Yellow River Voluntary Alliance

mainly in chinese – based in China serving China, organising and sourcing a variety of projects bringing together people desiring to serve and those in need.

The Yellow River Soup Kitchen is a not for profit NGO, registered in the UK. A secular organisation that is open to everybody, it is wholly run by volunteers for volunteers and as such has no overheads of any description. Our objective is to organise or source a variety of projects, with the aim of bringing together two specific groups of people; namely those with a desire to serve and those that are in need. Hence, providing an opportunity, a vehicle, support and empowerment, to enable volunteers to channel their energies for the benefit of others whilst at the same time achieving personal growth and development. Facilitating the opportunity to cultivate a small change inside potentially manifesting in a larger change outside … (full text english Homepage/about).

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On going projects: Soup Kitchen, in Xi’an: Several large filled steamed buns called Baozi stuffed with a combination of vegetables, tofu and noodles, pots of hot soup and tea are served three times weekly, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings at the catholic church on Wu Xing Jie.  

  • At the same time two teams of volunteers also visit the streets and serve hot food and tea to the homeless who are unable to come to the Soup Kitchen. This has continued every week without fail since it began in December ‘05 regardless of the weather or holidays, for instance Chinese New Year, Christmas etc. In our first two and a half years we have provided nearly 40,000 meals and are currently serving around 2000 meals per month.
  • It would be so much simpler, to work as a small regular group but this would miss out on what is a wonderful opportunity to offer so much more, namely leaving the chance open for anyone to come along and work with their heart. This is a major reason for our very existence as an organisation. Since we began over 800 volunteers have come and given their time in any way they felt able. Several of them being the homeless people themselves who, for whatever their reasons feel compelled to regularly come and assist us helping their colleagues.
  • Despite us being independent of any specific religion the Church where we run the Soup Kitchen has been tremendously supportive of our actions, perhaps due to them recognising the simplicity of the motivation, and in February 2007 Father Stephen Chen, decided to take the initiative to build us a new building from where we could serve the food. This was opened on Sunday May 13th 2007 and has seating for 140 people so our volunteers are now able to serve and our guests able to eat indoors sheltered from the burning heat or the freezing cold and rain. As we look ahead, a major focus will remain on improving and expanding the Soup Kitchen.

Providing Aid To Earthquake Regions – New in 2008:

  • On May 12, 2008 China experienced a 7.9 earthquake in Sichuan Province, located in central China, around 70,000 people died, and over five million people were left homeless. Upon hearing of the devastation we obtained special permission from the provincial government here in Shaanxi province to organise an aid project and deliver essential items directly to the region. Something that probably would not have been possible without our two and a half year track record. The trip was understandably not without its challenges, not least of which was at 7.30 am on the Saturday morning when we were told that it was too dangerous to go to either Nin Qiang or Lue Yang due to heavy storms the previous night and it loosening all the rocks on the mountains causing landslides and the rocks to fall on the roads. The government officials told us that we must cancel the trip, despite us already being in the process of loading up the vehicles in preparation for our 8 am departure. After lengthy discussions it was agreed that without taking any unnecessary risks, as it made no sense to add to their already considerable problems, that it was safe enough to go to Lue Yang.
  • We took two vehicles, one a 12 meter two level coach with all the seating removed to provide additional storage and a separate mini bus to transport the volunteers. We were 28 volunteers in all but could easily have been three times as many such was the level of support and desire to help. We slept in tents and carried our own food so that we incurred no expenses.
  • In total we delivered 104 tents, 6-7000 items of mainly used clothing, 20-30 quilts, children’s clothing, books, pens and a few toys, 30 or more cases of water and numerous boxes of dried foods e.g. rice and noodles, 40 boxes of convenience meals, cooking oil etc. At an estimated total of 150,000 RMB – (approximately £12000 or $20,000) everything was donated including both vehicles, drivers and fuel for the two day trip. We could have been considered a little over ambitious expecting to organise the whole trip in just a week but the response we received was so amazing that eight days after announcing our plans we were on the road.

Supporting School Children In Earthquake Effected Regions – New in 2008: … (full long projects documentation).

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