Experience gained in Vytautas Magnus University gives me courage to move forward

fengyiMy name is Huang Fengyi. Two years ago I graduated from Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) with a master degree of social work. There were a lot of people who were curious about why I have chosen Vytautas Magnus University. I would say it is like my destiny — being in Lithuania and studying in VMU is an experience which has had great influences on my way of thinking, and my view toward the world.

The education I received as a master student of social work was so different with my previous training as a pharmacist. I have learnt to look at the world in a constructive kind of way. I am able to study people’s problems and social problems in a broader framework. I was taught to be down-to-earth, to be patient, and to be reflective.

Two months after I returned to China, there was an earthquake happened in the south-west part of China, Yunnan. I was assigned to the post-earthquake area, as a program coordinator, trying to build some safe places in the villages or schools for the children, where they could study, play and learn some skills. The post-earthquake area is very poor. A lot of young people have to leave their village and try to look for a living in some bigger cities, however, their children usually can not go with them and they are children left-behind — a sad story behind the fast economic development of China, and all over the poor areas of China.

After the project was ended, I returned to the city and worked as a research assistant in a research institute. I started to write researches for the government, and the minor party. I have to say, the research skills I have learnt from my social work master degree at VMU has little to do with what I was doing in the research institute. It was a painful experience, though I have to admit it did give me some knowledge about social work development in China, which I am a bit pessimistic. Even though now the government is pushing to promote social work service in China, the quality of social workers and their services are not properly emphasized. What is lacked? The spirit of down-to-earth service.

What I have learnt from my NGO management class is not to complain. I stopped whining about my research job, and quitted. Right now I am working as a manager in the children’s home. It is very a challenging job and I am still learning how to work for the children. I feel I am doing something I have been wanting to do.

I have encountered a lot of difficulties after I returned to China. I always miss my life and my study in Vytautas Magnus University. Somehow it gives me courage to move forward — life is a journey and I have tried my best.