Social Responsibility
From the very beginning, Westbay has been sponsoring the education of ethnic minority groups in Guizhou Province.
School Sponsorship Program:

Many families in the minorities we support are too poor to send their children to school. We fully sponsor their children's education all the way from primary and secondary school through to university completion. This support is not only financial, but also comes in the form of moral encouragement, closely monitored guidance and advice concerning the children's future.

This program brings hope to many children and is making a big impact in their lives because many of them are discouraged from an early age by the knowledge that even if they do perform well in school and get the grades, they still cannot afford to go to university, so they give up before they even begin. Knowing that Westbay will fully sponsor their university education as well encourages them to stay in school and perform well.

Most of these children have never experienced life outside of their villages, so might have confidence issues with working in big cities. We try to help them overcome their inhibitions by providing 1-month internships at Westbay, with fully paid travel, accommodation and salary.

It is an amazing feeling to see these children's lives improve and to see the joy and hope on their faces as they succeed in life, having climbed out of what once seemed to be an impossible pit of poverty and lack. The pride that parents can feel in their children's achievements is priceless.

One of the girls we sponsored over the last few years has already graduated from university, and following her internship here with us, went back to become a teacher in her hometown. She is now having a tremendous impact on her people, whom she is also helping to market and sell their local embroidery. One young man we sponsored took a city job and then used his experience to form an idea about growing ginseng in his hometown. There are 3 more students who will soon be graduating from university as well. The fruit is already starting to manifest and with over 30 families under our full sponsorship, we are very excited about the positive changes that will take place in the lives of these great people.

 

School Awards Incentive:

This program, though smaller in scope, is nonetheless having a tangible impact on student performance at school. Special awards (including small money prizes) are given to children who perform exceptionally well. Not to leave anyone out, these incentives are also awarded to students who have seen marked improvement in their grades over a period of time. This helps to keep students motivated and is also a fun way of rewarding their hard work.

Yiqi Pao Running Club:

Kevin Bao co-founded Yiqi Pao (literally translated “Running Together”) running club in August 2004 and now has more than 11,000 members throughout Shanghai. Westbay employees are directly involved in organizing club runs every week, which include a post run gathering and dinner for new runners to meet and greet. The club is a great source of encouragement for many people locally, who have seen both their physical and mental health improve in a social environment that brings people from all walks of life together with a common interest.