Jiayou China! Jiayou Buffalo! In Chinese “Jiayou” means “Keep Fighting!” It is the message that GSE PhD student Qinghua Chen first sent to her home country of China in a video produced last month. This month, she sent aid of a different kind to her Buffalo-area home: She donated 3,600 face masks to the Amherst Police and Pediatric & Adolescent Urgent Care of WNY.
Chen, a Shanghai native, has been moved to creative action by the hardships caused by the virus. As news of the outbreak swept from China to the US and around the world, she launched a series of projects. She started with a video of people from #UBuffalo campus offering messages to China of support and cheer. She moved on to fundraising $2,100 to buy face masks to donate locally. Lately, she’s been cultivating online exhibitions of international children’s art made during the pandemic via her blog on the Chinese WeChat app.
“For me, I’m playing the role of a global citizen,” said Chen, who studies early childhood education in GSE’s curriculum, instruction and the science of learning PhD program. “I just want to help a little bit.”
So far, the first two projects by Chen, a former finance reporter for a British service in China, captured the interest of the local press and UB collaborators.
Channel 7 aired a story in February about the video to encourage people in China struggling with the virus. Filmed before UB’s North Campus closed, it featured about 100 people offering messages of support. “We hope you get well,” said one man speaking from the lobby at Baldy Hall holding a red sign with “Jiayou China” written in Chinese. She posted her 5-minute video on YouTube — bit.ly/jiayou-china — last month. In China, the video was warmly received by friends, colleagues and social media.
“I’m very grateful because I received tremendous support from people who I know, who are my friends and my peers, and people I don’t know at all,” said Chen. “These are the people who make the world bright and warm.” #UBGSE #QuarantineLife