Manchester Day of Action in Shanghai

Mon, 20 Jul 2020 17:08:00 BST

Manchester Day of Action (MDoA) is our annual community volunteering project for alumni around the world.

On 18 July about 100 University of Manchester alumni, students, staff and their kids joined small sports matches with people who are visually or hearing impaired in Shanghai. This is the 2nd year we worked with "Dialogue in the dark"(China) for charity initiatives. Our aim is to address the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal three: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages, in line with our University's social responsibility goals.

Led by the University of Manchester China Centre Director Sherry Fu, this year’s MDoA took place as a team-building activity, encouraging our students, alumni and disabled groups from the charity ‘Dialogue in the Dark’(China) to enjoy a more active lifestyle and the benefits that a healthy active lifestyle can help provide. Alumni were also inspired to directly contribute to this agenda by donating £500 for these disable people who joined the event. Volunteers from Dialogue in the Dark who have different levels of vision disability started by illustrating examples of challenges disabled people face in everyday tasks including their daily commute, eating and using mobile phones. The volunteers were then taught about how to act as guides in assisting visually impaired and hard of hearing people of all ability levels with walking and running. Overcoming fear inside and heat outside, our participants split in groups and engaged in different sports activities with their eyes closed. By putting on eye masks to immerse themselves in the same environment faced by visually impaired people, our participants were able to develop a better understanding, patience, empathy, teamwork as well as a wider awareness about promoting wellbeing for all at all ages, especially in the post-pandemic time.