Roommates and classmates at Cape Breton University, Jeffrey and Mike are international students from China. Wanting to share their culture, both men decided to create a project that would not only fill the hearts of the community, but fill their stomachs!
With the men being enrolled in CBU’s Master of Business Administration in Community Economic Development Degree at CBU, Mike had the idea to use the skills he learned in class to make an online Chinese community and named it HiImGroup (Hi I’m Group). The goal of the group was to promote cultural integration and community integration in the CBRM.
Having 538 subscribers, more than 450 of them being Chinese students at CBU, Mike says in an attempt to bear more social responsibility and promote cultural integration, the group took their efforts offline. With a supportive international community behind them, the idea of a ‘Special Meal Project’ was created.
The project was designed to share traditional food with the community on Chinese New Year in an attempt to share Chinese culture. Mike says, “When I discussed this idea with George Karaphillis, Dean of Shannon School of Business, he found this to be a valuable project, which could tie the Chinese community, the university and local community together.”
“Mike mentioned that he was planning to contact New Dawn’s Meals on Wheels and make the offering to seniors through their network,” says Karaphillis. “I am honestly taken back by the passion of our Chinese students to do so much for the community. We are all very proud of them.”
While numerous students offered to volunteer their time for the project, six were chosen because of space restrictions. The small group began cooking the Chinese Wontons and with Meals on Wheels agreeing to deliver on Chinese New Year, the project has been successful for the group.
Because of the efforts put forward by Mike, Jeffrey and their recruits, many seniors in the community will have a taste of culture this Chinese New Year. Mike goes on to say that even though it is hard being away from his home in China on such a special day, he feels like he gets to celebrate with an even larger family between the Chinese and local community in Cape Breton.
The HiImGroup has also been involved in other community cultural projects, including elementary school classroom visits. The HiImGroup encourages people to get involved in the celebrations of Chinese New Year and follow HiImGroup on social media for more information.
Share in the fun. Share in the food. Share in the culture!