without Borders, Xiada Campus Reconstruction on the Way--XMU international students participate actively in post-disaster voluntary work
On Sept. 15th, Category 5 typhoon Meranti slammed into Xiamen, leaving Xiamen paralyzed and Xiada campus severely damaged. Fearless Xiamen University teachers, staff and students forged together to fight against the disaster. Among the numerous volunteers in the post-disaster reconstruction activities are some international students, who made a bright sight on the campus.
Mr. Serajul Islam Abul Kasem Mohammad, Bangleshi Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of South China Sea Studies returned to Xiada around the noon of Sept. 16. When he stepped into the university gate, he was shocked by what he saw after the typhoon. The once beautiful campus was turned into a chaotic place with fallen trees, broken electric poles and cars scattered everywhere. Overwhelmed with sorrow, he also felt obliged to do something for the campus. The next morning, when he found Chinese student volunteers cleaning up fallen trees outside Caiqingjie Building, he immediately joined them without further thought. He said, “We have the most beautiful campus in China. No disaster can make harm to her. Together we stand.”
Another volunteer comes from Malaysia and is pursuing his Ph.D. degree at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Mr. Kong Ann Wan kept well in touch with his teachers and Chinese students during this typhoon hit. The first-hand information from the Chinese teachers and students brought him a feeling of belonging and safety. When he saw the call for volunteers among Chinese students, he decided to be part of them. On Sept. 17, he took part in the clean-up work around his college. Together with other students, they moved broken branches to roadside, removed obstacles on the road and restored the road traffic near the college buildings.
Ms. Thuong Nguyen Thi, 2016 new student at the School of Journalism and Communication from Vietnam, was just settled for 5days when she experienced Meranti at Xiada. However, she was not scared after witnessing the typhoon’s disastrous impact on the campus. When she knew that the college was asking for volunteers to clean the campus, she wrote down the time and place of the volunteering activity and appeared there next day. “Although I’m here for just one week, I have been touched by this beautiful campus and the kind teachers and students here. It is my second home. I was very sad when I saw it battered by the typhoon. I am part of the university and I should do something for it.” Through the heart-felt words of Ms. Thuong Nguyen Thi Thuong we can feel the new students’ enthusiasm for Xiamen University.
The above continuing and new international students are just the epitome of more unknown international student volunteers who not only helped to reconstruct our campus but also worked actively with local communities in post-disaster rehabilitation.
International students were also moved by the fortitude and love all over the campus. Even though both power and water supplies were once disrupted by the typhoon, university canteens still made their best to guarantee food and meal supply for all students. The whole university worked together to ensure academic order after the Mid-Autumn break. Love is without national borders. The ruthless typhoon brought international students from all over the world much closer with Xiada and Xiamen city and they are trying their best to make contributions to the development of Xiada and Xiamen.