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Interview with Eagles: Dream and Philanthropy of Young People

The 2012 commencement ceremony of Eagle Plan, a youth development and training program launched by YouChange, is held is Beijing on July, 10.
Eagle Plan, launched by YouChange in 2011, encourages young people to come to the grassroots, involve themselves in community development programs and to learn and grow while serving others. The plan is designed for young people, through one-year full-time practice in grassroots communities, to strengthen their willpower, discover themselves, enhance their spirit of philanthropy and entrepreneurship, and increase their capability to work at the grassroots level and coordinating skills with a view to helping them become cross-sector leaders with philanthropic visions.
Over the past year, trainees of 2012 Eagle Plan have got involved in grassroots practice programs launched by partners including governments and non-profit organizations. Through one-year full-time practice in grassroots, they have got a full picture of grassroots work and grown quickly as they worked and served. At the commencement ceremony, each Eagle Plan trainee stands onto the stage and shares with others what is on their minds.
Trainees graduate from 2012 Eagle Plan
Besides grassroots practice and participatory teaching, every Eagle trainee has a “life tutor” served by a warm-hearted and accomplished person. The eagles, guided by their tutors, have had half-a-month training courses in four different places, including methodology in rural work, political and economic theory, traditional culture and values, leadership and professional skills. Tutor Yuan Zhizhong hopes these trainees will find their answers to life after working at the grassroots level.
Mr. Yuan: What China needs most is not necessarily those with the best professional knowledge, but with a heart for the society. YouChange’s talent programs aim to gather ambitious young people, provide learning opportunities for them to help them stand out. Through Eagle Plan, these young people have real touch with the very realities at the grassroots level in China. They have to explore themselves, for these things are absent in books and teachers’ experience. I have worked in Eagle Plan together with these young people. Although I am older than them and can share with them my life experience, I can’t give them a standard answer to life.
Tang Min, State Council Counselor and YouChange Vice Chairman, has witnessed the whole growing process of two classes of trainees in Eagle Plan. He says at the ceremony that when old eagles teach young ones, the former throw the latter off the cliff to stimulate the latter’s first flying on the moment of falling down. This is where Eagle Plan’s significance lies.
After Eagle Plan, every trainee will have their own life plan. No matter what profession they will take, they have full confidence and hope in the new journey in life. Eagles have gained insightful views to philanthropy though one-year practice.
Wang Jun: I think philanthropy is a kind of life attitude or mentality. No matter whether I will take it as my career or not, the concept of philanthropy will be part of my life. We should start with small things around us, use our own strength to influence people around us in order to change our surrounding environment.
Zhao Shanhui: I think philanthropy can be summarized by four words: sympathy, empowerment, focus and social responsibility.
Gan Qi: A philanthropic heart is needed in the philanthropy. You should know what the targeted group needs and how to satisfy their needs.
On 4 August, 2013, a new class of 20 trainees will start their one-year grassroots practice and life. The relay baton of “learning from the people and serving the people” will be passed on to them.
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