During the May Day holiday last year, Jeremie Mubua Ilrich from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who now studies at South China Normal University, climbed a mountain to relax, but this year, he chose to work as a volunteer during the five-day International Workers' Day holiday. 

Mubua volunteers in epidemic control work in the hotel

At 8:30 in the morning, Mubua leaves his apartment in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and walks to the Dongyue Hotel where he begins his volunteer service. Mubua has been working as a volunteer in his community on Dengfeng Street since 2016.

Mubua's work matters a lot as he needs to measure body temperature and check foreign nationals' identification.

"I have been in Guangzhou for many years, and I can better understand local epidemic prevention measures," Mubua said, adding that he helps foreigners cooperate with the government in fighting COVID-19.

Apart from the community door-to-door service, Mubua also helps foreign expats communicate with medics and staff with the local center for disease control and prevention.

Mubua said that simple and repetitive as the work is, it demands great patience and perseverance. "The first thing when I go back home is to lie down, but I am also delighted that more people will learn to cooperate because of my efforts."

Capable of speaking French, English, Chinese and even Swahili, Mubua becomes a popular volunteer, whom many people would like to talk to. "Effective communication could make things easier and lead to fewer misunderstandings," he said.

Mubua's efforts also won him praise from other foreigners. Some people give him a thumbs-up, while others take a closer look at his work permit to find out his name.

"Serving as a volunteer has become an important part of my life," he said.

In 2013, Mubua came to Guangzhou to study Chinese. Just one year after his studies, he applied to be a volunteer in his community where many foreigners live. Mubua said that though his Chinese was poor then, he still tried to bridge the communication gap between the Chinese community and foreign nationals.

Since then, he has been doing two hours of volunteer service in his community each day. "I want to help more foreigners live a more convenient and happy life in Guangzhou," he said.

Seeing Guangzhou as a beautiful and ancient city, Mubua appreciates its business-friendly environment and inclusive society, which encourage him to prolong his stay in this city. "People here are accommodating, and I wish all foreigners here love this city."

Mubua's six years of volunteering has not only assisted more foreigners to integrate into the metropolis, but also won him trust and support from both Chinese and expatriates.

"Chinese and foreign expats here should work side by side to defeat the virus," Mubua said. Enditem

Source: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-05/06/c_139034890.htm

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