the vibrant yellow CapitaLand Hope Foundation vest.
From delivering fruits like apples and bananas, to educating the students on the benefits of a balanced diet, there were an abundance of laughter and smiles to be shared between the volunteers and the children.
Other work at the school involves gardening, painting wall murals and assembling book shelves.
Next up, we're having lunch!
18 Sep 2017 09:45 GMT+0800
Day 2 - Class begins
Students settling down in the classroom
The students were given nutritious breakfast snacks handed out by CapitaLand volunteers.
18 Sep 2017 09:00 GMT+0800
Day 2 - It's school assembly time!
Adorable students decked out in their traditional clothing today to welcome us!
18 Sep 2017 06:30 GMT+0800
Day 2 - Rise and shine
Clear skies, a budding sunrise, at a comfortable 14 degrees Celsius. Setting off bright and early to CapitaLand Xingfuzhilu Hope School from the town centre for a full day of activites! See you in a couple of hours. :)
17 Sep 2017 14:40 GMT+0800
Day 1 - The warm Mongolian welcome
We've arrived! In true Mongolian hospitality, we were treated to Suutei Tsai, the local version of milk tea, and some snacks all housed in a Yurt, a traditional living space!
The school's principals and teachers were all dressed up for the occasion, and we had a wonderful time learning more about each other's culture.
17 Sep 2017 13:00 GMT+0800
Day 1 - On the moove...
Meanwhile, friendly visitors on our roadtrip to Daban town.
17 Sep 2017 10:35 GMT+0800
Day 1 - The adventure begins
We started the day bright and sunny with our band of international volunteers coming together from their respective countries. Many of us flew in to Beijing before transferring a domestic flight to Chifeng over the past couple of days.
This morning, we set off on 2 buses from our hotel at Chifeng city, and head towards Daban town - our home for the next 2 nights.
Here are some sights on the road.
Road trip!! Happy smiles all around as we soak in the scenic views on the road. The weather's nice and chill at about 20 degrees.
We'll be bringing you more updates this afternoon when we're at CapitaLand Xingfuzhilu Hope School. See you then!