History

 

(Click on any photo and then use left / right arrow to view a slide show)

 

The roots of Go Beyond are in China’s southernmost province, Yunnan.    In 2006, two volunteers, later members of Go Beyond, assisted a program of donating needed goods to a village where Habitat houses were being constructed.   The organizer of this initiative, having worked with Habitat for a period, was familiar with the needs of the village and, working with several business associates, began donating rice and other items to the village.

 

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Donated rice

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Socks

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Lego

 

On a subsequent trip there was a discussion of one of the most basic needs of the village - a better drinking water supply - which resulted in a simple plan: Using locally-available materials, attach gutters to a house to feed rainwater into a metal tank.  If successful, the same system would then be installed on more houses.

 

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Discussion of water supply

 

With the support of a business associate, Dongguan factory owner Mr Cheung, Chris and another volunteer travelled to the village to begin installing guttering on the first house.  Mr Cheung’s teenage son and daughter also joined the trip.

 

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Young volunteers

 

The work on this somewhat experimental trip, where the brackets had to be made by hand and a customised ladder  assembled from two ladders, was a drawn-out process, but nevertheless great experience for the two young people involved, in learning to adapt to and meet challenges. Undoubtedly the training they received was unparalleled by any available in a classroom.  It was hands-on learning of a type they were not used to but greatly enjoyed.

 

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Shopping for materials

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Hand-made bracket

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Customized ladder

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The result

 

The first simple water collection system was completed on the next trip a few months later and subsequently several more tanks were installed.    Again the team was composed of young people with several coordinators helping to manage the numerous details.   It was noteworthy that the involvement of young people in the project seemed to draw in other young people.    Some student participants also raised needed funding for the project.

 

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First completed water system

 

This was the case when in 2009, Minnie, Mr Cheung’s daughter who was on the first trip, formed a small team with fellow students, and was sponsored by the Hong Kong youth development organization, U-Action.   As a U-Action team for the year 2009, Minnie and teammates made a major contribution to the water project by installing another water system.  Additionally they conducted children’s activities and were able to finance two toilet blocks and donate a table-tennis table.

 

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At Mr Cheung's factory

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Another tank installed

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Donated table tennis table

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Sponsored toilet block

 

There was also a definite synergy happening between the project and Minnie’s fellow-students in Hong Kong Polytechnic University – Minnie, with her involvement in the project, became president of the university’s Rotaract club that year, and in December 2009 worked with Chris to organize the club’s annual service trip to India.

 

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Visit to an orphanage near Delhi

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Traveling to exotic places

 

This led to an introduction to James Luitel of Beam Life Foundation in Nepal, and a trip to work with James in June 2010, bringing a team of students from HK Baptist University. It was a unforgettable cultural-volunteer trip, with our team spending several days helping James work on his project's newly sponsored library outside Kathmandu.

 

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In front of the library

Student outing

Painting a wall mural

 

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Nepal library near completion

 

Around this time, our newly-formed team of directors began planning a new project to benefit the village we were helping in Yunnan, China – a good quality library for primary school students – as well as an upcoming trip in August.

 

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2010 trip - Arriving in Kunming

 

The team for the August 2010 trip was comprised of another U-Action sponsored team, along with participants from Australia and the USA.   Additionally, an engineer from Mr Cheung’s factory, joined the trip to train both villagers and volunteers, in construction of a 25-cubic meter reinforced-concrete tank.    This constituted the beginning of phase two of the water supply project, the constructing of larger concrete tanks for storing excess water collected during the rainy season.

 

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Concrete tank

 

The U-Action team also began work on setting up the planned library in the local school, and stocking it with an initial batch of children’s books, selected to create interest in reading and well as to provide content on morals and a wide range of general knowledge topics.

 

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Preparing the library

 

In January, 2011, a team of Poly-U students, along with other volunteers and several Go Beyond coordinators, returned to complete work on the concrete water tank built on the previous trip, and finished setting up the library so it could open shortly afterwards.

 

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The team

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Concrete tank

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Donated shoes

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Library with the first 500 books on the shelves

During the next visit, in August, 2011, the team hosted an inspiring children's activity in the library - a music workshop conducted in collaboration with the Rainbows After Rain project.

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Music workshop

 

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Another water system installed

 

The story continues -- and we hope you will become a part.   Please drop us a line!