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International student volunteer team shines at railway station in Wuhan for Spring Festival travel rush

(People's Daily Overseas New Media)    11:18, January 24, 2019

Fluent in Mandarin, Sadi Makangila Patrick from the Democratic Republic of Congo, always wears a warm smile. His dark face and orange volunteer jacket is rather eye-catching in the crowded east entryway of Wuhan railway station.

It already marks the sixth year for Patrick to work at the railway station as a volunteer, together with more than 60 other students from Central China Normal University (CCNU), to serve the crowds heading home during the Spring Festival travel rush.

The CCNU volunteer activity has been held for 10 years. Known as “Little Orange Lantern,” the volunteer activity serves thousands of people every year, like lanterns for the crowds. There is even a foreign “Lei Feng team” composed of 18 international students from CCNU, who, like Patrick, offer assistance in their respective foreign language and in Chinese.

The handsome man who is good at Mandarin, Patrick, is a PhD student at CCNU and the leader of the “Lei Feng team,” which is named after Lei Feng, the legendary Chinese soldier known for his selflessness and readiness to help. Patrick came to China to study Chinese in 2013 and during the Spring Festival travel rush of 2014, he participated in volunteer work for his first time. He later called on more international students to join him.

Entering the sixth year, Patrick said he has become part of the Little Orange Lantern activity and there are more than 100 members from over 50 countries on his team, forming a distinctive scene on the streets of Wuhan.

Now, many other public places in Wuhan such as metro stations, marathon racing grounds, and tennis courts have been assisted Patrick and his team of international volunteers. He and his team have been granted several honors including Eminent Youth Volunteers in Wuhan and Benyu Volunteer Service Team in Hubei.

Patrick has always been grateful for the scholarship provided by the Chinese government, which has helped his dream of earning a PhD come true.

“I love China. I love Wuhan. So I want to hold on to and convey this sorts of big love forever,” said the young man.

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(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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