Host a Chinese Delegate for a 1-night Homestay

Mercy Corps’ Social Innovator Program is requesting host families for Chinese delegates for one night on May 16th.

The Mercy Corp will be hosting a leadership symposium with up and coming Chinese leaders. The leaders are predominantly county mayors, vice-mayors, and youth leaders who govern constituencies that are often greater in number than the population of Oregon. They will be coming to Portland to learn about innovation in government from a US perspective. On Saturday, May 16th, they have requested the opportunity to stay with US families so that they can make a more personal connection during their time in Portland.

We are looking for approximately 20 families that are willing to host one delegate for Saturday night. The families will pick up the delegates at about 5pm, and bring them back the next morning. Most delegates will have some English language proficiency, but in the one or two cases where understanding is very low, we would offer to send a Mercy Corps staff member or volunteer that speaks Chinese over to the house to help with communication, perhaps staying through dinner. Chinese speaking families are also welcome, of course, but that is not a pre-requisite. The participants are between 38-42 years of age and come from variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Most of them have master's degrees and approximately half of them have traveled abroad one or two times, mostly in East Asia, Southeast Asia or Europe. We are looking for homestay families that can provide delegates with a spare bedroom and bathroom.

During their time in Portland they will explore lessons drawn from the experience of civic engagement, social entrepreneurship and public-private partnerships in the United States and other parts of the world where Mercy Corps works. The delegates will be responsible for translating these experiences and lessons into the Chinese context. Two of the best-known professors in social entrepreneurialism will be joining us for these conversations, and we will have experiential learning sessions with Metro Regional Government and the Columbia Gorge Commission among others.

Ultimately, the goal of the symposium, in the words of the Assistant President of the All China Youth Federation, is to "change followers into leaders." We believe that Mercy Corps and the local community have been presented with a valuable opportunity to engage in dialogue with China's future leaders.

If you have an interest in participating as a home stay family or would like more information, please contact:
Leah Hazard