Light Community Program

In the inner city of Kunming, amidst all of the new building, there are pockets of poverty, old houses in disrepair, mostly housing elderly people whose children have moved away, and who have very little to live on. Many of these areas are also not managed by any of the city government agencies and so, they have been left to crumble slowly around the residents. The students from several universities have joined together to do something to “light up” these communities, literally. Every other weekend, 20 students, manning paint brushes, scrapers, and white paint, transform the stairwells of the 7 story buildings in neighborhoods of the city. Walls, plastered with advertising numbers are scrapped then painted with fresh white paint. This small effort has lighted the lives of hundreds of elderly residents, who give cookies to the students while they work. As the project has continued, members of the government community office in these areas have begun to show up to help the students paint, as have some of the children of the elderly residents when they are visiting. What impressed the student teams most is that there are no paper advertisements any more in the buildings they have painted. They are not only lighting the residents’ heart but also the whole society.