Smiling Saturday

Fresh Saturday – Jan 14, 2006.

The day started from the Qixiu Middle School of Si’nan Road. I love Si’nan Road greatly. It is almost the quietest street I can find in downtown Shanghai. You feel so especially at the moment when you turn into the road from crowded Huaihai Road.

This morning is the annual meeting of Smiling Library. It is the third year of their meeting. There are just too many meeting requests coming in every day, I believe it is my commitment to join their annual internal review meeting, as their consultant. I have been doing the job for almost three years with 2 hour commitment every 6 months.

Previous events:

The logo from 2005

Smiling in 2006

Several moments I remember during the annual review meeting. One child from Anhui arrived in Shanghai the day before and cried immediately when she arrived in Shanghai Railway Station. The primary school child said: “How a city can differ from the place the live so greatly!”.

The President from a village school also described the situation in his school. It is even more unbelievable from my imagination. It is a very good educational time for me.

Doing NGO in China?

I am so happy my new friend Sarah from National Kidney Foundation accepted my invitation to the panel and shared the practices in Singapore. NKFS is one of the most successful NGO in Asia, with huge amount of donated dollars and effective execution team.

I was impressed by the way NKF treated their customer – the donator. Sarah mentioned every donate, no matter how big or small they donate, will receive a hand-signed thank you letter from the CEO of the organization. The beneficial will come and join the celebration of their birthday or important events. They treated their volunteers so well. They pay them basic amount of money but show care to them and meet their emotional needs. Smiling Library should learn a lot as an organization.

My other friends (who also worked for Microsoft) suggested the best way to do charity organization in China is to register a FOR-PROFIT company. Since it is impossible for Smiling Library to register as a not-for-profit organization under the current legal framework, I would say, it would be better to register as a company instead of nothing. At least someone takes legal responsibility of the money they get. For some individual to hold large amount of money from donators will eventually prevent the organization from growing.

Talked with Xiao-Ling

21st Economy Review is one of my most favorite magazine. I had a short lunch with their editor on IT and Finance. I understand why their articles stand out from all the similar newspapers.

Photos at Night

I accepted the invitation to write something for National Graphics magazine in China. Their professional photographer, Zhang Qianli, came and shot a lot of pictures of Zheng Ziying, Tang Xiaomin. Poor Cheng Liang was not able to join due to emergency. Best wishes to him, the one I never meet.

I didn’t know that at 6:00 PM, when Xujiahui is completely dark, the photographer can still shot wonderful pictures with both clear and bright foreground and background pictures. The foreground was lightened with 3 flash lights (remote control), and the background appears because of the additional 1.6 second exposure after the foreground is taken.

The dream of my nice camera started to appear in my mind again. I have persuaded myself that for a photographer, the sensation for light and color are more important than the equipment you use. I learnt this from the text book of the New York Institute of Photography, but I changed my mind. It is really hard for my Sony P8 to take a picture similar to this Nikon.

6 Comments

  1. Hi, WJS,

    I saw you walking with another guy on SiNan Road (near NanChang road)Saturday morning. Since I haven’t met you, so I did not say hi… Maybe I should… As a very busy person, you are certainly showing the great hearts for committing some great social causes over the long haul. This is really a nice way to demonstrate a strong and socially responsible emerging leadership in making, it is especially important as our generation is making great impacts to the society. Thank you for doing this and thank you for showing the society that our generation is changing China for the better.

  2. limin, oh. we missed each other. The person I wa working with is the managing editor of the 21rd Economic Review, the very influencial editor in the IT and financial world. The day was very educational for me to understand the gap between cities and rural areas (although I came from somewhat rural areas), and to understand how hard it is to run NGO in China.

  3. I am surprised you mention NKF in your blog. You really don’t know how charity works in singapore. The former NKF CEO is a absolute wanker. he had been busy flying his 1st class flight using the money donated by the singapore citizens and I serious doubt he had time signing any thank you letter.

    Watching the NKF charity show make me sick, all the actors and actress are like a bunch of clows.

  4. Jian Shuo – re the NKF, samuel is absolutely right on their practices. If their CEO hadn’t been so arrogant as he was, we still wouldn’t know the truth!! He was paid $600,000 Singapore dollars a year (approx 3m yuan), flew first class everyone and also paid kickbacks to his cronies. The government finally had to appoint KPMG to investigate the NKF’s practices, and fired the CEO and the entire board of directors. See the report.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/HA05Ae01.html

  5. Jian Shuo

    I stumbled across your blog on Smiling Library while looking for something else (isn’t that always the way?). I accessed the website and am vey impressed with what your organization is trying to do for communities. Education and literacy is SO important!

    I worked for a year in Liaonong province and have developed a love for China and Chinese people. I am an elementary school library media specialist and a member of the American Library Assocation here in the US and would love to be able to somehow contruibute something more for the children of China. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

  6. Susan, thanks a lot for offering help. The world is much better with good people like you. Your note is wonderful enough for the project. :-) Thanks.

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