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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
Yongjin
Yongjin

The aged woman looked at the infant sleeping in her arms and thought, “she’s as small as a kitten.” Yongjin was only a month old when she was abandoned by her father into her grandmother’s care. Her mother suffered from a mental disorder and was unable to care for her. Yongjin, now 16, was raised by her cherished grandmother in rural Yunnan province. “I feel sorry for my grandma, for the hardship she has been through.”

Yongjin, full of gratefulness, was awarded with a CWEF scholarship to cover her high school tuition and related costs. She reflects, “…your sponsorship allows me to continue pursuing my study without worrying about the tuition and living cost, which is a big expense for my family. Your help greatly released my family’s burden.” Yongjin’s grandmother was overjoyed when she heard the news of her educational assistance. “Your help makes me feel that I am not alone and that there are people in this world caring for us!” Yongjin shares.

Even though her life has been hard, Yongjin has persevered and is wise beyond her years. “I am not ashamed for what happened to me, in fact, these [hardships] have enabled me to gain some competencies that many people my age don’t have—cooking, seeing doctors by myself, being very independent. I’m confident and don’t think that I’m lacking anything compared to others.”

CWEF scholarships provide bright young women scholarships and support, preparing them for a life of leadership and service to their families and communities. Additionally, student development programs equip students for life after school, including crucial skills such as: setting goals and making plans, managing emotions, working in teams, and more. Yongjin shares, “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 also reminds me that I’m not alone. There are also others like you and my grandma supporting me.”

According to the World Bank, the education of girls is central to breaking the cycle of poverty. Your support helps students like Yongjin realize a bright future with better earning potential and increased knowledge about health and nutrition. “I’m prepared to conquer the difficulties and hindrances in my life with grit and perseverance. I hope, in the future, I’ll be able to help others like what you have done for me.” Yongjin’s bold optimism embodies CWEF’s vision of a world of thriving communities, serving and inspiring hope in others.

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Behind Yufeng’s smile is a story of rare hardships and also precious optimism. She is the eldest of four children, born to farmers in rural Yunnan province. Yufeng’s mother was injured in a traffic accident and cannot perform much manual labor. Additionally, her parents provide care for Yufeng’s grandparents.

At the age of eight, Yufeng began suffering from a rare and serious bone infection in her leg. Doctors recommended amputation, but her parents refused the advice and spent most of their scarce income on medical treatment to spare her leg. Yufeng’s medical challenges continued when she was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2011.

Yufeng shares, “Although my foot is disabled, I think my mind is important and I have a thankful heart.” She began High School in 2016, with the support of a CWEF scholarship, at the age of 23.

“My family is poor so I study harder than others. I want to change it. When I’m in trouble, I always face it bravely.”

Her strong spirit was tested again in 2018, when she underwent surgery on her leg to treat varicose veins, which caused her to repeat her second year of high school. Tragically, Yufeng underwent another surgery in 2019 to remove a portion of her lung, following a pulmonary infection.

In spite of everything she has been through, Yufeng has developed a wonderfully positive outlook on life.

“My life is full of sun. I will smile at everything. I think attitude is everything. I will never give up on my dream….in the future I want to become an English teacher.”

Yufeng wants to “change her frustration into wealth” and use the pain and difficulty she has experienced in the first part of her life to enrich her adult years.

Yufeng is grateful for the love and care that she received from CWEF, her teachers, classmates and others, many of whom fundraised online to help pay for her surgeries. She plans to graduate from High School in June 2020, at the age of 27. Without a doubt, her smile will continue to radiate hope and joy as she takes the next steps into pursuing her dream of becoming an English teacher.

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Your generous contributions to this project make it possible for CWEF to continue to renew hope for young people like Yufeng who are facing the challenges of rural poverty. Thank you!

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At the end of May 2019, CWEF worked with two seasoned trainers from Hong Kong Lutheran Social Services (HKLSS) to run a REACH training workshop for 30 teachers at Leju High School in Zhaotong, Yunnan province. These are the teachers who work on a day-to-day basis to educate and equip the young women who are supported by CWEF’s High School Scholarship program at their school.

During this 3-day workshop, the trainers from HKLSS focused on concepts and methods related to experiential education, teamwork, cooperation, and adolescent psychology. The trained teachers will be able to use these new concepts and skills to enhance their support of CWEF’s High School Scholarship recipients.

Thank you for your generous gifts! You are making it possible for these young women to not only continue their education, but also to have their education enhanced through special workshop experiences like this one.

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Below are some reflections about the REACH workshop written by Hui, one of the participating teachers from Leju.

 

In the summer, Zhaotong's weather is quite unpredictable. When Xiaohui and Bobo (the HKLSS trainers’ Mandarin Chinese nicknames) arrived in Zhaotong together with CWEF staff Maggie and Jenny, the weather was starting to get cold. The four teachers showed up wearing thin summer clothes and worked so hard to bring us the REACH training workshop about experiential teaching methods, which moved and inspired all of us teachers here in Zhaotong. Allow me to share more of our experience with you:

 

Our principal Mr. Zhou Jinshao began by introducing the trainers:

“Teacher Xiaohui has come from afar and has a new teaching method to share with us.There's a new philosophy...”

Honestly, at the beginning, we were skeptical. We have been through a lot of training workshops before, and many of these lectures have started the same way.

Then we learned that Xiaohui and Bobo’s salaries are actually very low, but they have both been doing social work for ten years. And then Maggie and Jenny from CWEF said they also have been working in the social sector in Yunnan for more than ten years, too.

The weather was cold but their hearts were warm, and we were moved by their persistence and dedication. 

 

As the training program began, Xiaohui and Bobo first gave us an introduction to experiential teaching.

“Let's forget our jobs for a moment and let go of those heavy burdens for a while.”

To be honest, it’s usually very hard for someone to touch your heart when you meet them for the first time. 

But Xiaohui started off with a series of interactive activities with fun, exaggerated behaviors and flamboyant expressions, and everyone was brought in quickly to this new world of experiential teaching methods.

At that moment, we put down the heavy burdens we carry with us all the time and realized:

Life is so beautiful. We can actually relax and enjoy it for a while.

 

During the workshop, Xiaohui and Bobo first led us to design our own team flag, team name, and slogan. Everyone came up with their own ideas and provided valuable input for the team. Before we knew it, the colleague you were just meeting has become a friend.

Throughout the activities, we feel bad for the team's failure, and we applaud the team's success.

When all the teammates stood in a circle and were walking laps together, all of us were united, all hands were afraid to let go. At that moment, all the heartbeats were quietly beating together.

We are united.

Only when a team is united can it go farther and see higher.

 

On the third morning of the workshop, Xiaohui and Bobo led the group together to design and organize games for each team.

There were disputes over design, conflicts of opinion, and corrections to the plan along the way...

There were team members' collaboration, persistence, and efforts ...

We learned how to design games for use in our teaching and what to consider when designing a game, and how these games can make our work with students more effective and engaging.

In the process of playing, Xiaohui and Bobo turned complex theoretical knowledge into a meaningful learning experience.

It's a great lesson for us and it will improve our ability to positively impact the students we work with.

 

When the trainers come to Zhaotong next time, I hope the clouds will part and the sun will shine for them.

 

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- Written by Hui, Leju High School teacher

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We met Rui in 2015. She was 17 years old and in her first year of high school at one of our partner schools in northern Guangdong. Rui had a similar story to many of the young women in rural China we have supported through CWEF’s High School Scholarship program. Her father was suffering from a brain disease and was nearly paralyzed, and her mother struggled to support the family through her farming work alone.

With assistance from kind sponsors like you, Rui was able to graduate from high school in 2018 and she is now in her first year at Zhongkai University of Agriculture Engineering, majoring in Conservation. Rui was also recently accepted to serve as a volunteer with Shining Star, a non-profit founded by CWEF High School Scholarship graduates who are reaching out to serve young ‘left-behind’ children in rural Guangdong.

About her experience with CWEF and Shining Star, Rui shared:

“Through my connection with CWEF and Shining Star, I met a group of lovely sisters who could listen to me, understand my feelings, give me advice, and grow up with me. Some people say that when God closes a door, He will open a window for you, and I think that CWEF and Shining Star have been that window for me. I received not only financial help, but even more than that – love, a spiritual power. Now, I want to give this love back and pass it on.”

Rui as a high school student, supported by CWEF
Rui as a high school student, supported by CWEF
Rui participating in Shining Star training
Rui participating in Shining Star training

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Organization Information

Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation

Location: Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon - Hong Kong
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @cwef_hk
Project Leader:
Joshua Lange
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Hong Kong

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