Concert Raises Awareness

Jen Wieczner

By Jen WiecznerThe Daily Northwestern

With 11 co-sponsors raising more than $2,000, Sunday afternoon’s Voice for Asia concert sought to show students how to make a difference for Asian orphans.

About 200 people attended the event, which began shortly after 1 p.m. on the Norris East Lawn and benefited China Care Foundation and UNICEF, two organizations dedicated to helping children in need.

Two bands and Singaporean artist Corrinne May performed at the event.

The concert’s co-chairpeople said they hoped to raise awareness about the problems facing orphans in Asia and how students can help. The group built on last year’s fundraising efforts by hosting a fashion show, a contest for campus celebrity baby photos, a service auction and food sales.

“Last year they only raised awareness,” said Weinberg junior Janet Wu, one of this year’s concert co-chairwomen.

She added that they had already surpassed their fundraising goal and expected to raise even more with two more events this month.

Weinberg senior Jackyln Chan, a member of sponsoring group China Care, said money donated to the group, which is a subsidiary of the national foundation, will help pay surgery fees for orphans with cleft lips, heart defects and other medical problems It might also help American families adopt Asian orphans or contribute to health care and education in orphanages in Asia, she said.

“Because of the one-child policy in China, many children are abandoned. Organizations like UNICEF and China Care are doing what they can to help this, but everyone can find a way to help,” said McCormick freshman Kwang Xiong Sim, a member of NU Singaporeans and Friends.

Showcasing the avenues students can take to alleviate issues in Asia was the primary aim of the event, which was co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Coalition, China Care, Cilipadi, Japan Club, Filipino Students Association, Korean American Students Association, NU Singaporeans and Friends, Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Inc., Niteskool Productions and Taiwanese American Students Club.

“They can volunteer at orphanages in China, or anyone can go anywhere and volunteer,” Chan said.

Through the Southeast Asian Service Leadership Network, SESP junior Megan Chiou traveled to Thailand last summer to educate high school students on technology and developing leadership skills.

But plenty of service options are available much closer to campus.

Chan, for example, is a mentor to an local Asian adoptee as part of a China Care program that matches students with former orphans to serve as role models, advisors and friends.

On May 13, Voice for Asia plans to go to downtown Chicago to make balloon animals for donations, and the group is hosting a 5K run starting at Norris University Center on May 19.

“It’s up to students to choose how to be involved,” Chiou said. “We’re not just encouraging people to get involved with these clubs, but to get involved with this issue.”

The Daily’s Elise Foley contributed to this report.Reach Jen Wieczner at [email protected]