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Life changing friendship had a rocky start

Updated: 2013-08-19 14:41
By Xu Lin ( China Daily)

That was the breakthrough, and Zhang began to talk to Wang without reserve. Soon, they were really close.

"I told him he had to learn how to communicate with others. He was so unsociable at that time that I was afraid he may become a misfit in society," Wang says.

He told the younger boy that he needed to be an all-rounder and develop in all aspects. Wang told him stories of how even university students can get into trouble and commit crimes and quoted the example an introverted student, Ma Jiajue, who killed four of his classmates in 2004.

The changes in Zhang did not happen overnight, but with Wang's encouragement he is a very different person three years later. He is more adept at social situations now, and even makes jokes in company.

"We're like blood brothers, and that is how we call each other," Wang says.

"The students are all from impoverished families. I feel so sad about it. I hope they can lead better lives like our kids do."

Wang's protg Zhang has graduated from Dandelion School and is now a grade-one high school student in Daxing district. He is from a typical migrant family, but his parents are divorced and he lives with his father, who can only manage part-time jobs.

For Zhang, knowing Wang was a life-changing experience, and he told him in a letter: "Your optimism affects my life. I benefit greatly from you positive attitude and professionalism".

As much as Zhang's life has been changed by Wang's friendship, it works the other way as well.

"The things we take for granted like water and air are very precious in their sight. Just look at them, how can we complain about our lives?" he says. Helping Zhang has also deepened his understanding about charity.

Shangri-La raises funds for the school regularly and organizes other activities to help the students.

This year, there was the "Dreams come true" campaign in which staff and guests rallied to realize the wishes of 144 grade three junior middle school students.

Life changing friendship had a rocky start

Life changing friendship had a rocky start

Blood brother   Determined path

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