Most of our students from the small class and BLCU programs also take part in regular volunteer activities within Beijing and around China. In addition, Lotus is able to sponsor individuals who want to volunteer but not take classes. Program "fees" for volunteering are considered to be donations, but if you are unable to donate, Lotus is also able to financially support a limited number of volunteers. For more information regarding this option, please see Lotus Volunteer Sponsorship.
Volunteering in China has taken large steps in the past few years. The 2008 Beijing Olympics, besides bringing millions of foreign visitors to the city, also led to one of China's first large scale volunteer efforts. Thousands of young volunteers from Beijing's universities and high schools worked to make the Olympics a friendly, safe, and smooth event for participants and spectators. Many of Lotus' current volunteers began their personal dedication to charity during the Olympic Games.
Besides the Olympics, the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, although a disaster of widespread suffering, also lead to a vast outpouring of donations and direct volunteer work both from within China and from abroad. The majority of our employees took part in the rescue and restoration efforts following the tragedy.
Despite these efforts, volunteerism is still on shaky ground in China. There is no tax exempt status for charitable organizations, and many of the popular NGO's require close supervision or partnership with local and national governments. Still, progress is being made with more and more individuals willing to donate their time and money to charitable causes.
We at Lotus hope to expand our capacity to help and give to those in need. We currently sponsor programs at senior centers and a migrant school in Beijing, as well as at an orphanage in the Tibetan region of Sichuan. We hope to continue to expand our capacity to support volunteers in China, an experience we know will be beneficial to those in need as well as those willing to help. Lotus depends on charitable donations to support these programs. Please visit our donations page if you would like to help.