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Charity on the cheap

(Global Times)

14:29, November 11, 2011

A volunteer team up with a blind man at a sports meet sponsored by Beijing Hongdandan Education & Culture Exchange Center. Photo: Courtesy of Hongdandan

Zheng Xiaojie loves to tell heartwarming success stories about her work with the blind.

At the top of the list is how Zheng and her staff at Beijing Hongdandan Education & Culture Exchange Center helped Dong Lina become the first visually impaired person to study at Communication University of China.

The NGO taught the 27-year-old how to read Braille and provided her with spoke-word recordings of some of her text books, but mostly encouraged her to have ambition and confidence that she could succeed.

Beijing-based Hongdandan has brought light into the lives of some 10,000 blind people since its founding in 2003 (China has more than 12 million people living with visual impairment).

Hongdandan's staff of nine produce audio books, cultivate and coordinate a network of 1,000 volunteers, design and implement programs, run a special cinema, pay rent on cramped office space and accurately account for every yuan it receives in grants and donations.

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