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2014 APEC volunteers from PKU: serve the grand meeting with heart and soul

Autumn in Beijing is charming, yet I cannot linger on its beauty.
I met a group of lovely people, and we cooperate with and support each other.
I chose to fulfill my commitment, serving with heart and soul.
I am a member of the “APEC Generation”, and I hail for volunteers and their smiles.

Peking University, Dec. 2, 2014 : Most Chinese people’s early memory about APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) came from the year 2001, when APEC was held in Shanghai. Back then, this group of PKU students were too innocent to know anything about this grand meeting. However, over a decade later in the 2014 autumn in Beijing, they have become a part of APEC and embarked on a wonderful journey.

In November 2014, APEC was held in Beijing with the world watching it closely. Unsung heroes in the meeting include more than two thousand volunteers from universities across Beijing. Their sincere attitudes and considerate service win praises for China and they are therefore called the “APEC Generation”. Among them are 123 conference volunteers and 200 volunteers outside the conference venues from Peking University. Their footprints have covered venues from the Water Cube (the National Swimming Centre) and China National Convention Centre (CNCC) to Beijing International Convention Centre. They interpret the true meaning of APEC through their own actions.

The group photo of PKU volunteers

"A” for altruism: giving without expecting any returns

"Never seek after personal interests, money or fame.” These words are written on the title page of the APEC training manual for volunteers. “Silent giving, disinterested sacrifice” is the faith that sustains every PKU volunteer.

During the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, the logistics group at the Media Centre probably had the most manual labor with the least media attention. In CNCC, the logistics group leader Li Junyi, a PKU volunteer from College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, worked with his team in the underground storehouse for seven or eight hours without intermission. They assembled about 4,000 media packs and delivered them to every journalist.

Logistics volunteers working in the underground storehouse

Wang Rui from Department of Chinese Language and Literature was a reception volunteer in Yanqi Lake conference hotel. Her main job was to help journalist get registered and provide translation and bus service information for them. Having been on duty for over ten consecutive hours on November 10, she nevertheless worked deep into 3 a.m. of the next day. She said, “Isn’t the selfless sacrifice the core of volunteering work, no matter how tiring it is? Besides, I feel happy of giving.”

PKU volunteers in etiquette training

"P” for persistence: never give up

Li Xiaowei from School of Foreign Languages, group leader of service desk at the Media Centre, was on duty during the around-the-clock service in CNCC. “We can rest for an hour and a half during the night shift. It’s only one or two degrees in the midnight and the service desk is in the hall, so everyone is freezing. We make two table cloths into temporary quilts and sleep on the carpet. However, no one quits.” Li said proudly.

The group photo of volunteers in CNCC

In the Water Cube, volunteers had to wait five hours for every joint volunteer rehearsal. Dai Yue from School of Law still chose to attend the rehearsal though suffering from pneumonia. She said, “Everyone is suffering for lack of heating equipment, not just me. But we all know that we are doing our share for our country. No matter how tiring it is, we’ll never give up.”

The group photo of usher volunteers outside the Water Cube

"E” for earnest: complete concentration

A seemingly unimportant post comes with great responsibility. APEC’s highest requirement of voluntary service is that volunteers should be completely concentrated and meticulous because their posts always bring numerous trivial affairs that are otherwise easily ignored. Zhang Yifan from School of Economics and Shi Xiaoming from School of Government, both volunteers for Finance Ministers’ Meeting, prepared important materials for the meeting and corrected immediately any mistakes found. With such concentration and carefulness, they didn’t make a single mistake in all the hundreds of materials.

Volunteers for document printing

Among PKU volunteers, five from the group of credentials are probably of “the greatest seniority”: they have been in service for about a month since middle October. Their work is closely related with every journalist’s credential and allows no error. “Every time when we recite the information of the journalist who comes for his or her credential, we feel like we are wizards,” said Jiang Peiwen from School of Government. An estimated 4,000 credentials for both Chinese and international journalists were registered and delivered by these volunteers during the APEC leaders’ week.

Volunteers of credentials group

"C” for care: loving atmosphere of solidarity

Volunteers received much care and concern from the school as well as the organizing committee of APEC, making their hard work more enjoyable. Before volunteers in Yanqi Lake officially started their service, PKU prepared for every volunteer a “Caring Gift Bag”, a token of love and concern from school leaders and teachers.  Later, in the afternoon of November 8, surprise gifts containing thank-you notes and souvenirs were sent to all volunteers by the organizing committee. It also held a group birthday party for volunteers born in November. All these brightened the volunteers’ day and motivated them to move forward.

The group birthday party

Volunteers also helped each other during their service. Before the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, the logistics group volunteers were under such heavy workload that five more volunteers from the Yanqi Lake Media Center offered their help generously. More others on shift, once hearing about the news, also came and gave their hands. When the task was finally done, every volunteer felt the warmth and power in the group.

The beautiful autumn in 2014 saw the growth and undertaking responsibility of a new generation of PKUers. Young PKUers incorporate PKU’s hundred-year tradition into their volunteering service, their own dreams into the Chinese dream. During the critical period of establishing a world-class university, Peking University takes much pride in the unselfish sacrifice of these young people. 

Written by: Xiao Chunliang
Edited by: Yan Shengnan
Source: PKU News