Hand in Hand Beyond 2010

Spirit of Hand in Hand 20.10 Campaign immortalised in a book to help raise funds for a CapitaLand Hope School library

Issue: Jun 2011

Hand in Hand book launch at Raffles City Shanghaip
Hand in Hand book launch at Raffles City Shanghai

When CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF) embarked on Hand in Hand 20.10 last year, it recruited 1,000 volunteers from 40 cities. The volunteers were needed to help in CHF’s most exciting expedition – to bring 2010 underprivileged children in China to visit the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the largest World Expo to date. The volunteer sign-up rate was so overwhelming that not all could participate in this large-scale corporate social responsibility initiative. Chen Feifei was among the 5,500 who signed up but was not selected. She was disappointed but refused to give up. Her determination to help the less fortunate eventually paid off. This year, she was chosen to help in the charity sale of the Hand in Hand commemorative book《我的N次方》.

Birth of The Book
The book captures the experiences and memories of the children and volunteers of Hand in Hand 20.10

Birth of The Book

The idea for a book to commemorate Hand in Hand 20.10 actually arose from the ground.

"Many of the volunteers and children who participated in this campaign kept asking us to share the photographs of the event with them. So, we thought that publishing a book would be a good idea to capture the spirit and all the elements of this big campaign. It would also make a great gift for those who participated to help them remember the experience,” said Jason Leow, CEO of CapitaLand China Holdings.

One-line Drawing Contest winning entries
This is one of the One-line Drawing Contest winning entries chosen to be included in the book

Hand in Hand 20.10 not only included "Building For Tomorrow" (为明天), the nation-wide participation of 2010 underprivileged children at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, there were also activities held in Singapore. There was a One-line Drawing Contest on the theme of "Shanghai World Expo 2010" organised in April 2010 to kick start the campaign from the headquarters of CapitaLand in Singapore. CHF also brought 200 underprivileged Singapore children on a discovery trail of the World Expo through an interactive educational exhibition. The colourful winning entries of the One-line Drawing Contest now grace the first few pages of this Hand in Hand book.

Stories penned from the Heart

Much of the book is dedicated to the experiences and emotions of the children. For most, it was the chance of a lifetime to leave their hometowns and journey to Shanghai to visit the World Expo as well as tour the city.

One of the most heart-wrenching stories is of Duan Jinming, a little boy who not only managed to see the world in Shanghai but also meet his father. Duan’s father spends most of his time working in Shanghai, thousands of kilometres away from home in Sichuan and the little boy only gets to see him once a year during the Chinese New Year holidays.

The story of Duan Jinming
The story of Duan Jinming realising his dream to see his father in Shanghai is one of the most memorable stories during the Hand in Hand 20.10 campaign recorded in the book

"When I arrived at the Expo and saw my father waiting for me at the entrance, I ran into his arms and held him so tightly. I have been dreaming of seeing him for so long, I didn't want to let him go," recalled Duan in the book.

The young boy remembered the joy and pride he felt as being the only one who had his parent with him throughout the Expo expedition trip.

"I want to thank the Uncles and Aunties from CapitaLand for making my dream come true,” he said of his experience and the surprise meeting with his father.

Although written in the first person, the stories were actually penned by volunteer writers. A group of journalists and writers followed the children from their homes all the way to Shanghai, collecting stories along the way. Volunteers participating in the campaign were also interviewed. A total of 27 stories were selected and compiled for the book.

"To help us pick from the many stories collected, we mapped out a storyline to cover every aspect of the whole campaign. The articles were then presented in the book in chronological order according to the timeline of the events,” said the editor-in-chief of the book, Ci Bing.

Ci is a journalist from Caijing Magazine but he is no stranger to CapitaLand. He has volunteered in several of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) events like the Yunnan Hope School Volunteer Teaching expedition in 2007 before volunteering for Hand in Hand 20.10.

The Power of Love

Hand in Hand 4 and 5
The book has been moving off the shelves at a steady pace

The book took nearly a year to complete. In April this year, it was launched in China at Raffles City Shanghai. Volunteers were recruited to organise the event and promote the sale of the books.

CapitaLand China hopes to sell 7,000 copies of the book to raise RMB 10,000 to build a library at the CapitaLand Inner Mongolia Hope School in September, bringing the organisation’s on-going efforts to build a better future for the next generation another big step forward.

"Before the book launch, the volunteers were given one-day training to make sure they understood the background of the Hand in Hand 20.10 campaign as well as the book. They were then divided into four groups. Each group was scheduled for duty at the sales booth at Raffles City Shanghai for about five hours each," said Wang Hao, the lead volunteer for this activity in Shanghai.

Wang is a veteran volunteer for CapitaLand’s CSR events. He first volunteered in the CapitaLand Muchuan Green Hope School Volunteer Teaching expedition in 2009 and has since participated in four trips to the Shanghai World Expo as part of the Hand in Hand 20.10 campaign, helping to organise and manage the volunteers.

As for Chen, who finally saw her dream of being a volunteer for Hand in Hand 20.10 realised, she said, “Through participating in the activities as a volunteer, I understand the power of commonweal and love. I also witnessed CapitaLand’s philanthropic contributions. I hope we can all combine power and bring love to every corner of this world.

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