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One’s Mission, Zenkers’ Responsibility -- Recording the public welfare activity themed with "Mission Yangtze·Walk with Ash" to protect the mother river Yangtze

From:Zenker 2019-03-13 10:31:51 Views: 571

The Yangtze river, 6,400 kilometers long, is the third longest river in the world and a symbol of the mysterious ancient Oriental country.

Ash Dykes, born in the 1990s, is a grassroots youth from an ordinary town in Wales, UK.

It may be difficult to connect the two disparate cultures, or to imagine that the Yangtze river connects the east and the west.

It all started with a big dream.

As a extreme explorer, holding multiple Guinness World Records such as 78- day solo unsupported hike to cross Mongolia,Climbing Madagascar's eight highest peaks in 5 months, Ash is attempting the biggest challenge in his expeditions--trekking the Yangtze from the resource to the mouth with a length of 6400km.

In July 2018Ash started the trekking in the source of the Yangtze river, and arrived in the mountain city of Chongqing after a six-month trek. Here, Ash, keen on public welfare,launched an environmental protection public service activity in the theme of protecting the mother river -the Yangtze river with Zenker volunteers -- "Mission Yangtze·Walk with Ash", in which 150 volunteers participated actively.

During the Ten-Year Adventure Sharing Session, Ash shared his incipient adventure dream. He had originally studied subjects about outdoors in university, but wanted to make outdoor sports and exploration as his career. After graduating from school at 19, Ash worked as a waitress, a swimming lifeguard and a diving instructor in Thailand to raise money for his dream. In the eight years between 2010 and last year, before he decided to hike the Yangtze river, he had been an excellent explorer from being an extreme sports enthusiast. Not only was he the first person to walk solo across Mongolia and the first person to climb the eight highest peaks in Madagascar, but even Bell Grills,the world's well-known adventurer, called him "the amazing man with a legendary experience". When Ash Shared the adventures of Mongolia and Madagascar, the children let out "wow" from time to time, whose eyes was full of admiration. Perhaps only he can understand the bitterness and loneliness behind the honor and the danger of dying at any time. The long loneliness, the terrible poisonous insects, snakes and scorpions, the sun's insolation, the raging sand, and the wild animals were the daily confrontation of the expedition. Facing such a harsh environment, many people might have given up quickly, but Ash moved on with his strong perseverance, and finally completed the challenge.

During the interactive session, the children raised their hands to ask the questions enthusiastically. Danny(Chinese name: Junyi Tan), an 11-year-old boy, was interested in Ash's challenges during the expedition, and his fluent oral English attracted other parents and children. Ash says he was impressed by the burning sun in the Gobi dessert of Mongolia and the jungles of Madagascar. "I think the first challenge I met and remembered deeply was that we recruited a team (including photographers and guides) and four people in our team in the first few days due to panic or severe altitude sickness when we looked for the source of the Yangtze river" he said. The most frequent questions asked were about dreams and persistence. "We shouldn't give up your dream just because someone doesn't think it's a good one. If you really like something or want to achieve something, do it."Ash said. 


After the experience sharing, everyone accompanied Ash to hike along Nanbin road along the Yangtze river. The Zenker volunteers, almost a team of 150, stretched for more than a kilometer along the way, with the group flags flying in the wind, which became an unique scenery of Nanbin road. The children weren’t more excited. But the excitement is only temporary, soon many children were tired like wilted eggplant. For these urban children, miles of walking may seem endless. One child said that he always went outdoors by car, and felt a little tired after walking for such a long distance for the first time. However, he admired Ash even more as Ash had to walk for thousands of kilometers.


After more than 40 minutes of hiking, we came to the last stop - Yabadong. Looking up, I saw the white sand, clear water and green grass in the Yangtze river. Occasionally, some water birds crossed the river. Then, the children were too excited to tired.The volunteers, young and old, in groups began to clean up the garbage of the Yangtze river. Some children picked up garbage, and some held the garbage bags, who in the crowd shuttled unceasingly, jumped in between, like a happy beat notes. In this activity, originally belonged to the children's labor competition, the parents were not willing to fall behind, had rolled up their sleeves, bent down seriously busy. Ash and his British friends joined in the effort, and the laughter and the frolic, mingled with the sound of the boat's whistle, made the river bank a sea of joy. At this moment, all the differences of language, color and culture are submerged in the happy labor scene. We almost forget the differences of each individual, because everyone has a common identity -- the protector of the  mother river Yangtze.



I believe: every child is filled with childlike innocence and kindness in their heart. In the process of releasing the fish fry, the children are full of love, showing great care and respect for every tiny life in the nature. They carefully hold the cup of the fish fry in the palm of their hand, afraid that it will be spilled if they are not careful. When a child asked childishly: "Mother, will fish go to find his mother? Will it be hungry? Puerile face reveals serious and persistent to the problem. When they see the little fish swimming happily into the depths of the Yangtze river and disappearing into the river, they always cheer for the rebirth of the little fish.


"Mission Yangtze is not only a great feat of human beings, and a mission to show the true beauty and miracle of China, and also to highlight the positive work of environmental protection. We can travel, explore and have fun in the world we live in, but it's all about protecting it, taking care of it and encouraging the younger generation to do the same." Ash said. "The Yangtze river is the mother river of the people in the Yangtze river basin. It was born in ancient times and nurtured generations of Chinese people.We have the duty to protect it as we protect our eyes.And respect it as we respect our own mother.


For the volunteers lucky enough to participate in the activity, the experience makes them learn a lot about dreams, or about love, or about growth. A mother in WeChat moments posted: hiking for the adventure is very strange for child, who has a lot of questions, where his money came from? why did he do so? After sharing the experience of Ash Dykes today, all the questions are settled. And then carry out environmental protection activities together with him including pick up garbage along the river bank and releasing the fish fry into the Yangtze river. Although time is limited, but the children had a seed sowed in the heart! Another mother posted: "as Ash said, we can't give up easily when we have a dream. We have to find ways to achieve it and spread our love even further."

We also wish Ash succeed in his next trekking the Yangtze river and achieve his third world-first record.

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