With the impact of traditional ideas, the phenomenon of preference for sons over daughters still exists widely in the rural area of China. The tuition and living expenses create a heavy financial burden for some low-income families. The scholarship program combines tuition fund and psychological lessons together in order to help poor high school girls spend their high school in an easier way and enhance their career planning and finally giving them more enriching possibilities for their lives.
A Chinese proverb says: "The poor shouldn't have poor education; the hardship shouldn't be in our childhood." This child, for some parents, refers to a boy. After boys get education, they can earn more money. Girls have to stay at home anyway, they don't need to study. If the family has financial difficulties, the parents will persuade the girl to give up her studies, and to start working. Girls are under huge pressure when they ask for paying tuition fees in order to get better education.
We were so lucky to become the program recipients. It payed for our high school tuition for three years, so that we could finish our high school education without carrying the burden and guilt. In addition, we were able to participate in a variety of activities such as English communication trips to broaden our horizons and enrich our three years of high school life. Through career workshops, we learnt how to choose a major and college. A light appeared, and guided us to a wider world.
The program has sponsored 671 female students from poor mountainous areas in Guangdong Province. 96% of them succeeded in getting into college. And we started our own NGO Shining Star Organization and volunteered for it, returning to serve and help others in need. After graduating from college, we worked in different positions, such as teachers, social workers and etc, showing our strength and ability as women. We also became long-term donors of Shining Star, served others in many ways.
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