Celebrate Giving Tuesday by Supporting Oberlin Shansi

Dear Shansi Friends and Supporters,

The Shansi team here in Oberlin hopes you had a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. We’re writing to you today to launch our Giving Tuesday campaign and ask for your support during this crucial time for Oberlin Shansi.

The Covid-19 global pandemic has profoundly affected Shansi’s programs. However, despite countless challenges and obstacles, our Fellows have adapted and thrived. Their dedication and perseverance shows us the best of the Oberlin and Shansi communities.

For example, our Fellows to Shanxi Agricultural University in Taigu, China, are still in the US, but each is teaching 200+ students, creating teaching plans that utilize online classrooms, social media, and other tools to engage students. Our first Fellow assigned to the Keystone Foundation in India, Madeleine Gefke, is understandably eager to engage directly with the local community, experience the marketplaces in Kotagiri, and contribute to Keystone’s conservation programs first-hand. In the meantime, she is working from her home in the US editing a book on sustainable use of natural resources and producing fact sheets for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Though she is on the other side of the globe, Madeleine has integrated into the Keystone team.

Over the last eight months, Shansi staff has celebrated the fact that our Fellows are more than program participants. They are collaborators, problem solvers, professionals, and integral team members at their partner institutions. They remind us why international exchange programs are important. Throughout the pandemic, we have maintained our commitment to them and to our partner organizations. We are in this together, and our staff is working tirelessly to ensure that our programs can continue to operate safely and effectively.

Over the coming weeks, we will be highlighting stories of Shansi’s resilience. Our Fellows have graciously agreed to take over our Instagram to share snapshots of their lives and current work. Next week, Leah Wood, a recent alum, will share about her experience navigating Covid-19 in Machida, after choosing to remain in Japan to finish her Fellowship. And on December 10th, we will host a Community Conversation on Zoom, where members of the Shansi family can engage directly with staff and current Fellows.

As we continue to navigate these challenging times, we depend on the support of our community to make our programs possible. Over this past year, donations to Shansi ensured that we could continue to support our Fellows during the pandemic.

If you can make a gift, please visit shansi.org/donate to donate online, or you can send a check to Oberlin Shansi, 50 North Professor Street, Oberlin, OH 44074. And if you would like to donate to the Hiroshima program fund, your gift will be fully matched by Shansi Trustee Kim Z. Golden. Just indicate that in the “note” field when you make your donation.

With your help, Shansi can continue working to build mutual respect and cross-cultural understanding.

Thank you for your support. Your contributions make a difference.


Gavin Tritt

Executive Director

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