Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China

by Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Educate and Equip Girls in Rural China
Lijuan
Lijuan

Hello everyone! My name is Lijuan, I am from Guangdong province, China.  When I was young, my father, the only breadwinner in my family, fell ill and was unable to financially support my education. And so first of all, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to my teachers and all the caring people of the Education Fund for helping me in my most difficult time and choosing me among so many people to receive financial support. In addition to that, the summer and winter camps held by the Foundation every year made me and the other students feel happy and cared for and exposed us to new things and new friends. I have become a more cheerful and confident person because of this organization.  

Looking back on these ten years of schooling, I am very happy that I was able to receive a higher education with the help of many kind people. Growing up in such a difficult family, I knew that only studying could change my fate; so I studied diligently from elementary school through high school. I have been asked many times by other parents, "Do you have any tricks to study? How come you study so well?" I would usually laugh and think, "I don't have any tricks. It's just that I have no one behind me, so I have to work hard."  

The moment I received my university acceptance letter, I was both happy and frustrated. Happy that my hard work for more than ten years had finally paid off, and I could change my destiny; frustrated that my debt-ridden family could not support my college expenses.  Thanks to the good policies of the Party and the Country, and thanks to the kind-hearted organizations like the Hong Kong Co-operative Welfare Education Foundation, I was able to fulfill my dream of going to college!  

I entered the university knowing that the opportunity to go to university is not easy to come by, and I kept telling myself that I should cherish it twice and that studying should be the first priority. So I studied hard and ranked in the top 20% overall, while also pursuing a minor in in administration over the weekends.  

Every year I have worked hard to get scholarships, some of which were supplied by Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation, and these scholarships have largely relieved me of my worries. By using the scholarship funds I received only for my studies and real needs and by not comparing my food and clothes to those of other students, I relieved my family of some financial burden.  

As a college elective, I decided to try a new challenge ------ tennis. When I began, the coach thought I was short and had no advantage in playing tennis. So I just followed the other players and taught myself. When I had time, I went to tennis lessons, played on the courts every day, and consulted with the coach and other players. After another year, I became the best player, and the coach was impressed with me.

The tennis coach wholeheartedly trained me every day.  Soon I became the assistant tennis coach, and I worked part-time during weekends and holidays. Because of the coach's help and teaching, I became a better version of myself during this period of my life. And after four years of ongoing practice in college, I had the honor of winning the tennis championship my senior year.    

After graduating from college, I began regularly supporting charity work, and I started a tennis club along with some of the other athletes. I also began studying for the teacher preparation exam. I was unsuccessful in the first round of exams, but I studied and prepared for the exams again. Fortunately, I got into the teaching profession. I am now a teacher with a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Guangdong Institute of Petrochemical Technology. I like my job, and my life is the way I want it. Thank you for all the people who have helped and encouraged me over the years.  

Many times over the years, I was confused and torn by the choices I faced, but as long as you follow your heart, not afraid of failure, not afraid of hardship, and dare to try; I believe you will become what you want to be. 

Thank you for your generous donations to Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation’s scholarship fund for Chinese girls! Because of you, young women like Lijuan have been empowered to change their destinies and reach their professional dreams. And now they are helping others do the same.  

---------------------------------------------------

This letter was originally written by Lijuan in Mandarin; translated to English with the help of Qian Qian, CWEF volunteer; and edited for length and flow by April Chiasson, Communications Manager.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Hello everyone! My name is Qiu Haiyan. 

Thanks to Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation, I was able to finish high school and meet a lot of caring people. These people have shown me that there is no lack of love in this world and that love is always around us!

Among the many caring people I met, the one who impressed me the most was Dolphin. She was like a bright light for my heart, showing me the way. She was like a big sister who always encouraged me and the other students and helped us solve our problems. When I was in college, I learned that Dolphin was a social worker. So I vowed in my heart that I want to become a person like Dolphin and help more people. But although this dream is very beautiful, it is very hard to achieve.

In the end, because of my college entrance examination scores, I chose a university that did not have a social work major and ended up applying for the English major because I wanted to speak English fluently like Dolphin. But things didn’t turn out like I hoped. The year that I applied for the English major entry was very competitive, and I was not accepted.

I was down for a long time - knowing that I would become a teacher rather than a person like Dolphin. Plus, I didn’t know if I had what it took to become a teacher. But Dolphin told me once, "Haiyan will be a loving and energetic teacher. I believe the students will like you very much!" After she said this, I was so happy.

Because of Dolphin’s encouragement, deep inside I was sure that I would become a loving, energetic and popular teacher someday. It was Dolphin's affirmation that gave me direction for my future.

I no longer feel resistant to the teaching profession. Today I really am a teacher who is loved and welcomed by her students, just like Dolphin said. Sadly, these days I rarely participate in charity activities. This is because of the nature of my work and the travelling distance.  But I have slowly realized that although I can't participate in charity activities because of my work, my love has never stopped spreading.

Now my goal is to educate my students well, cultivate their good habits as well as their love for others from childhood. I can help them to grow up in a loving environment, and then they will have the ability to help more people in need. Let love spill over; let love warm the earth; let love flow forever!

-----

Thank you for your generous giving to Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation scholarship fund for Chinese girls!  Because of you, young women like Qiu Haiyan have received the love and support they need to achieve greater heights! And more than receiving an education, these young women also learn the beauty and power of love and are giving back to their communities.

Read more about the impact of your giving here on our blog!

See more videos and snapshots of the work you make possible by following us on Facebook!

*This letter was originally written by Qiu Haiyan in Mandarin. With the help of software, it was translated to English and then edited for length and flow.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Yan at university!
Yan at university!

 

One of the pillars of CWEF’s development work has been to support the educational journeys of high-achieving girls from rural areas of China whose families are experiencing difficult financial challenges. Thousands of teens have been able to complete their high school education through tuition support and student development programs that support their mental and emotional health, preparing them for life after school and for their future vocations.

In 2015, the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with targets to improve lives for people worldwide. SDG4 is “Quality Education” with the mission to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”  

Many of the young women that have received support from CWEF not only graduate from high school, but also achieve strong results on the highly-competitive gaokao (National College Entrance Examination), making it possible for them to continue on to university. As SDG4 promotes, the quality education these young women receive in their teen years provides them with the opportunity for lifelong learning and career success. Completing this challenging and high-pressure educational journey changes these students’ life directions and will impact their families for generations afterward. 

Recently, two CWEF High School Scholarship program graduates wrote back to us to share about their experiences during their first year at university:

 +++

Xi is a graduate of Leju High School in southwestern China. She is now studying “elderly health care and management” at Baoshan College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

In a recent letter, Xi expressed:

“Time passed quickly, and I graduated from high school in a flash. Over the past three years, my [scholarship] has given me great support not only in life, but also in spirit. I remember when I was about to take the college entrance examination. In fact, I was very nervous….I was so nervous about my grades, and I could not relieve my inner tension. Thank you [CWEF] for coming at just the right time to provide us with psychological counseling support. Through some activities during the workshop that day, I learned methods to relive my psychological pressure, and also relieve my nervous mood. Thank you for your efforts!”

+++ 

Another recent graduate, Yan, attended high school at Zhaoyang No. 1 High School. She was recently admitted to the University of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Yunnan. 

From university Yan reflects:

“I’m very grateful for CWEF’s support, which enabled me to experience three busy and fulfilling high school years. I am full of hope. High school and college are different—I find it very novel and confusing at the same time. I am learning more knowledge and I am also making new friends from different places, and I participate in many activities. Life is more colorful. I am going to make a better plan for my studies and life. I will set goals, study hard to learn medical knowledge, and I hope to help others in the future.” 

+++

Thank you for your generous support that makes it possible for young women like Xi and Yan to stay in school, gain a quality education, and be positioned for a bright future! In these notes from university, they expressed their gratitude for the critical support you provided to further their academic careers, and also, crucially, to help them grow and develop their own personal social-emotional well-being.

Looking back and looking forward, they are motivated by purpose and filled with hope for the future.

 

+++

Yan at her high school
Yan at her high school
Yan at her university!
Yan at her university!
Xi at her high school
Xi at her high school
Xi at her university!
Xi at her university!
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Yongjin at her university!
Yongjin at her university!

In early 2020, we introduced Yongjin to you. At that time, she was still in her second year of high school, and she shared the following with us about the support she had received because of your generosity:

“The scholarship is precious to me, and I will make sure to use it wisely to optimize the value. Looking at it, I feel that I can accomplish my dreams and I’m very appreciative for that. It’s a blessing, also a responsibility. It motivates and stimulates me, and it also reminds me that I’m not alone. There are also others like you and my grandma supporting me.”

Yongjin is an optimistic and hard-working young woman. From a young age growing up in northern Yunnan province, she encountered many hardships. Yongjin’s mother suffered from mental illness and her father abandoned her family. Her grandmother raised her while Yongjin’s mother received daily care in a government-run mental hospital.

“Before, I was always worried about my mother. I was afraid that no one could take care of her,” Yongjin shared. “I don’t worry now and I can concentrate on my studies.”

Yongjin received tuition support for high school, along with social-emotional support, through her participation in the CWEF High School Scholarship program.

One component of the additional support students receive through CWEF is a pre-university workshop, which is designed to increase the students’ mental and emotional resilience. Each year in June, graduating high school students take the grueling annual college entrance examination, or “gaokao.” This high-stakes exam causes a great deal of pressure and stress.

CWEF Junior Programs Director Maggie Li shares more about the pre-university workshop, which helps students navigate the stress:

The goal of the workshop is to properly divert students' attention. Meanwhile, we want to let the students understand the positive significance of pressure so that they can learn to deal with appropriate pressure, and learn to apply correct methods to deal with pressure.”

Yongjin and thirteen other students from her high school participated in the May 2021 workshop, led by an experienced counselor. The workshop activities let them relax in the midst of intense study and also understand some deeper principles of life. Maggie further shares:

Through the discussion, we learned that most participants' pressure comes from the expectations of parents and teachers. They worry that if they don't do well in the exam and their scores are not ideal, they can't go to a good university. To solve these problems, the teacher gave some suggestions: different cognition will cause different levels of stress. At the same time, it also helps students realize that moderate pressure has a positive effect on people. When you can't bear the pressure, learn to ask for help in the right way.”

Yongjin reflected on the lessons learned from the workshop activities:

“I think courage is very important. When we face difficulties and problems, first of all, don't be afraid. We should dare to face them. When you really face them, you will find that difficulties are not terrible. There are always solutions. Courage is really important.”

Many adolescents have not faced the level of challenges and difficulties that Yongjin has already lived through. Yet, she has persevered through family challenges and has diligently pursued her education with the love of her grandmother and support of her teachers and CWEF’s staff and trainers.

We are thrilled to share that Yongjin managed her own gaokao stress very well, and she has successfully entered university this fall as a bioscience major with the hope of becoming a teacher in the future.

“I am sincerely thankful for the support of CWEF, which is not only a help but also an encouragement for me. I have become better and better, and the burden on my family has been reduced.”

The future is bright for Yongjin, as she faces her university life with courage and hope.

 +++ 

Pre-University Workshop - May 2021
Pre-University Workshop - May 2021
Pre-University Workshop - May 2021
Pre-University Workshop - May 2021
Yongjin with her high school classmates
Yongjin with her high school classmates

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Zhengqiong recovering in hospital
Zhengqiong recovering in hospital

Perseverance, grit, and hope are a powerful combination. All three words wonderfully describe Zhengqiong.

To receive a CWEF scholarship, a student must be recognized by her school as someone with a passion and drive for learning, and whose family is facing financial hardships. Zhengqiong fulfills both requirements and joined CWEF’s high school scholarship program in 2018, with support from generous partners like you.

She comes from a low-income family of seven children. However, Zhengqiong never let a lack of finances deter her from pursuing education beyond middle school. She faced the challenges and has been successful for the reasons mentioned above – she demonstrated talent, passion, and ambition.

In early 2021, Zhengqiong was diagnosed with an ovarian tumor. This challenging news has come at a crucial period in Zhengqiong’s life – during the last semester of her high school career and as she and all of her classmates were studying hard for the upcoming gaokao – China’s university entrance exam. Even with your scholarship support, Zhengqiong’s family struggled to find the funds to pay for her surgery, yet they persevered and gathered enough money from family and friends to pay for the surgery and chemotherapy.

Despite all the odds against her, Zhengqiong has shown great resilience, grit, passion, and a positive outlook. When CWEF’s Maggie Li recently visited her in the hospital, Zhengqiong shared:

“It encourages me a lot. Though I have spent a lot of time in hospital and missed many classes, I will not give up. I hope I will get better soon.”

Now, Zhengqiong is back home and has continued her preparation for the university entrance exam. She shared: “I will participate in this year’s entrance exam. If the result isn’t good, I will try again next year.”

Education is important to Zhengqiong, and she is determined to push through any challenge facing her. She hopes to attend university with her fellow students soon. Your financial support, encouragement, and prayers for young women like Zhengqiong allows them to fight through all the obstacles they face along their educational journeys, and onward into the adventures of life.

Thank you!

 +++

Zhengqiong at her high school in Zhaotong
Zhengqiong at her high school in Zhaotong
Zhengqiong and her fellow CWEF scholars
Zhengqiong and her fellow CWEF scholars

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation

Location: Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon - Hong Kong SAR
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @cwef_hk
Project Leader:
Joshua Lange
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Hong Kong SAR
$167,463 raised of $160,000 goal
 
1,565 donations
$0 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.