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Green SOS Small Grant Fund, 2006

Region: China
Author: Green SOS Student Organization, Chengdu
Consortium Member: Sichuan University Environmental Education Center
Status: Funded and Ongoing Budget: $3300 Collected: $3000 Needs: $300
Result: Through an annual student-run grant competition, to support projects initiated by Chinese university student groups throughout southwest China
Comment: The Green SOS organization has worked for four years to encourage student environmental groups throughout their region of China. This project gives students - the future leaders of China - valuable experience in working with communities and local government agencies, and carrying out their ideas from start to finish.

Donors:: Katherine Gould-Martin, New York State [February, April,June 2005]; The Olive Branch Fund at the Schwab Fund for Charitable Giving, California [July 2005]; For the wedding of Chris Langer and Pearl Liao Hong, New York State [September 2005]; Katherine Gould-Martin [October 2005; April 2006]


In Summer 2004, Langzhou University students investigated the habitat of the Tibetan Antelope, identified actions that could restore the habitat and thus support this endangered species, and publicized this information.

In 2006, we want to deepen the projects for student groups, help them to cultivate responsibilities of being a green citizen in a citizen society. We help to organize, support and encourage the youth to work hard for a society of justice, peacefulness and environment protection. - Li Xuan, GreenSOS.

During its first four years (2001-2004), GreenSOS grew and expanded its focus. The students started by running a website to provide environmental information. Through grants and the hard work of many students and advisors, it has become a volunteer organization with the purpose of serving student environmental groups throughout the western and southwestern provinces of China. The organization provides student environmental groups with small grants, offers training opportunities, and gives them support from the network, as well as practical information. The four-years of development of GreenSOS work has gained great praises and affirmations from student environmental groups, and more student groups from different provinces have joined GreenSOS. All the members of GreenSOS wish to carry forward its value and significance so as to provide its participants with more stable and professional services.

As the successful management of GreenSOS Fund and its special contribution to the Chinese green students organization movement, some other NGOs (and even Governmental Organizations) in China start to imitate GreenSOS and establish some similar foundations to help student groups. We hope our experiences could be shared and help others.

Requested for 2006 Small Grants Program Virtual Foundation administrative fee
Support for Student and Community projects - small grants given directly to groups$2500
Translation and Communication, oversight of funds by GreenSOS$500
$300
Total Requested$$3300

Summary Reports of Previous Year's Projects

1. Rubbish Classified as "Recycle"

Organization: Environment Protection Association of Southwest China Science and Technology University
What did we do?
1、A environmental education about "Rubbish Classified Recycle" - On April 22 (the earth’s day), we conducted an environmental education for students of Nanjie primary school. We showed some pictures , handicraft wares being made of rubbish ,played some games with children. A week later, we received many handicraft wares from children.         
2、An investigation and education about separating "rubbish classified recycle" with local residents, to help the government improve the handling of "rubbish classified recycle". Here we found some problems. For example, though some residential districts set out classified rubbish cans, sanitation workers didn’t deal with them individually.
3. On September 14th, we had a deep conversation with officers of the sanitation bureau to inquire about the recycling conditions of Mianyang. In this way, we reported the problems we found to the higher levels.
4、On October 3rd,we propagated and investigated rubbish classified recycle in a garden residence district. From pictures, data, and our detailed interpretation ,we introduced the knowledge of rubbish classified recycle. We found that some residents lacked of sanitary consciousness,partly because some of them just moved from countryside, partly because some of them thought it was troublesome and couldn’t getting used with it. Through this effort,we particularly introduced the knowledge of rubbish classified recycle to the residents, which set a cornerstone for our subsequent work.

2. Green Newspaper
Organization: “Promise Nature” Environmental Protection Association of Southwest Science and Technology University

Project Achievements:
We have issued two issues of Green Newspaper. 600 Green Newspapers were published for the first issue, and distributed to the association members, some departments of the university, some other related college environmental protection organizations, and some citizens of Mian Yang. For the second issue, 2000 copies were distributed even more widely throughout the university and also including some citizens of Mian Yang. The newspaper received a great many of praises from the readers. Some teachers have asked for subscribing, some other teachers and students have expressed their willingness to contribute articles to Green Newspaper. Meanwhile, the authorities of our university also stated their support to this newspaper.

Project Process:
During the process of making this newspaper, we always persisted with the tenet of Green Newspaper, and kept exploring and creating. We worked with the hope to extend the circulation and improve the quality of the newspaper, and to enlarge the amount of the readers and lovers of the Green Newspaper, and to reach the eventual aim to arouse people’s awareness of environmental protection.

Problem:
Since this project has already been initiated, we hope it could keep going further. However, there are many difficulties during this course. At present, the most important and the most direct problem of this project is financing. We have thought about two possible scenarios to solve the problem:
1. To require purchase of the newsletter from students and teachers in our university. The expected charge of the newsletter is 0.5 RMB/issue each person, and 4 issues a year; or
2. To find some sponsors, and then the newspaper could be given to the students and teachers on the cuff.
Expenditure:
Publicization, 192 Yuan
Authors’ remuneration, 72 Yuan
Fare of mailing, 52 Yuan
Charge of communication, 30 Yuan
Charge of printing, 600 Yuan

Green Newspaper has two main subjects:

Suggestion:
If we want others to accept the idea of environmental protection, we have to start from the environment around us, to uncover those neglected “small” environmental issues and to take action to solve those newly uncovered problems.

Self-estimate:
I care much about nature and to protect nature. I have poured all my love into Green Newspaper. However, I am just an organizer. A lot of people have devoted their thoughts and efforts into this Newspaper. Behind every article, there is a story mixed with bitter, sweet, courage and confidence. Green Newspaper, its contents and formats got much improvement from the original issue to the second one. Green Newspaper is popular among students and teachers. I believe the third issue of Green Newspaper will gave its readers an even better impression.

3. Environmental Friendly Dormitory - Prop up Green Sky on Campus
Organization: Guangxi Chinese Traditional Medicine College Green Lightning Bug Environmental Protection Association
Achievements:

  1. Set up a Green Movie Center and a Green Book Center.
  2. Organized the Environmental Protection Handcraft Competition and Environmental Protection Dormitory Competition. These activities encouraged students to make an environmentally friendly life by using their own hands.
  3. Green Movie Center gives students the opportunity to have some visible education lessons.
  4. These activities above have scattered green seeds into the hearts of students, encouraged them to begin a environmentally friendly life, and taught them to live harmony with nature.
Program operation process:
1. We bought 20 environmental protection related movie VCDs using the fund from GreenSOS, and applied other 100 VCDs from “Earthview”—a Environmental Protection Video Education Center at Beijing—and established the Earthview/Guangxi Center.
2. We bought 360 environmental protection books for the Green Book Center, and made 600 reading cards for the lending of these books.
3. To attract people joining in the Handcraft Competition, we drew lots of posters and handed out many leaflets, and we organized the Environmental Protection Dormitory Competition with corresponding department in our college. We combined this competition with the regular “Fine Dormitory” activity operated by our college, thus mobilized the initiative of the students to take part in this competition.
4. Every other Friday night, 7:00, we play some environment movies for our college students. Usually, these stories leave students great impressions and strengthen their conciseness of environmental protection as well.
Plan change:
Because of another important college activity, the authority of our college prohibited all other student-organized activities. So our "Secondhand Goods Auction” had had to be canceled.

Expenditure: (1800RMB from GreenSOS)

Suggestions (what we have learned):

  1. Ifyou want to teach other students something about environmental protection, don’t just simply order them that “You can’t destroy the environment!”. You should think about using some acceptable and forceful methods. Use the tools, which may arise their interests, and try to involve college into your activity, because this strategy may make your work much easier.
  2. To have a good relationship with other student organizations to avoid any unnecessary troubles.
  3. To be aware that every project or activity should be a team-work. That means all members should work in concert with each other.
  4. The activity proposal should be based on the designer’s interest. Because in the course to carry out your plan, you might encounter a great deals of difficulties. If the organizers have not enough interest in certain project, it could be too difficult for them to keep on going.
At last, we’d like to give our most gratitude to GreenSOS, not only for the financial support, but also for all their suggestions and assistances during our project operation. We expect more cooperation with GreenSOS in the future. Meanwhile, we are looking forward any suggestion or criticism to our work to help us to do better in the future.

4. Protection for the Green Resource of Life Maintenance — Chinese Traditional Medicine Herbs
Organization: Guangxi Chinese Traditional Medicine College Green Lightning Bug Environmental Protection Association

April 10, we invited Guo Min, a teacher from Chinese Herbs Research Center, to gave us a lecture about the protection and utilization of Chinese Herbs Resources. The audiences not only got a general profile of the distribution and living surrounding of these herbs, but also learned the urgency and the importance of protection the Chinese herbs resources. Through the whole lecture, no one left the classroom in advance and the atmosphere of the lecture was full of ebullience of discussion.
We designed a questionnaire to survey the students’ opinion on Chinese herbs protection. This public-opinion poll lasted two days. For the first day it accompanied the lecture, and the surveying targets were the students present at the lecture. We handed out 500 copies of the questionnaire, and 294 copies were filled in and returned to our surveyors. The statistics we got from the polling papers helped us identify the answerers’ knowledge about the exploitation and damage situation of herbs resources and locate the scale for our project.

We have been collecting the relevant Chinese herbs - documents and materials - since the beginning of this project. So far, we have formed our own data-base of the herbs from the respects of habitat, marketing price, and destruction degree of the endangered herbs. We chose Qi Ye Yi Zhi Hua, Gou Teng, and Jin Hua Cha-the herbs’ Chinese names-as the targets of our research.

During the 3 days research on the Da Ming mountain area, we investigated the living environment, and distribution of the three herbs. Each plant has been recorded with its detailed information and pictures. The investigation also gave us an opportunity to practice our field survival skills.

We put our research findings on the message board, and had a two-day exhibition on our campus. We combined the materials searched earlier with the investigation results to form the main contents of the exhibition board, enclosed with the instruction of investigation aim and photographs to make the boards vivid and substantial. To achieve a best result, we took an actual form after applying from the College Commission of Youth for the exhibition time and place. The new directors of our association were arranged to make introduction when exhibiting. By doing this, the publicized effects were further expanded.

Alteration:
The time for investigation on the mountain was shortened from five days to three days, for these reasons:

  1. There was no suitable source of water.
  2. The plants on Daming Mountain are of high shrubbery which have not been exploited. Because of our limited abilities, we could not investigate further more.
  3. The group members showed signs of tiredness when investigating.
Postscript:
In closing, we wish to thank you for GreenSOS great support on our activity, especially when we were facing difficulties we received proposals and suggestions from the project commissions. We are looking forward to more cooperation opportunities in the future. At last, we do expect your honorable advise on our project so that we may make progress in thereafter activities. Thank you very much!

5. Investigation on the Status of Garbage Disposal and Garbage Landfills in Xi’an City

Xi’an College Student Green Camp

Project achievements

1) We surveyed the status of domestic garbage disposal in Xi’ an City, and identified existing problems

2. Implementing methods and experiences
Xi’ an College Student Green Camp specially established a garbage investigation group consisted of fixed members and participating members. We conducted a thorough investigation to Jiangcun Ditch Domestic Garbage Sanitary Landfill Plant and its relevant governing departments. Investigations on surrounding villages were in groups. Before investigation we did preparation and training. Summary was worked out as soon as the investigation was over, and then uploaded the reports to the Internet so as to make others get to know the progress of the project and communicate in time.

3. Activities Payment Receipt
Transportation ¥120
Photos fees ¥72
Print fees ¥40
Phone calls fees ¥60
Sum ¥292

RESULTS IN THE COMMUNITY
1. We attracted more people (including local masses, Xi’an citizens, media and journalists, and leaders at all levels) to pay attention to garbage (including garbage land fill and problems of garbage disposal). We connected garbage and water quality problems, and achieved good publicity in the local newspapers.
For example, from September 4th to 6th , in these three days Xi’an Huashang Newspaper reported in four whole-pages the status of garbage problems in Xi’ an; on October 15th , 2003, the 23rd page of Xi’ an Evening reported two articles entitled “Garbage Problems: both foresight and worries” and “ Canberra: struggling for zero-discharge”; besides, many other newspaper reported one after another: ①“Private Wells Drop Red Water”, at Sandian Village, Hongqi Sub-district Office of Baqiao District(4.5 km from garbage landfill plant), 200 families can’t drink water normally; ②“Polluted Xin River, 4,000 Villagers Have Yellow Soup through the Year”, Gaoqiao Township (7.5 km from garbage landfill plant); ③“Struggling Water for 4,000 Villagers”, Gaoqiao Township (2.5 km from Zhaojia District Landfill Plant of Xi’ an Construction Wastes Landfill Plant).

2. In addition, the city leaders came to landfill plants and directed their work during this time. It reveals that garbage problems have caught the leaders’ high attention. According to our information, in the work of Municipal Administration Commission, garbage landfill plants are a single important topic.

3. Many problems we identified are now being solved. For example, at present, percolation liquid (leachate) is transferred by sewage-absorbing trucks to Baishi Bridge Sewage Disposal Plant to be disposed correctly. Since the second-stage construction project, it has dispatched over 9,000 truck-times. The third big sewage reservoir which we have been concerned with will be purified by the Third Sewage Disposal Plant that is being built. Besides, Xi’ an Environmental Sanitation Scientific Research Institute now regularly monitors the landfill plants’ influence on surroundings. Most villages basically have running water except a few villagers at Sujia Village. The city Environmental Protection Bureau especially dug another deep well 5 miles from Xiaojia Village, and set up water pipeline for villagers’ use. Located in the east of Yueqi Village, Yanta District, the first city domestic garbage harmless integrative disposal plant of Xi’ an is being built. Its disposal process will rely mainly on garbage fermentation compost with some incineration assistance.

4. The first time we went to the garbage field, there were withered woods where sewage flowing through. Seeing this, all of us were worried about its ecological environment. The second time we went to the garbage field, there was a sewage disposal plant to be built and one third of the trees were cut down. We felt unhappy though they were just withered trees. however, one who goes to the garbage field would think that what we said before was false, for rounding the garbage landfill plant a large number of trees have been planted(that is “Duling Woods” in Xi’ an “Great Green” Project). It supposed that these trees would play an active role in improving the atmosphere condition.

5. Next we will accomplish collecting data, improving work and making comprehensive and systematic summary of this project. Though the investigation project will soon be completely finished, none of the members think it is the end of the investigation for we will have to pay more attention for a long time.

6. We belief that as the establishment and improvement of relevant government polices, as the raising of citizens’ consciousness of environmental protection and the development of garbage disposal industry, those resources in the wrong places would be fully used. Meanwhile, the city we live in and the people living in this city will be more courtesy, more beautiful, and healthier!

Garbage Investigation Group of Xi’ an College Student Green Camp

6. College Students Support Qing Zang Plateau Plain Ecosystem Action

1. From June 1st – August 3rd in 2003, the project called "Plain Tribe" selected nine new herdsmen from Beijing Forest University, Beijing Industry University, Beijing University, Beijing University Medical Department, and Beijing Teaching University. 2. From August 5th to 27th 2003, the group of "Plain Tribe" set out to Qinghai Province and finished the Family Investigation and the Initial Community Requirement Evaluation of the Cuochi Herdsmen Committee, Quma River village, Qumalai county at Yushu Prefecture, and interviewed the leading members of the prefecture government. Weleft the prepared teaching material with the Living Buddha, doctors and teachers in that area and communicated with them. We explored the problems with adaptating the prepared teaching materials. 3. From August 28th to now September in 2003, the group completed the initial investigation report and had an educational activity in Beijing about the people and environment in Tibet, from middle October to middle November.

Summary of the project experiences:

Expenditure: Of the 1000 Yuan ($125 USD) GreenSOS Fund contributed to the project, 919 Yuan has been used.

End of Small Grant Report Section

STRENGTHENING GREEN SOS AS AN ORGANIZATION: INTERNAL LEADERSHIP TRAINING AND ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

GreenSOS is trying to deal with the problem of the insufficient of volunteer reserve force according to the method discussed at the Consultation Conference. That is enlisting in public. Presently there are about 20 persons who have signed up to be committee members, webmasters, or volunteer translators. Though it will take time for new talents to get familiar with and participate in GreenSOS, new vitality has been instilled into the organization.

GreenSOS Fund assembled members of fund from the four western provinces during the National Day holiday, (October 2-4, 2004) to sum up the achievements of the Fund over the past three years. Meanwhile, it worked out plan and schedule for the community project of GreenSOS Fund, which is supported by the Asia Foundation. GreenSOS gave capability training to members who came to Chengdu, including the notion of GreenSOS, the history of GreenSOS, the situation of environmental NGOs, and cases about environmental rights. GreenSOS has introduced these words and their meanings to the members, such as "citizen society" "giving rights", "the weak environmental colony", etc.

Elections to Select New GreenSOS Leaders for 2005

From Oct. 20, 2004 to Oct. 25, GreenSOS Fund Committee voted committee member trainees among the applicants. These eleven person: Li Xun, Ye Chengsheng, Wang Peng, Zhou Yunpeng, Zheng Jian, Di Xiaofei, Zhou Min, Zhong Shuizhen, Zhang Dingjie, Han Juan, Duan Dijun as principals of the Fund and Temporary Secretariat members are qualified for this election. Wang Peng expressed that he was too busy to carefully read the applicantsf information, thus he gave up the right to vote in order to ensure the carefulness and justice of the election; Ye Chengsheng was not able to vote because of busy work. We received 9 votes in which over 2/3 are valid, this voting is therefore valid. According to the needs of GreenSOS Fund Committee, Wang Chao (Gansu), Zhao Zhong (Gansu), Li Yuanyang (Guangxi), Zheng Xin (Guangxi), Liang Xiaoning (Guizhou), Wang Bin (Yunan), Xie Wenjun(Chongqing), Hu Kunzhu (Hubei), Ma Jintao (Anhui), Gu Xinpo (Neimenggu), Zhu Xiaoxing (Shanxi), Liu Chunlai (Sichuan), Wu Le (Xinjiang) are elected as the committee member trainees of GreenSOS Fund Committee. The training period begins from Nov. 1, 2004 to Apr. 30, 2005.

Our basic principles of this election were:

  1. Commissioners read the individual sign up information and answer notes of the 21 candidates carefully before voting.
  2. Commissioners declare their opinions to every candidate and write down the voting reasons according to their understanding to the candidates.
  3. Only one committee member trainee could be selected from the same school/corporation.
  4. In principle, we select two committee member trainees from one area in order to carry on the works. Some specific areas may vary according to the candidate's condition; there should be at least one, but not more than 2 in one area.