MEET: Soniya

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赵嫦燕 Zhao Changyan (“Soniya”) serves as health director in China’s Yunnan province. Soniya’s responsibilities cover everything related to CWEF’s health projects within the province, which she plans, manages, and evaluates together with our local government and school partners.

Soniya grew up in Dali in Yunnan’s northwest and completed her university degree in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan and the province’s largest city. She is familiar with the significant disparity between the health situation of people living in the city when compared to those who live in the countryside. Soniya’s previous work with NGOs (non-governmental organizations) has given her a wide range of practical experience that she brings to her work with CWEF. In the past, she has worked with World Vision in Shangri-la, Yunnan and with Help in Hand in Gansu province, where she served as a special education teacher. Soniya says she “prefers to work with local people and benefit them.”

Soniya has been with CWEF since February 2012. Prior to that, she was working with a research association, but she found she desired a position that gave her more of an opportunity to ‘give back.’ She began to look for such an opportunity and discovered that CWEF was looking for a new health director, which fit her desire to “join projects in rural communities and schools.” The CWEF team is grateful for the value that Soniya brings to the organization through her energy and professionalism, as well as her sunny disposition and ready smile.

Soniya hopes her work with CWEF’s health programs can serve as a model for future development in other areas, and that the impact of CWEF programs can continue to grow.

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