CWEF has been partnering with Target International since 2009, to provide scholarships to impoverished female students in the Guangdong Province of China. In 2012, they were responsible for funding 50 students; in 2013, they have pledged funding to 56 students. We are grateful not only for their donations, but also for the time they volunteer with the girls they sponsor during our REACH activities. Below is a speech given by CWEF Director of Advancement and Service Learning Persephone James at Target International’s annual ceremony recognizing the NGOs that work with the corporation in China.
“It’s my great honor to represent Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation at this ceremony hosted by our partner, Target Corporation in Guangdong. Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation is a Hong Kong foundation dedicated to improving lives in rural Asia through education and health programs.
CWEF began partnering with Target International in 2009 to support the education of high school women in Guangdong. These young women are students who have achieved entrance to the top school in their county; however family situations make it difficult for them to attend. The high school expense is a heavy burden and brings much pressure to these young women. In many cases, this financial burden causes the student to drop out of high school. Target has generously seen this need and stepped in to support schooling expenses for 50 young women annually. We are pleased to work together to improve education for low-income and impoverished families, so their children can complete three years of high school education.
In addition to financial support, Target also focuses on providing services to these young women. Most recently in June 2012, 10 Target volunteers went to the Heshan No.1 Middle School to conduct a graduation counseling workshop. A survey from this event shows that 100% of the participants gained useful information from the workshop and feel it is necessary for grade 12 students. We really appreciate the service Target provides to the local community.
We are very excited to report that 16 of the 50 scholarship recipients are grade 12 students and 100% of them graduated from grade 12 and applied to university. It is even more exciting that all who applied were accepted into university, 4 of them to key universities. These great results reflect the dedication of the school officials and teachers to providing the best education possible.
CWEF thanks the students who have persevered through many challenges. Each young woman has her own story, including loss of parents, lack of education for their parents and therefore unpredictable family incomes, lack of access to land to provide for daily food needs, family members with health problems or long-term disabilities, and the list goes on. In the face of these challenges, these young women continue their diligent studies and look forward to the benefits of education for the long-term welfare of their families. Their hope for a better future is inspirational!
Thank you to Target for your continuing generosity to the impoverished district of Guangdong and for your trust in working with CWEF. With your support we are able to expand the scholarships to more young women. We hope that CWEF’s partnership with Target and Heshan No.1 middle school and Renhua Middle School will continue through the future – always focused on that better future which education provides.”