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Member Spotlight: Community Roots China Founder Marie-Lucie Spoke

Founder and Managing Director of Community Roots China, Marie-Lucie Spoke, on how corporations and individuals can get involved in making a difference in the lives of rural children. Find out more at www.communityrootschina.org.

Q: What is Community Roots China?
A: Community Roots China (CRC) is an organization that builds bridges between Chinese communities and corporations operating in China, by promoting and leading corporate social responsibility initiatives (CSR) that focus on disadvantaged children in rural areas of China, supporting their education, healthcare and shelter needs.

Q: What does CRC offer?
A: CRC supports multinational companies in implementing CSR programs. Currently, CRC offers four programs for company participation. The One Heart Gift Bag program distributes warm clothes, books and toys to primary and secondary school students living in remote areas in China, while the Child Sponsorship Program offers a financial subsidy to students for their education or medical needs. The Teacher Enrichment Program offers support and training to teachers working in rural areas in China. Capital Projects cover different types of projects, from renovation to water filtration to meet the needs of local orphanages, schools or medical centers.

Q: How does CRC choose schools or communities to support?
A: CRC chooses schools or communities through endorsements from our existing trusted network. CRC personnel travels with the sponsoring companies to the locations where the children live.
In the past, I have met all the leaders of the orphanages and schools until our network became too large for one person to visit. Now all our staff travels to the locations. Currently, our children’s network covers 13 provinces, 80 locations and 16,600 children.

Q: How much does it cost to support a child in a rural community to go to school for one year?
A: The cost of sponsorship depends on the location and grade the child is in. The cost will be less for a child in primary school versus a child in high school and the cost between provinces may differ as well.

Q: How can CRC work with you at the corporate level?
A: Our One Heart Gift Bag Program is an excellent team building opportunity and a chance for your employees to demonstrate their leadership skills. Our rural locations make it perfect for regional offices to get involved, and offer an opportunity to visit the children in their communities when the One Heart gift bags are distributed.

CRC can also act as a strategic advisor and provide training and guidance in developing business-related CSR programs. We will help you implement these programs, step-by-step.

Q: Can individuals get involved?
A: CRC offers plenty of volunteer activities in which individuals can participate, such as the Packing Party and Stapling Party for the One Heart Gift Bag Program, the 10K Run and Biking event. Individuals can also donate funds to support children or projects.

The CRC Social Club organizes regular activities for individual members to discuss CSR issues, share successful experiences and network among other CSR-minded individuals.

Contact Community Roots China
Email: info@communityrootschina.org
One Heart Program
oneheart@communityrootschina.org
Volunteer Opportunities
volunteers@communityrootschina.org

Marie-Lucie Spoke, Founder, Managing Director, Community Roots China QQ图片20150205175340
Born in Canada, Mrs. Spoke began her volunteer work in Brazil in 1993. In 1998 she took on the role of Managing Director of an organization with 12 volunteers. That small organization grew to include 45 managers, 650 volunteers and 2 employees that organized activities that attracted 20,000 participants. In 2006 she moved to Shanghai and quickly got involved in a number of non-profit initiatives, eventually registering Community Roots China, a social enterprise, in 2011. Mrs. Spoke completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Public Administration in Ottawa.

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