Overseas Chinese alumni form emergency aid fund
New York-based alumni of Peking University have established an emergency-assistance fund for Chinese students in the United States, inspired by the impact of the Boston Marathon bombing.
"The intention of the fund is to help overseas Chinese students who are in an emergency," Chen Yusheng, president of the Peking University Alumni Association of Greater New York, said over the weekend.
The fund will be open to US-based Chinese students of all ages, including those in postgraduate academic programs. Depending on the situation, money from the fund will be directed in one of three ways: directly to the student, on the student's behalf to cover expenses in the US, or for establishing a scholarship in the student's name.
The fund, Chen said, could help Chinese students affected by tragedies similar to the April 15 bomb blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
"At least we can let Chinese students know that if they're in trouble, compatriots in China are here and willing to help," she said.
Among the three people killed in the explosions was 23-year-old Boston University graduate Lu Lingzi. Lu's friend and BU classmate Zhou Danling was one of the more than 260 people injured in the blasts and has been undergoing treatment in a Boston hospital.
Lingzi (BU Today)
Chen said fund organizers had contacted the families of Lu and Zhou and offered to send them an initial $2,000.
"The relatives told us they had already received much help from both Chinese students, foreign students, the Chinese Embassy and BU," Chen said. "They suggested that we save the fund money for future use."
Ren Xiaoshan, vice-president of Peking University's alumni group in New York, said that although the fund has started relatively small, awareness of it among Chinese students in the US should enlarge the resource pool available for anyone who needs it.
To help spread the word, the Peking University alumni group invited Brother Sway (see Sina microblog) to give a talk on Friday night in New York. Sway, also known as Ray Tsway or Cui Baoyin, is a Beijing-born graduate of the university who has lived in the US for 25 years and is now a comedian and talk-show host in Seattle.
Brother Sway (Bostonese.com)
Jiang Yansong, vice-president of the alumni group, said he has been living in the US for several years, first as a student. Recalling his own experience, he would like to assist those affected by tragedies such as the one in Boston last month.
Studying abroad, he said, is hard enough without the additional financial burden that an emergency can bring.
"I hope overseas Chinese who are able to help will support our fund and help more overseas students," Jiang said.
Reported by: Hu Haidan
Source: Chinadaily USA
Edited by: Arthars