People with Big Hearts
The earthquake struck the Sichuan province in China on May 12, 2008. The children in the Fujiacun village school had just finished their lunch break and were sitting in their classrooms. They were lucky. The children all survived the massive earthquake that killed over 80,000 people in the region. But the Fujiacun school was completely destroyed.
David Yu, Zuowen Tang, Henry Fan and Jackie Wang (from left to right) have been supporting the Fujiacun WACKER Primary School since 2008.
That day has been burned into Henry Fan’s memory: he was on a business trip for WACKER at the time. A chemical engineer who began working for WACKER in Shanghai in 2006, Fan is a senior technical manager who supports customers in the paper industry throughout China. “I was shocked when I heard the news,” he recalls. “An earthquake in such a densely populated region!”
Fan and his colleagues knew right away that they had to help, and WACKER employees from all over the world donated in such huge numbers that the small elementary school could be rebuilt – to earthquake-proof standards. The Fujiacun WACKER Primary School reopened in late 2009.
Fan still provides support for the school and its students, working with eleven colleagues from Shanghai, Zhangjiagang, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Beijing each year to collect donations from WACKER’s employees in China. In 2012 the school was able to use that money to build a cafeteria. “A lot of children live too far away to go home for lunch,” Fan explains. All 100 children between the ages of six and twelve now receive a hot lunch.
Thanks to donations from WACKER Greater China colleagues, the village school in Fujiacun can invest in better equipment.
Fan and his colleagues also use the donations to support boys and girls from particularly needy families. “Many children lost mothers, fathers or even both parents in the terrible earthquake, and all they have are the barest of necessities,” he points out. Employees of WACKER Greater China donated over €10,000 this year, which was used to provide financial support for 25 students.
It has been a while since Fan has visited the school himself, but he remembers the laughing children on the playground like it was yesterday. It was a very happy moment for him. “I could see that I’m really doing something for those kids, which is just wonderful!” he observes with pleasure.
Fan himself became a father three years ago. His daughter’s carefree life makes the 36-year-old all the more aware that so many children are less fortunate, which is why he dreams of helping even more boys and girls – even if it means sacrificing his free time to do volunteer work. There is no shortage of donations, he notes: “Our employees have big hearts.”