WOW SHE ! Volunteer at the UN

Release time:08-18,2021    views:

Hey! Last week Wuhan University (WHU) has singled out an excellent student to be one of the volunteers of the second group in the UNV-CYVA Chinese Youth Volunteer Overseas Volunteering Programme. The girl will head for Sri Lanka as an international volunteer. Today we would like to introduce her to you.

Wei Yena


Wei Yena, majoring in English Language and Literature, is in her third year pursuing master’s degree in WHU.

She will work as a project support specialist for Partnerships For the Goals, the 17th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) in the branch of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) in Sri Lanka.

01 Relay as WHUers

The Programme started in 2019, jointly organized and exercised by the China Youth Volunteers Association (CYVA) and the United Nations Volunteers Organization (UNV). It has aroused Wei’s interest from the very start. In the same year, WHU, as one of the first seven cooperative universities, sent Song Yuting, an undergraduate student grade 2017, to volunteer in the UNV’s branch in Yangon, Myanmar. . Wei was greatly inspired by her successful completion of the task.

Three years later, the opportunity came once again. In 2021,on the basis of the 7 participants from 7 universities, the Programme for the second group    plans to cooperate with 15 universities to select 24 Chinese young volunteers, who will be volunteering in 14 UN agencies around the world for six months.

UN GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER Wall ( the first on the left is Wei)

However, there are uncertainties for volunteering overseas during the pandemic. Besides, the timing of the project may disrupt participants’ initial life plan. On second thought, Wei finally decided to seize the opportunity and enrolled for the second selection, hoping to enrich her life experience.


All the candidates have their own strengths, including internships in international organizations, support from SDGs, overseas study and living experience, ability to speak multiple languages , and rich experience in volunteerism. Faced with rounds of selection and fierce competition, Wei carefully sorted out the relevant work experience and advantages in her resume, and also studied the work  of the UN branches as well as the national condition of Sri Lanka. With these efforts, she successfully passed the online interview of UN volunteer accepting organizations and stood out from all the excellent candidates.


Online Initiation Ceremony

Friendship, which derives from close contact between the people, holds the key to sound state-to-state relations. Volunteering overseas is more complicated than that in her own country, while Wei believes, "We will demonstrate the spirit of Chinese youth in contemporary world, forge deep friendship with local people, contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and promote China's participation in international governance." It is with this yearning that she develops from a “walker on the bridge” to a “builder of the bridge” once again.

02 Been There For 6 Years

As Wei said "To integrate volunteering in life", volunteering has become an integral part of her life. Since she joined CYVA in her freshman year, she has been actively participating in large-scale activities of WHU and school-community volunteering services. Thanks to these experiences, she is always studying, observing, thinking and helping, which contributed to her self-development and self-satisfaction.


During the pandemic, with other members in the volunteer team "Dream Jia: Walking with Heroes in Harm’s Way", she helped, accompanied and guided the children of medical staff on the front line to understand their parents and the country. With these efforts the team aimed to alleviate the worries of medical workers about their family when fighting against the virus.


With the children of medical staff in Dream House, Zhongnan Hospital

For Wei Yena, the spirit of volunteering is not only rooted in the words and deeds of "being kind to others", but also embodied in the world vision: discover your own beauty while appreciate others’, goals of self and others can be unified thus the world can be harmonized. She received and translated for Ms. Dorssainvil, president of the University of Queensland, Haiti, at the 8th World University Women Presidents Forum. She also served as an international student coordinator at Duke University in Kunshan, assisting more than 100 international students from 26 countries and regions in their residence procedures and facilitating their life in China. She was also invited to work as a camp counselor to assist China Education Association for International Exchange in organizing the 2019 Cross-Straits Youth Leaders Training Camp (Mainland) to promote youth exchanges cross the Straits.


The 8th World University Women Presidents Forum

(Wei is the fifth from the right on the second row)

Last International Youth Day, she wrote a letter on behalf of her team, to U.N.Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, introducing the efforts of Wuhan University's young students during the pandemic. Miss Wickramanayake’s kind reply and encouragement to the team  inspired the members in the team.


The second from the right : Wei Yena

Six years of volunteering has witnessed Wei’s sweats and smiles, as well as love and expectation. She hopes to go out to the world with China’s experience, and repay China with global experience. It is not only out of her professional mission as a foreign language major student, but also her passion and vision.

03 The perfect combination of specialty and interest

“We must first of all conduct ourselves honorably”. Volunteering requires competence, ability and spirit. In the busy and substantial schedule of training and services, Wei keeps learning and making progress.


"How can we figure out people’s real needs when serving them ?" "How can we maximize the value of public welfare?" Beyond the passion, she began to focus more on the exploration of scientific public welfare. And she gradually realized that in public welfare, sociological approaches should be embraced to have an insight in problems, management science for comprehensive operating, professional methods to intervene, and statistical science to evaluate effectiveness, which motivates her to learn professional operational system of volunteer service.


Wei Participating in the China Public Welfare Project Contest on behalf of the team

"Learn it from application, apply it in learning" holds true to Wei Yena. As an English major, she consciously seeks to enhance her professional ability, and make the best of it. For example, she managed to obtain the CATTI certificates and participated in various international conferences on behalf of WHU for practicing herself. In order to develop towards international journalism, she joined the English Press Student Club and led a team of 60 to operate the English website of WHU. She devoted herself to English news reports. By writing about the stories of Wuhan University and people here, she is preparing herself to tell China’s stories in the future.


At the reviewing meeting of the Press Club in June

In terms of academic research, she  has unexceptionally chosen what she is most interested in — focusing on the international communicative challenges faced by China during its rise as a great power. She hosted an interdisciplinary undergraduate innovation and entrepreneurship project — Corpus-based Analysis of Chinese and Indian English Media's Coverage of the Belt and Road Initiative on Facebook platform, which was awarded the National Excellent Project. Undoubtedly Wei has perfectly combined her personal interest with academic research.


At the Duke-UnC China Leadership Summit (CLS)

In the past 6 years, those countless activities have given her the opportunity to practice herself in various occasions. Those who knew her were all impressed by her calm and persistence, which was in fact out of a long period of intense work and study. In her sophomore year, she  minored in journalism and thus had 10 classes every day on weekends from 8 am to 6:30 pm.


"It was exhausting, but I chose to stick to it. I was so happy and cheered each time I ‘beat monsters and got upgrade’, ‘found a way out’”, she laughed and said. One can not develop a quality overnight, but this quality can help one out at the critical moment. She appreciates her past efforts and is determined to move forward gently and firmly.


Tips for excellent performance and Words to younger students

Uphold your passion and be responsible. Always live up to others’ expectation and your own requirements. This spirit helped me complete the tasks successfully. Meanwhile, Wuhan University is a broad platform with abundant opportunities for the diversity of our growth and development. I hope you could strengthen yourself, cherish the resources and seize the opportunities.

Measure the world on foot, Explore things with eyes

Never waste the Youth, bravely, Shoulder the responsibilities of the time

Look forward to Wei’s successful completion of the mission

Convey the true image of China

Promoting cultural exchanges and mutual learning

(Adapted from Wuhan University Wechat platform, Translated by Li Mengfan, Edited by Yu Yongfang)

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