"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."



Project Ponybaby was born in 2015 as a response to the humanitarian injustices that René Cao had witnessed during her years reporting in the Middle East. 

We are now an International Refugee Aid Organization based in China, dedicated to inspire young and old alike, to actively get involved in international affairs and humanitarian issues. Since then, we have reported over a 100 stories about refugees, reaching audiences in their hundreds of thousands all over the world through online platforms, exhibitions and seminars. We have expanded to become a versatile advocacy organization that brings attention to these issues and encourages Chinese and SE Asian citizens to take action to resolve refugee crises.


Our mission is twofold, first, to raise awareness about the Syrian humanitarian crisis mainly in China and South East Asian countries, where information on this issue is scarce. By producing real and reliable content via films, exhibitions and seminars, we aim to reach as many people as possible with genuine and touching stories, and motivate them to get involved in supporting humanitarian causes in any way they can.

We have also set direct support schemes to finance the education of children who can't afford their tuition fees and basic school material. In 2017 we are creating a Scholarship program to not only fully cover the education expenses of those in more need of support, but to also create an incentive for students to continue their studies by rewarding their efforts.

Our commitment

We are fully committed to bring education and support to those who need it most. We are always in the lookout for ways to improve our exposure and the ways in which we can help refugee children to get a better future. 

In 2016 we established a partnership with Pear Video (China's leading short-form video platform) with whom we produced the series of short documentaries "Orphans of the World", which have been viewed over a million times on Pear Video and other online platforms. 

In 2017 we have been producing together a second series, "Their Responses", covering over a dozen personal stories of Syrian refugees living in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan; focusing on their efforts and struggles to live, study and work away from their homeland. By showing their real life stories we hope to help remove some of the stereotypes that audiences around the world might have.

Our Team


René Cao is the founder and executive director of Project Ponybaby. She is an
independent journalist and documentary director. 

René was based in UAE for several years as a correspondent for Phoenix TV, and she reported from most Middle East countries, covering labor, economy, environment, social movements, politics and culture.

Her passion for international affairs, human rights and social innovation drove her back to Lebanon in 2015 where she filmed a documentary on the plight of Syrian refugee children.
The film, titled A Hard Stop, was first screened in Peking University with a greatly warm welcome and gave birth to Project Ponybaby. 

Olmo Reverter

Videographer/photographer. He combines his commercial work and photography teaching at Nottingham Trent University, Bangkok, with humanitarian photo and video assignments. Currently under contract with U.N. Women in the Asia Pacific region, he's been involved with Ponybaby from the beginning. He has covered several refugee stories across many countries and gets his work regularly published internationally.

Jing Jing

Reporter and video producer at Pear Video, China. Her main focus is the Middle East and humanitarian issues. She has covered the war and human conditions in Syria during the crisis.

She has a Masters in International Journalism (documentary) from JOMEC, Cardiff University.

Fan Fan

Video producer and Stringer Coordinator at Pear Video, Shanghai. Major interests in issues including human rights, cross-cultural and transnational fusion, as well as social movement and development. He has filmed video stories and short documentaries in North Korea, Myanmar and Middle East countries. 
He has a BA in History and a Masters Degree in Journalism and Documentary Production from the University of Hong Kong.


Bilu is a first year Cornell CIPA fellow, with an MPA focused in Nonprofit Management. Prior to Cornell, Bilu spent 3 years in Jiangsu Broadcasting Cooperation as a Chinese television journalist with a specific focus on legal matters and social justice. Bilu is an active member of the community who has volunteered and served on the boards of international development and local nonprofits. She worked for UNESCO-Beijing Office, in the field of sexual education in 2012, and also volunteered as a coordinator in Greenpeace China. Bilu has Journalism Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree with double major in International Politics and Russian Literature from Peking University.

Run Zhang

Run Zhang has more than six years experience in business development, account management and international product/ project operations, mainly in the fields of media, energy, mobile application and e-commerce. She worked previously for Petro China and Smartions AG - a digital media and e-commerce consulting startup in Berlin. As a member and coordinator of CEED e.V. Zhang has also been actively engaged in research in projects related to renewable energy.

She has an MBA in European Management.

Cao Jing

Cao Jing, senior-year student major in Russian linguistics, focus on the humanitarian affairs and education projects in conflict zones since high school. 

She is enthusiastic about international relations, refugee crises and global stability and has been to east of Ukraine, Lebanon and Russia as an international volunteer. She contributed with projects raised by local NGOs to support the refugee children's physical and psychological development.

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