Share This:






Zhiyao Ning, SPS Chapter Chairman, Sun Yat-sen University

The sun was scorching like a flame, but the heat wave could not diminish our enthusiasm for serving the community. As members of the Electrical Appliances Maintenance Voluntary Club at Sun Yat-sen University in China, we were out providing villagers with free technical assistance, repairing their broken electrical appliances—induction cookers, computers, rice cookers, and much more. The service helps to ease the economic burden of the villagers, improve the community’s recognition of our school, and enhance our own technical skills and abilities while giving back to our community and country.

Villagers brought a variety of electrical appliances to the event, including electric tea kettles, rice cookers, and DVD players.
The club’s main activities include repairing broken appliances in our activity room and organizing electrical appliance maintenance activities on campus, in local villages, and in remote areas. New club members are trained by experienced seniors and tutors at the beginning of the year. With hands-on guidance, members collaborate on problem-solving, searching for relevant data, and practicing repairs to gradually improve their professional skills and ability to work independently. This lays a solid foundation for the annual volunteer activities. Several club members are physics students who are also part of our SPS chapter.

On this particular day, filled with brilliant sunshine, we were helping people from several remote mountain villages around the city of Qingyuan. When we arrived, we were surprised to find villagers already waiting with expectant faces. Many broken electrical appliances had been accumulated already, and villagers continually brought in more. There was an electric kettle that couldn’t boil water, an electric cooker that didn’t heat, DVD players that didn’t work, and even a broken electrical foot tub. We kept busy registering and checking the state of each appliance, collecting owner information, distributing tasks, and arranging the workflow methodically. We carefully disassembled, tested, replaced, repaired, and retested.

The foot tub and three broken DVD players gave us the most trouble, because we hadn’t repaired these kinds of appliances before. We didn’t know what to do, so the team members in charge of these items asked the seniors for help through an online chat. Under their guidance, we found internal structure drawings of the DVD players online and then dismantled them, looking for problems. Finally, we found a rusted slide on one of them and worn out limit switches on the other two. We fixed the problems and the DVD players worked! As for the ineffective foot tub, we dismantled the baffle and checked each of the circuit components using a multimeter. Finally, we found that the mainboard had shorted out because it was flooded. After we dried out the mainboard and replaced the broken components, the electrical foot tub worked normally! Everyone was very excited.

During this two-day event, our team worked on more than 50 electrical appliances and repaired more than 60 percent of them. Although we were tired and the environment was challenging, the experience was meaningful and beneficial. We learned how to repair several kinds of devices that we hadn’t worked with before. The villagers were grateful and happy, which made us happy. We appreciated the opportunity to give back to society and look forward to sharing our experience with future club members, preparing them for this responsibility.

Club members collaborate on a difficult repair.

Club members put their electronics skills to good use during the two-day event. Photos courtesy of Sun Yat-sen University’s Electrical Appliances Maintenance Voluntary Club.

More from this department