Expat volunteers offer support at checkpoint

Now Shenzhen   |   April 23, 2024
Sizov Kirill from Russia offers guidance at the Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint. Courtesy of the checkpoin

AS the Qingming Festival brought a surge in travelers crossing the Shenzhen-Hong Kong border, six international volunteers from Russia, Pakistan, Morocco, South Africa, India, and the United States stepped up to assist at Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint.

Being members of the Shekou International Volunteers’ Team, affiliated with the Shekou Management and Service Center for Expats, these volunteers provided aid to inbound and outbound passengers, offering guidance on transportation and border-crossing procedures.

In the Departure Hall, Sizov Kirill from Russia guided a Hong Kong family through the e-channel’s fingerprinting process.

“It is my first time to be on duty as a volunteer, and I am very happy to get involved and help the tourists,” said Kirill.

Upon seeing a woman with a child pushing two big suitcases, Yasin Muhammad from Pakistan offered to help and subsequently carried the luggage to a cab.

Kamal Mediouni from Morocco has been in China for 15 years. He loves China very much and participates in various volunteer activities. Many travelers asked him for help with directions and registering for a cellphone SIM card.

Smit Ulrich Kruger from South Africa, a seasoned volunteer, provided assistance to a couple arriving from Hong Kong, ensuring they navigated the local transport options with ease.

“Hello! May I know how to get to the Netherlands Flower Town?” said a Hong Kong woman to Alka Gupta, an international volunteer from India. Gupta used the Baidu map to help her find a bus route and bus schedule.

It was the first time for Zen Hazikaron from the United States to volunteer in the city. He came to China a month ago. “I would like to come back to provide volunteer services here again, and I hope I can help more people,” said Hazikaron, after guiding a Malaysian family to the restroom and assisting them with hailing a cab.

Established in 2017, the Shekou International Volunteers’ Team has grown into a district-level service group under the Shenzhen Volunteer Association. The team consists of expats, residents with overseas study experience, foreign language teachers, and Chinese university students with strong foreign language skills.

With 354 dedicated members, the team’s diverse services encompass legal awareness, cultural exchange, multilingual public sign enhancement, and charitable initiatives.

City sees 1.9M border crossings

DURING the three-day Qingming Festival holiday, the city’s exit and entry inspection stations handled a total of 1.9 million border-crossing passenger trips by 4 p.m. Saturday, data showed.

Saturday saw a bustling scene at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, where nearly 100 international flights took off, with half of them bound for Southeast Asian destinations. By 4 p.m. Saturday, the airport had handled over 34,000 international travelers and 400 flights coming in and out of the city, an increase of 178% and 72% year on year, respectively.

The Shenzhen airport is expected to handle about 750 flights per week in the new flight season that started at the end of March, a surge of 45% when compared to the same season last year.