By: Vicky Liu ‘20
If you have happened to walk by the Makerspace since Nov. 9, you may have noticed some chemical experiments being conducted by a group of hard-working girls. These girls, all members of the fashion club, are working on making lipsticks that will be sold at online shops, local salons, gift stores and festivals for $18, but at school for $15. The proceeds of the sales will be donated to a charitable project called MUDITA Mission for a non-profit organization. This project’s goal is to help deprived students in China. This group has already held two trial fundraisers for MUDITA: one street sale on November 19th, and another door-to-door sale on November 25th. The two sales raised $350 in a couple of hours, which is enough to pay for a full-year of education for a poor child in ChaTing, a southern Chinese village. According to the club’s statistics, every 15 lipsticks sold is enough to help one child. MUDITA’ s goal is to raise funds for 10 deprived children to go to school.
Chersea Gong ‘19, the fabulous Fashion Club leader, is also the founder and president of MUDITA Mission. She has gotten these two organizations to collaborate, which makes it possible for the fashion club to support MUDITA by making and selling lipstick. Chersea describes how heartbreaking the living conditions are for children in ChaTing Village, which is in China’s Sichuan province. She explains, “Many of these children’s houses are collapsing. More than that, hundreds of them have to climb ladders onto cliffs on their way to school due to the lack of walkable paths in the mountains. The closest way to get to school for most of them is a hike for two hours.”
Chersea shares her personal reason for starting the charity, saying, “My grandma‘s father walked out of the village several decades ago and never went back there again in his entire life. I heard poor children’s stories from him.” She adds that one of her first steps in starting this charity was visiting the village with her family. Later, she contacted the principal of ChaTing primary school [the school for which MUDITA is raising money] and asked some volunteers to visit families and get a closer look into their situations. As a breakthrough, the volunteers collected a list of children whose family, generally grandparents, can’t afford education or school meals.
While Chersea remains at the helm of the organization, she makes sure to acknowledge those who help make it happen. She states that in addition to the lipstick makers, there are 20 backroom girls who work hard in groups to make the operation possible. These teams include a packaging team, a card making team, a sales team, a web design team, a decorating team, a managing team, and a photographer.
China’s economy is now fast progressing, and many Chinese people are thriving. Yet, it’s important to realize that there are still many children who are left behind and really struggling. It’s learning about conditions like these that makes us realize how lucky we are, and how important it is for us to help and give what we can to those who are less fortunate.
To learn more, Chersea highly recommends that everybody partakes in this good cause by dropping by the Makerspace, or buying a nice handmade lipstick or gloss to be one of 15 sponsors of one child in ChaTing!