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Shanghai Sunrise Pairing Ceremony

23 November 2015

With Christmas Bazaar just days away, it’s good to know that the money raised from this very popular event will go to some worthy local charities. Among them is Shanghai Sunrise which, through sponsorships, supports disadvantaged local high school and university students to complete their education. This year, through the NAIS Pudong Community Group, 17 students will receive essential financial support to give them this step up.

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On Sunday 22nd November, a contingent from NAIS Pudong attended the annual Shanghai Sunrise Pairing Ceremony and had the opportunity to meet the students who will benefit from the sponsorships, learning more about them and their aspirations for the future. Many of the 14 students who attended are in their second-last year of high school, Senior 2, and spoke of their plans to become lawyers, teachers, doctors and designers. All bar a couple of the students had bused in to the Hilton Huashan Lu from Chongming Island to attend the ceremony and meet their sponsors.

Ms Jane Kilpatrick, Ms Claire Cuskin and Ms Lynette MacDonald joined the students in listening to a graduate of the Shanghai Sunrise programme and now volunteer, Tao Jun Hua, speak firstly in Mandarin and then in English about his own experience, recalling his own “welcome to the sweet family” at his pairing ceremony in 2008. Tao Jun spoke of how his sponsorship, and working as a Shanghai Sunrise college student volunteer, saw him evolve from a shy young man to the confident and composed man who addressed the audience.

Each year, Shanghai Sunrise pairs more than 400 students with sponsors, and this year, 150 new students joined the programme, replacing many who have now graduated and are making their way in the world.

There were get-to-know-you activities and photos, and the students and sponsors now look forward to meeting up again in the spring for lunch and to discuss the students’ progress.