Concordia launches fund to fight COVID-19
Concordia International School in Shanghai has launched a “Jiayou China” fund to back the front-line fight against COVID-19. Essential personal protection equipment was provided, with the help of Shanghai Education Development Foundation (SEDF), for medical teams from Shanghai to support Hubei Province amid the epidemic.
Lisa Baermann, senior director of development at CISS, and Suki Chen with the Fund Development and Corporate Relations, have shared with Shanghai Daily some of the details through their whole journey and deep concerns over the ongoing pandemic.
Q: What efforts have you made in helping the local foundations and hospitals during the epidemic?
A: We are continuing to communicate with our local partner SEDF, to apply our fundraising efforts to those in need. SEDF has sent masks, protective suits and ear thermometers to support Wuhan hospitals. The medical teams from Shanghai Zhongshan Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Fudan University and Huashan Hospital delivered the supplies.
With our donations, SEDF will continue to serve those in need and provide support to the doctors and nurses headed to Wuhan. Through SEDF, we are providing funds to the Shanghai Respect Doctor Foundation for those who have put aside their safety and left their families to aid people suffering from the coronavirus.
Q: How many people from your office and campus participated in it?
A: While this effort was led by the Development Office, Concordia leadership, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, students and friends made gifts to support our Jiayou China campaign. Jiayou China has been a Concordia-wide effort.
Q: How did this fund campaign start, and what has triggered you to voluntarily work with hospitals?
A: It was a voluntary move from the beginning which occurred to us when we realized our annual gala and auction might be canceled. We felt that our community was looking for ways to support efforts to treat the sick.
While the virus is prevailing in China, we did a lot of research on what was the best way to help people and what were the best organizations to work with.
Q: Can you share some impressive moments or experience during the whole course?
A: Concordia’s annual gala and auction was scheduled for March 7. In addition to raising funds for special projects at Concordia, each year a percentage of funds are donated to a not-for-profit.
Despite the cancellation of our original plan for the gala and auction, we still felt the responsibility to make a meaningful contribution. Jiayou China was born to fund needed medical supplies for hospitals and to support health-care professionals serving in crisis areas.
We gave our community the option of donating their already purchased gala and auction tickets instead of getting a refund. We also provided them with opportunities to make a donation so that more people can get involved in supporting Jiayou China.
Q: What further moves or suggestions do you have to help contain the ongoing pandemic, especially for students at international schools, since they have a lot of friends and relations abroad?
A: After months of fighting against the COVID-19 with joint efforts, we are delighted to observe the improved situation here in China day by day. However, the virus has been spreading wildly outside China and there are people in other countries suffering now.
We hope our students can share with their friends and relatives outside of the country what they have witnessed and learned here in China. The information they’ve acquired here can come in useful to protect themselves.
We have the High School Applied Learning Class in epidemiology. The students in this class have had a real-life experience while studying epidemics.
They have used the knowledge learned in this classroom and what they’ve experienced personally to create informative videos during this trying time.