Last November, over 300,000 RMB was raised at Chi Fan for Charity (CFFC) Shanghai organized by Austen Morris Associates. A generous portion of the funds went directly to support Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC), a charity organization founded by current director and mother of daughters, Tien Ching. EGRC is dedicated to providing young women in rural areas of Western China the opportunities to obtain an education. EGRC believes that the more educated the women are, the more educated their children -the future of our generations – will be. Hence, by educating women, EGRC sees itself making the world a better place for all.
We were also lucky to meet some of the graduates of ERGC who joined last years event and hosted a dinner with their colleagues and friends at Pizza Express hosted by Yuhua Chen.
In rural China, traditional values are still strongly upheld in many villagers’ lives. The cultural preference for boys over girls continues to exist. Oftentimes, boys are sent to school while girls stay at home to help out their families. Many rural families do not realize that there are socioeconomic benefits in allowing girls to pursue an education and for that reason, think that there is no need to do so. As a result, girls’ enrollment rate, especially for high school, remains relatively low. Despite this fact, EGRC stays convicted with its mission to sponsor female students for high school and college studies. After all, EGRC does not accept any candidate. In order to make the greatest impacts on rural societies in China, EGRC aims to target its sponsorships towards girls with a family income below poverty line and who below in the following four categories: orphans, single parents, parents with chronicle illnesses or handicaps, or parents with more than two children attending high school/university at the same time.
After a thorough examination during the selection process, EGRC finally selects the candidates who best fit its criteria. This year, the funds raised from CFFC Shanghai 2014 will be used to sponsor 20 girls from Yuzhang County, Gansu Province. For each girl’s first year of study in grade school, 5,000 RMB will be rewarded: 2000 for tuition, housing accommodations, and books. They will be given 3,000 for meals which is only 300 per month for 10 months. Additionally, these girls will now have access to a strong support system that consists a close-knit network of EGRC current university students, graduates, and staff members; in fact, they make regular visits to the girls, typically twice every semester.
By September 2015, the funds will be distributed to their personal bank accounts for the students to use. Over the years, many high school students who have received sponsorships from CFCC have gone on to lead better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. A good number of them have even went on to pursue a undergraduate studies at a University as well. This shows how amazing the annual event, Chi Fan for Charity can be as it strives to continue making a positive impact on the community through the people’s contributions.