We believe that we all share this one world where we live. We want to acknowledge this by contributing our share to people in need. At the same time we want to raise awareness of charity work. In addition to giving back to local communities at our study abroad destinations, we donate on a yearly basis to charity programs and involve students and staff as well.
Our charity work focuses on supporting educational possibilities for children and young people all around the world. This is because we strongly believe education to be the key to personal and social progress and prosperity. Occasionally we take part in local charity events, and we encourage everyone to support charity organizations where and however they can. Let’s make the world a better place together!
If you share our vision and would like to participate somehow too, we have gathered a list of charity organizations at the end of this page for you to choose from.
Giving back to the communities we value
The local communities our students are a part of are an essential and extremely enriching part of their study abroad experience. We at Asia Exchange want to actively engage with the communities that give so much to us and our students, and help where we can.
We encourage all our students to take part in the community outreach projects we organize. Seeing the local life from a different perspective is crucial for comprehending the communities and destinations fully.
We organize visits to orphanages in Bali and Phuket. The children have always enjoyed the individual attention and time they’ve gotten from the students. We also support the orphanages with biannual donations.
Seeds of Hope (Bali, Indonesia)
Poverty and a low quality of living are every day life for the local people in many places in Asia – also on the paradise island of Bali. Asia Exchange started its charity work in the children’s home, Seeds of Hope, in Bali in 2011. As part of our efforts, we have made donations to Seeds of Hope in order to make the living conditions of the children’s home better as well as support the children’s education.
In addition, our exchange students in Bali can personally get acquainted with and participate in the activities of the children’s home during their study abroad semester. This has been a moving experience for both the students and the children.
Seeds of Hope is located in the village of Dalung and run by an Balinese couple. The children’s home operates like a large family where the older children take care of the younger ones. Seeds of Hope’s purpose is to provide primary education and sufficient knowledge of English to the children in a loving and safe environment.
There are approximately 70 children, from babies to 21-year-olds, living in the home. Many of the children, despite their young age, have gone through traumatic experiences and some don’t have parents. The children’s home provides the children with alimentation, education and possibilities for a proper life. Fifteen young people, whose education would have been impossible without the children’s home, study at a university and their dreams of a normal life and employment are materializing. We hope to help more young people achieve this goal.
Donations funding the activities
Seed of Hope is completely dependent on donations. Money is needed for buying basic groceries, such as rice, but also for school supplies and construction materials for the house. Asia Exchange’s donations have been used e.g. to remove mold from children’s bedrooms, redo the toilets, renovate the playground and fix the leaking roof of the kitchen.
Exchange students’ contribution to charity work
Asia Exchange invites the voluntary workers at Seeds of Hope to visit Udayana University every semester to introduce the life at the children’s home to exchange students. After that the students have a chance to visit the orphanage and spend time with the children. After the experience some of the students decide to start visiting Seeds of Hope regularly.
A visit to Seed’s of hope
The children welcomed the students with a heart-rending musical performance, in addition to performing traditional dance numbers. The visitors were introduced to how the home operates and what the different facilities are. Students also had a chance to talk and play with the children.
Sandra, the owner of Seeds of Hope, held a touching speech on the children’s backgrounds and the basic idea of the children’s home. She warmly thanked for the games, toys and clothes the students had brought. Sandra also told about the renovation of the boys’ room that was done with the help of Asia Exchange.
“The visit was a great and touching experience! The children’s performances and the gratefulness of the owner made the eyes of even the most robust students teary!”
Nitta, Saara and Niina from Turku University of Applied Sciences were among the visiting students. The girls told that they were deeply touched by the visit. They see Asia Exchange’s charity work as a very important thing and this became clearer during the visit. The girls were pleased to notice how we can affect the children’s well-being and quality of life with small things.
The girls thought that the best part of the visit was to see the children enjoying their lives despite their rough backgrounds. Nitta, Saara and Niina respect the way in which the children are raised at Seeds of Hope. The children are taught to take care of each other and this shared responsibility comes across very well. The girls believe this to be partially culture specific. In a children’s home in a Western country it would not be considered to be such an important part of the upbringing.
Asia Center Foundation (Phuket, Thailand)
In 2010, Asia Exchange started supporting Asia Center Foundation (ACF) – a children’s home in Phuket, Thailand. ACF is a non-profit organization that takes care of underprivileged children’s welfare and education. Volunteers and interns work at ACF together with its permanent staff.
ACF is in charge of several projects that help under privileged children in Phuket to have a better life. For example the Patong Childcare Center project helps to take care of and teach 3-6 year old children whose mothers work at go-go bars at night and are not able to raise their children on their own.
The Jumpstart Learning Center organizes education to children from Myanmar living in Phuket. These children are not allowed to attend Thai schools or entitled to any benefits Thai children receive.
Read more about Asia Center Foundation and the projects on the organization’s website. You will also find below and introductory video from ACF.
Asia Exchange recently supported its PSU representative Colin Gallagher in the Laguna Phuket International Marathon. Asia Exchange pledged to donate a given sum for every km Colin ran, who had chosen the Phuket Loves You club as his cause.
The Phuket Loves You club is an association that seeks to help fund community based HIV projects in Phuket. In this case the chosen project was the Life Home Project Foundation, whose aim is to provide a safe environment for children infected or affected by HIV. This can range from providing education to supplying much needed medicine. You can read more about the club and its project on their respective websites here and here.
Colin finished the run, and Asia Exchange proudly contributed to his cause for the whole 42.195 km. You may read more about the marathon and its acting party on our blog, or alternatively you may read our article.
Charity organizations we support
Do you want to give your share to support children’s education around the world? Here’s a list of organizations you can lend your hand to:
Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/
Finn Church Aid: https://www.kirkonulkomaanapu.fi/en/
International Committee of Red Cross: https://www.icrc.org/
Save the Children: http://www.savethechildren.org/
World Vision: https://www.worldvision.org/
United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF: https://www.unicef.org/