Langley teen humanitarian makes summer trip to China

Grade 12 student Kevin Lee is getting ready for a cross-China trip at the end of the month, with 24 other like-minded youth.

The Langley resident and student of Walnut Grove Secondary became a member, and took on the leadership role, of the Langley branch of SDC Blue Ribbon Foundation International in September of 2013.

SDC stands for Social Diversity for Children and the youth-run organization, a registered non-profit, focuses on fundraising and activities to create a cohesive and inclusive community locally and globally.

“I’ve always been interested in humanitarian causes,” said Lee of why he joined the organization. “From volunteering at our school clubs and leading some of them, to working for a BC Children’s Hospital fundraiser. Joining the SDC Blue Ribbon Foundation was one of those steps I took to help out in the community.”’

When the founder of SDC International, David Wang, went to China and experienced the lack of support, services, and compassion for children with disabilities in the country, he came back to Canada and founded the organization. It was this primary trip that inspire Lee’s upcoming trip set for July 27 to Aug. 15.

“…He [David Wang, on his trip] got to see how the [disabled] kids were treated there and how only a few people would stand up for them. Those few people made all the difference though,” Lee said.

“Now that the organization has been running for four years, with programs and events all over North America, we all want to start making global change as well. We are visiting China first as they are really making an effort to improve their social welfare policies for children with disabilities.”

The plans for the trip are twofold: youth empowerment and disability justice.

“We will be negotiating with the Chinese government to improve the social welfare policies currently in place for children with disabilities,” Lee noted. “We hope to implement more youth-empowering alternative therapy or social programs for children with disabilities. In addition, we will be volunteering at autism rehabilitation centres and schools for children with disabilities and visiting international schools to speak with high school students about youth leadership and advocacy.”

Initially, Lee’s parents thought his involvement in the trip was  “unnecessary” due to his ongoing help with disabled children in Canada, but he explained, “I want to see how people with disabilities are treated differently across different cultures and I want to help take the next step towards reforming the faults in different cultures in mistreating the disabled.”

While there are some programs in China for children with disabilities, Lee noted that there aren’t enough.

“Most of them are not generally customized to the child,” he noted. “We hope to change that and make social programs and events more accessible for everyone by sharing the experience we’ve gained in North America.”

When asked what he hopes to gain from embarking on the trip, Lee responded, “I hope to gain new friends, both from North America and from China. SDC’s dream is to eradicate the stigma on disabilities by creating friendships between people with disabilities and people without. I hope to make a positive impact by becoming friends with everyone, people of any ability.”

SDC International wants as many youth as possible to work together for positive change in the world as youth helping youth.

Find out more about SDC International at www.SDCBlueRibbonFoundation.org.

Just Posted

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

WATCH: Farm Country Brewing in Langley City expected to open in summer

Farm Country Brewing is currently under construction and is planned to open in summer 2019.

South Langley centre offers seniors an array of activities

Members decide which courses and activities are offered at the Brookswood Seniors Centre.

LETTER: Langley/Surrey shortchanged on transit for Vancouver

Funding to get SkyTrain to Langley City could come from not undergrounding Vancouver’s extension.

LETTER: Area letter writer puts Trump government shutdown in perspective

A Maple Ridge letter writer is critical of Hillary Clinton’s comments about the shutdown.

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Most Read