Primary and middle school education are free in China. However, other costs are still too high for many families: accommodation, food, school supplies etc. Then, when a child reaches high school age, their families have to pay on average 1,400 RMB a year in addition to the extra costs mentioned above. Financing higher education is effectively impossible for some families, given that one year's university fees are 6,000 RMB - the average annual income of a worker in Tongxin.
Once their school fees are taken care of by the association, our scholars don't need to waste any time or energy worrying about money and can concentrate fully on their studies. As a result, some of them have been accepted into the best universities in the country.
Education is one of the keys to breaking the vicious cycle of poverty. Overall, we have helped 245 young people from Ningxia through this program. 34 of our scholars have already graduated. Yan Xia who is now teaching in a secondary school in Tongxin and Bai Xiaojuan who is currently studying in Xi'an to become an English teacher, are two examples of how our work has given back to local communities.