Status of ongoing RAFE Fund projects – 2016

Rewi Alley RAFE FundThe RAFE Fund began in 2012 to mark the 60th Anniversary of the founding the New Zealand China Friendship Society Inc, and to reflect the spirit of Rewi Alley in promoting friendly exchange between China and New Zealand.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding for the RAFE fund, a sum of 200,000 RMB (approximately $NZ40,000) will be provided annually, for a period of five years from 2012, to our society by the China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development.

All funds will be used for consolidating and deepening friendship between the peoples of China and New Zealand, and pushing forward bilateral friendly exchanges and cooperation, along with supporting the following types of projects:

  1. Projects commemorating the legacy of Rewi Alley
  2. Other projects in terms of cultural and art exchange, educational exchange and youth exchange which aim to promote China-New Zealand friendship
  3. Friendly exchange projects agreed by all parties

Process

The RAFE sub-committee calls for basic concept plans to be submitted from branches for a project. Submitters whose concept plans the committee consider are worthy of further development are asked to submit a full application. The committee considers these, and makes recommendations to National Executive.

Ongoing Projects

Five projects funded in previous years are ongoing, as of mid-August, 2016.

The following summary gives an outline of each project and an indication of the status of each of them:

1. Publication of Rewi-Alley-related papers (2012 Project)

Hamilton Branch

Professor Dov Bing (University of Waikato) has papers written on Rewi Alley in 1973 by Professor James Bertram, H. Courtney Archer, Lewish Smythe, Ida Pruit, Professor Ralph Lapwood, Helen Foster Snow, Professor Brian Harland, Barbara Spencer, Professor Joseph Needham and Professor Dov Bing.  These papers are to be published.

Status: Prof. Bing is working on the introductory chapter. A scholar from China is coming next year to work with him to translate the book into Chinese.  He hopes that the book in English can become part of the 120th commemorations of Rewi’s birth, in 2017.    

2. Bay of Plenty – Independent Research Internship for Secondary Students (IRIS) – 2015 project

John Hodgson (Tauranga Branch)

Students studying international business and trade to submit research proposals, four of which have been selected to further develop their proposals in Tauranga and China.

Status: As at 1 August 2016, the Bethlehem College Students have:

  • Undertaken a range of pre-China interviews with local business people involved in international business and trade.
  • Been to China visiting various factories and people and places of international commerce in Shanghai, Nanchang and Dongguan.
  • Lived in Nanchang with the family of their epal and attended school with him/her.
  • Returned to New Zealand and started their series of mandatory sharing their China Experience with schools, Rotary, rest homes, etc.
  • Each made Power Point presentations for presenting to various groups including our May NZCFS Conference.
  • Involved themselves with NZCFS Tauranga YOUTH group with meetings, meals together, bush walks, etc.
  • Hosted seventeen of their Chinese e-pals on the return reciprocal visit to Tauranga.

3. Revive Rewi Alley Legacy of GongHe (2015) 

Dave Bromwich (National President)

Visit five or six places where Rewi Alley worked and identify local farmer co-operative development situations and opportunities.

Status: Progress is being made in final identification of the two sites for the second-stage of training:

  1. Changting in Fujian is one site, although the adjacent region of Ganzhou, across the border in Jiangxi Province, is not showing a lot of interest to participate.
  2. The second site is now most likely to be in Sichuan, near Chengdu, and discussion is underway to pinpoint where the best outcome can be achieved.

The second stage should take place sometime in October or November, with the final training and evaluation activities targeted for March/April 2017.

4. An Independent Travellers’ Guide to Rewi Alley Locations in China

Jane Furkert in conjunction with Deborah Rhode (Christchurch Branch)

Produce web-based information, in English, on places associated with Rewi Alley’s life and initiatives; i.e. its location, history, significance.

Status: Project completed. Currently website material in preparation for posting

5. Memorials of the Past (2015)

Miao Fan (Hamilton Branch)

Bring to life the story of Kathleen Hall. Two year project; DVD to be produced.

Status:  As of mid-August, 2016, collecting relevant information at this stage. Interviews in November and December.  Completion date: December 2017.

These projects all demonstrate the value and relevance of the RAFE programme, by fulfilling one or more of the criteria mentioned above. 

Dave Adamson (Chair RAFE Fund Committee) 

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