China

Lijuan

Dare to Try

Hello everyone! My name is Lijuan, I am from Guangdong province, China.  When I was young, my father, the only breadwinner in my family, fell ill and was unable to financially support my education. And so first of all, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to my teachers and all the caring people of Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation for helping me in my most difficult time and for choosing me among so many people to receive financial support. 

In addition to that, the summer and winter camps held by CWEF & Shining Star every year made me and the other students feel happy and cared for and exposed us to new things and new friends. I have become a more cheerful and confident person because of this organization.  

Looking back on these ten years of schooling, I am very happy that I was able to receive a higher education with the help of many kind people. Growing up in such a difficult family, I knew that only studying could change my fate; so I studied diligently from elementary school through high school. I have been asked many times by other parents, “Do you have any tricks to study? How come you study so well?” I would usually laugh and think, “I don’t have any tricks. It’s just that I have no one behind me, so I have to work hard.”  

The moment I received my university acceptance letter, I was both happy and frustrated. Happy that my hard work for more than ten years had finally paid off, and I could change my destiny; frustrated that my debt-ridden family could not support my college expenses.  Thanks to the good policies of the Party and the Country, and thanks to the kind-hearted organizations like CWEF, I was able to fulfill my dream of going to college!  

I entered the university knowing that the opportunity to go to university is not easy to come by, and I kept telling myself that I should cherish it twice and that studying should be the first priority. So I studied hard and ranked in the top 20% overall, while also pursuing a minor in administration over the weekends.  

Every year I have worked hard to get scholarships, some of which were supplied by Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation, and these scholarships have largely relieved me of my worries. By using the scholarship funds I received only for my studies and real needs and by not comparing my food and clothes to those of other students, I relieved my family of some financial burden.  

As a college elective, I decided to try a new challenge: tennis. When I began, the coach thought I was short and had no advantage in playing tennis. So I just followed the other players and taught myself. When I had time, I went to tennis lessons, played on the courts every day, and consulted with the coach and other players. After another year, I became the best player, and the coach was impressed with me.

The tennis coach wholeheartedly trained me every day.  Soon I became the assistant tennis coach, and I worked part-time during weekends and holidays. Because of the coach’s help and teaching, I became a better version of myself during this period of my life. And after four years of ongoing practice in college, I had the honor of winning the tennis championship my senior year.    

After graduating from college, I began regularly supporting charity work, and I started a tennis club along with some of the other athletes. I also began studying for the teacher preparation exam. I was unsuccessful in the first round of exams, but I studied and prepared for the exams again. Fortunately, I got into the teaching profession. I am now a teacher with a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Guangdong Institute of Petrochemical Technology. I like my job, and my life is the way I want it. Thank you for all the people who have helped and encouraged me over the years.  

Many times over the years, I was confused and torn by the choices I faced, but as long as you follow your heart, not afraid of failure, not afraid of hardship, and dare to try; I believe you will become what you want to be. 

Thank you for your generous donations to Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation’s scholarship fund for Chinese girls! Because of you, young women like Lijuan have been empowered to change their destinies and reach their professional dreams. And now they are helping others do the same.  

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This letter was originally written by Lijuan in Mandarin; translated to English with the help of Qian Qian, CWEF volunteer; and edited for length and flow by April Chiasson, Communications Manager.

This summer, during our Join The Community campaign, we are looking for more people with a heart for students like Lijuan. Would you consider joining The Community as a monthly donor today?

A Path Under Their Feet

Bohua Primary School is located in a ‘border region’ between urban and rural areas on the outskirts of Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province. The school’s location is appropriate, as most of the children and families it serves occupy a similar in-between space in Chinese society. Many of these families left their home villages in the countryside to seek better opportunities in the city. However, they often struggle to truly integrate into the privileged society of many people living in urban centers like Kunming.

In the neighborhood surrounding Bohua school, there are around 10,000 children and youth under the age of 18. Most of their parents work long hours in low-paying jobs, leaving early in the morning and returning late in the evening. This results in a tough situation for both parents and their kids. Exhausted parents often struggle to give their children the time, attention, and care they need to grow up healthy and well-balanced.

Migrant workers’ children often experience conflict within their families, and many of the youth in this neighborhood often develop unhealthy habits and eventually drop out of school — typically in middle school — to start working before they are truly ready.

In honor of two recent events — Mental Health Awareness Month and International Children’s Day — we thought it would be the perfect time to highlight the good work our CWEF team and local partners are doing to support the students and teachers at Bohua school and the surrounding neighborhood.

The “Life Education” course is a mental health education and resilience-building program that CWEF has developed in partnership with the Yuexing Youth Service Center and the China Youth Development Foundation.

The CWEF team and our local partners created the Life Education course with the aim of helping children like those at Bohua school to cultivate healthy mindsets and the resilience skills they will need to create a better life for themselves and their families.

To that end, we are partnering with experienced local psychologists, social workers, and other skilled trainers to facilitate the Life Education curriculum with just over 300 students from Grades 4-6.

The Life Education curriculum explores four main themes during weekly classes over the span of four school semesters using group discussions, skits, role play, movie clips, and other engaging activities to guide students to think and discuss together about their own lives, relationships, and choices.

Additionally, to further cultivate a healthy community environment for the students, our team and partners recently carried out a one-day seminar for the teachers of Bohua school, where they explored similar strategies for building their own mental well-being and effectiveness as educators.

This semester, the Life Education trainers have been guiding students to think about the different ways they can cultivate healthy relationships with family and friends. They have been learning to reflect about themselves, pay attention to others’ needs and preferences, respect the ideas and beliefs of others, give praise and offer forgiveness to others, and to understand the concept of the five love languages as a way to improve connections with others.

At the end of a recent session, the Life Education trainer led the students in reading the following phrase out loud together:

“Love is to see your own responsibility in the needs of others.”

“We hope that in the days to come, the students will have light in their eyes, love in their hearts, and a path under their feet.”

Feng Nan, Psychological Counselor and Life Education course trainer

As a way to summarize the long-term goals of the Life Education course, one of our trainers, Ms. Feng Nan, shared these thoughts:

“The more these kids grow up, the more complex things they will face — not just simple right and wrong. We hope that in the days to come, the students will have light in their eyes, love in their hearts and a path under their feet.”


You can invest in the healthy growth and development of kids like the ones at Bohua school by joining The Community with your recurring monthly or annual gift. Thank you!

She’s Transforming Her Village

Xingqi is a nineteen year old woman from a village in Yunnan belonging to the Miao ethnic minority group. When CWEF’s team first came to Xingqi’s village, they discovered many hazardous health conditions there. For example, farm animals lived inside the same houses with people. Livestock manure lay on the floor inside homes and throughout the village. Many families dumped trash behind their houses, and the trash continued to pile higher and higher. 

Xingqi’s village has 23 households that all belong to the Miao minority ethnic group. There are over nine million Miao people in China today, and traditionally, the Miao are known for their elaborate embroidery and silver jewelry. 

In 2015, CWEF began a clean water project for village residents. After establishing basic facilities for clean water, several villagers volunteered to participate in a program called HEAL (“Health Education, Advocacy, and Literacy”). Through this process, a core group of residents were trained to become health advocates for their own communities. 

Xingqi with the other residents from her village that volunteered to train as community health advocates

In Xingqi’s village, CWEF first implemented a strategy called Training of Trainers (TOT) where previously-trained health advocates from nearby Miao villages trained the Miao in Xingqi’s village. This process reinforces learning for the recently-trained health advocates. Also, when local people train their neighbors, they speak in their native language and share their culture which makes the health training more effective.  

And who showed up to the HEAL training? Xingqi, who was just starting middle school, and her mother. While Xingqi and her mother seemed nervous at first, the CWEF team also immediately recognized that these two women possessed outstanding communication and leadership abilities, and both women quickly mastered the new health knowledge and skills. 

Xingqi participating in HEAL (Health Advocacy and Literacy) training

Through health trainings, Xingqi learned about many topics such as: the safe use of pesticides, the hazards of abusing alcohol, how to treat children’s fever and much much more. As a core health advocate in her village, Xingqi came up with creative methods for promoting health education in her community, including using sketch performances with self-made props!  

Xingqi organizing a health promotion skit

CWEF taught procedures for maintaining environmental hygiene which explained that poultry should be kept in captivity to prevent zoonotic diseases, that livestock and people should live separately, and that garbage should be allocated to one communal place. 

An aerial view of part of Xingqi’s village

Xingqi said that the environmental sanitation and health conditions have changed significantly in her village. Now, one quarter of the community dumps their trash in a designated communal pit. And when you go out, it is rare to see livestock manure. All in all, Xingqi and her village enjoy a much cleaner and healthier living environment!  

Xingqi dressed up in traditional Miao clothing for a special occasion.

Thank you for your generosity and for making it possible for people like Xingqi to have opportunities to grow and thrive through life-changing health education and community advocacy!

This article was written by Jenny, Senior Program Director in Yunnan; translated from Mandarin into English by Qian Qian, Volunteer; and edited by both Joshua Lange, Executive Director, and April Chiasson, Communications Manager. 

 

Let Love Spill Over

Hello everyone! My name is Qiu Qiu.

Thanks to Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation, I was able to finish high school and meet a lot of caring people. These people have shown me that there is no lack of love in this world and that love is always around us!

Among the many caring people I met, the one who impressed me the most was Dolphin, CWEF Program Director for scholarship recipients in Guangdong at that time. Dolphin was like a bright light for my heart, showing me the way. She was like a big sister who always encouraged me and the other students and helped us solve our problems. When I was in college, I learned that Dolphin was a social worker. So I vowed in my heart that I want to become a person like Dolphin and help more people. But although this dream is very beautiful, it is very hard to achieve.

In the end, because of my college entrance examination scores, I chose a university that did not have a social work major and ended up applying for the English major. I wanted to speak English fluently like Dolphin. But things didn’t turn out like I hoped. The year that I applied for the English major entry was very competitive, and I was not accepted.

I was down for a long time knowing that I would become a teacher instead rather than a person like Dolphin. I didn’t know if I had what it took to become a teacher. But Dolphin told me once, “Haiyan will be a loving and energetic teacher. I believe the students will like you very much!” After she said this, I was so happy. Because of Dolphin’s encouragement, deep inside I was sure that I would become a loving, energetic and popular teacher someday. It was Dolphin’s affirmation that gave me direction for my future.

Sadly, these days I rarely participate in charity activities. This is because of the nature of my work and the travelling distance. Although I can’t participate in charity activities like I did with Dolphin in college, I have slowly realized that my love has still never stopped spreading. This is because I am focused on my work as a teacher.

Now my goal is to educate my students well, cultivate their good habits as well as their love for others from childhood.

Now my goal is to educate my students well, cultivate their good habits as well as their love for others from childhood. I can help them to grow up in a loving environment, and then they will have the ability to help more people in need. Let love spill over; let love warm the earth; let love flow forever!

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Thank you for your generous giving to Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation scholarship fund for Chinese girls!  Because of you, young women like Qiu Qiu have received the love and support they need to achieve greater heights! And more than receiving an education, these young women also learn the beauty and power of love and are giving back to their communities.

Read more about the impact of your giving here on our blog!

See more videos and snapshots of the work you make possible by following us on Facebook!

*This letter was originally written by Qiu Qiu in Mandarin. It was translated via software into English and then edited by April Chiasson, CWEF Communications Manager.

Windows of the Soul and Door to a Bright Future

It is often said that “eyes are the windows of the soul.” Not only that; they are also a gateway for education and deeper understanding. 

During late November and December 2021, to serve students at Heshangzhuang and Zengyi Primary Schools in Yunnan province, CWEF partnered with staff from the local nonprofits Education in Sight and the Zhengxin Social Work Service Center in Wuding county to provide vision screening and to teach children about the importance of eye care.

The eye care activities for 134 students at these two primary schools in Wuding County are just one small piece of a broader, comprehensive program the schools have partnered with CWEF to facilitate, which is called HEAL (“Health Education, Advocacy & Literacy”).

HEAL addresses the need for proper health-related equipment and resources, along with the deeper knowledge and behavior change needed for students to lead a full, healthy life.

Eye health is a key – and sometimes missing – piece, as one student noted:

“It was the first time we tested our eyesight, and we realized that eyes are so important. The world is blurry if you don’t see well. If you are nearsighted, you should wear glasses with the correct prescription. We should develop good habits and do eye exercises carefully.”

Eye screening with Mr. Yin of Education in Sight

Mr. Yin, the trainer from Education in Sight, reflected:

“The students were very curious to learn that the proportion of myopia among rural children is much lower than their peers in the cities.”

The recent global increase in myopia (or nearsightedness)is attributed to the increased use of electronics and screen time in young children. In addition to the training, books about proper eye care were given to the students, and all the students were screened for myopia.

Myopia can be most easily corrected by eyeglasses. Of the students tested, around 7% were found to have myopia. Most of these students were given free glasses available directly from Education in Sight, and the others were advised to go to the hospital for further screening.

Understanding proper eye care methods and providing glasses is important because without this intervention, more children are vulnerable to developing myopia or other eye issues. Working to prevent and treat eye issues like myopia can help the students in their general health and school education. The teachers at the Heshangzhuang and Zengyi schools reported that the screenings and health education activities were very meaningful, and will further give them the opportunity to follow up with ongoing health education related to eye care and their students’ overall health.

CWEF, together with our local partners, would not be able to facilitate the HEAL program or provide this free eye health education, eye tests, or glasses for these students from underserved communities without generous supporters like you.

Thank you for your generous donations. You are making a clear difference in these children’s lives and giving them the chance to see a bright future.

Looking Back and Looking Forward

One of the pillars of CWEF’s development work has been to support the educational journeys of high-achieving girls from rural areas of China whose families are experiencing difficult financial challenges. Thousands of teens have been able to complete their high school education through tuition support and student development programs that support their mental and emotional health, preparing them for life after school and for their future vocations.

In 2015, the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with targets to improve lives for people worldwide. SDG4 is “Quality Education” with the mission to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”  

Many of the young women that have received support from CWEF not only graduate from high school, but also achieve strong results on the highly-competitive gaokao (National College Entrance Examination), making it possible for them to continue on to university. As SDG4 promotes, the quality education these young women receive in their teen years provides them with the opportunity for lifelong learning and career success. Completing this challenging and high-pressure educational journey changes these students’ life directions and will impact their families for generations afterward. 

Recently, two CWEF High School Scholarship program graduates wrote back to us to share about their experiences during their first year at university:

Xi is a graduate of Leju High School in southwestern China. She is now studying “elderly health care and management” at Baoshan College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

In a recent letter, Xi expressed:

“Time passed quickly, and I graduated from high school in a flash. Over the past three years, my [scholarship] has given me great support not only in life, but also in spirit. I remember when I was about to take the college entrance examination. In fact, I was very nervous….I was so nervous about my grades, and I could not relieve my inner tension. Thank you [CWEF] for coming at just the right time to provide us with psychological counseling support. Through some activities during the workshop that day, I learned methods to relive my psychological pressure, and also relieve my nervous mood. Thank you for your efforts!”

Another recent graduate, Yan, attended high school at Zhaoyang No. 1 High School. She was recently admitted to the University of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Yunnan. 

From university Yan reflects:

“I’m very grateful for CWEF’s support, which enabled me to experience three busy and fulfilling high school years. I am full of hope. High school and college are different—I find it very novel and confusing at the same time. I am learning more knowledge and I am also making new friends from different places, and I participate in many activities. Life is more colorful. I am going to make a better plan for my studies and life. I will set goals, study hard to learn medical knowledge, and I hope to help others in the future.”

Thank you for your generous support that makes it possible for young women like Xi and Yan to stay in school, gain a quality education, and be positioned for a bright future! In these notes from university, they expressed their gratitude for the critical support you provided to further their academic careers, and also, crucially, to help them grow and develop their own personal social-emotional well-being.

Looking back and looking forward, they are motivated by purpose and filled with hope for the future.

HEALTHY BODIES, HEALTHY MINDS, HEALTHY PLANET

Students at Anla and Heshangzhuang Primary School in rural Yunnan province ended the previous school year and started the new school year strong and healthy. Students at both schools participated in TOT (“Training of Trainers”) activities as part of the ongoing HEAL (“Health Education, Advocacy & Literacy”) program facilitated by the CWEF team and our local partners. These student health advocates will go on to serve others in their families and school communities by sharing the knowledge and healthy habits they have learned through this series of HEAL training activities over the span of 1-2 years.    

Before their schools broke for the holiday, in June 2021 students at Anla and Heshangzhuang learned knowledge and practiced healthy behaviors related to personal hygiene, COVID-19 prevention, healthy diet, eye care, disaster preparedness, and basic first aid training.

These HEAL Training of Trainer sessions were delivered as a collaborative effort — trainers from CWEF along with several partner organizations, including eye care and vision-focused non-profit Education in Sight, Zhengxin Social Work Service Center of Wuding county, and the Yunnan Mountain Eagle Rescue Service Center. Working in concert, our organizations can achieve more, and the training we provide to the students is more effective and has a stronger impact. 

Of equal importance is the varied mode of training that is used during these sessions. Our trainers use games, songs, videos, demonstrations, simulations, and other practical exercises to engage different parts of the students’ bodies, brains, and emotions, so that the knowledge and habits learned will have a better chance of sticking with them, and later, spreading to others in their community.

Jenny Chu of CWEF shares: 

“This way of combining theory with practice makes students learn more intuitively. We are helping them to enhance their awareness first, and then to support their knowledge with action.”

Most recently, in September 2021, students at Heshangzhuang Primary School participated in the third session of their HEAL student health advocate training. After learning to take care of their own health and that of their family and friends, they were introduced to the concept of caring for the health of the planet. The training facilitators framed this sometimes complex topic in more simple terms that connected students back to health concerns they are familiar with:

“The Earth has a fever. How can we help the Earth to be healthy?”

Planting The Seeds of a Dream

CWEF’s vision is a world of “thriving communities, serving and inspiring hope in others.”

This is not a “one and done” type of goal—change takes time and real sustainable change happens in the lives of individuals and the communities they serve and inspire. Sixteen-year-old Jianfang is a living example of the impact of becoming a student Health Advocate through the HEAL program.

In 2016, CWEF facilitated a holistic health project in Xishipo, Jianfang’s home village in Lufeng county, Yunnan province. CWEF partners helped to support the construction of various clean water and health-related infrastructure in the village, including a 30 cubic meter water cistern, pumping stations, solar-heated shower rooms, hand-washing stations, garbage repositories, and drinking water pipelines to each household. A hallmark of the HEAL (Health Education, Advocacy & Literacy) project is providing health education and hygiene training (the “software”) for adults and youth, alongside the new infrastructure (the “hardware”).

Jianfang, who is from the Miao minority group, was then 11 years old when the HEAL project was initiated. Jenny Chu, CWEF’s Senior Programs Director in Yunnan, shares about the 2016 training:

“This was the first time for CWEF to use the local language, instead of Mandarin, for the health training. Using the Miao language not only solved the difficulty of knowledge transfer due to language barriers but it also helped to better encourage feelings of solidarity among the participating villagers.”

The health training took place in two phases. The first focused on personal hygiene, environmental hygiene, and nutrition. The second phase of training included information to prevent common diseases, use of medicines, training for safe pesticide use, women’s health care, accident prevention, and substance abuse awareness. Jianfang was in the third year of middle school when she first learned the new information and became a Health Advocate committed to share her new learning with her peers.

Today, Jianfang is in high school and is learning English (by way of an app), together with her intense schedule of daily school work and regular preparation for the looming university entrance exam. The training she received as a HEAL health advocate five years earlier has played a significant role in her life. She shared that the HEAL training planted the seed of a dream. “When I was in primary school, I didn’t know what kind of person I would become in the future. I didn’t have ideas about a future career.”

During the training Jianfang participated in role play presentations for different health promotion activities. “I chose the theme of ‘prevention and treatment of a cold’ and played the role of a doctor. Through this role play I understood the significance of relieving the pain of others.”

Soon after, Jianfang experienced real-life struggles in her family when her sister needed the care of a doctor.

“It takes a lot of time to wait in line to see a doctor, and the result is not always satisfactory,” Jianfang recalls. “At that time, I deeply felt that if I were a doctor, this kind of trouble could be reduced and my family could possibly avoid going to the hospital when they were sick, saving a lot of trouble.”

She also noted the impact of COVID-19: “The whole world is in panic and isolation. When we see the medical staff who stay on the front lines fighting against the virus without sleep or lunch breaks, we are moved.” Now, Jianfang is all the more determined to become a doctor.

Jianfang is inspired to become an “international rescue doctor,” so that she can go to “more difficult places to help those who are really in need.”

Because of your generous giving, young Health Advocates like Jianfang learn life-changing health practices and mindsets. In her case, health education planted a seed and opened her eyes to see how she could make a difference both as a youth Health Advocate but also one day as a doctor.

The vision of “thriving communities, serving and inspiring hope in others” has a name and face: Jianfang from Xishipo village.

by Jenny Chu (Yunnan Senior Program Director) & Karin Semler (CWEF Board Secretary)

Partner with Community Health Advocates Like Jianfang

Meili’s Meaningful Service and Promising Future

“I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand,” is a well-known Chinese proverb attributed to Confucius. Active involvement in community health education is a hallmark of the HEAL program, through the training of adult and children health advocates.  

CWEF’s Senior Programs Director, Jenny Chu, shares:

“There is a great advantage to training young health advocates since they easily learn and can change their behavior. Once they have new health knowledge—like the importance of hand washing or brushing their teeth—kids can develop good habits and improve their wellness.”

Nineteen-year-old Meili is a high school senior in Lufeng County, Yunnan Province. She is from the Miao people group, which has its own unique language and culture. Meili was trained as a local health advocate and played a key role in the HEAL training activity in her home village of Beiyinqing during December 2020.

“Most older adults and younger children [in Beiyinqing] do not understand Mandarin Chinese. Meili, who is bi-lingual, explained the health lessons in the Miao language and combined the information with her own personal experience.”

Jenny Chu

Made possible by your generosity, a total of 18 children and 20 adults participated in the December training session, which covered personal hygiene, coronavirus prevention, and safe use of pesticides for the adults. Proper handwashing has always been a cornerstone of the HEAL curriculum, but “now school teachers value this part of the project even more. What happened in 2020 has drawn more attention to the importance of health education and good hygiene habits.”

Because of your generous gifts to the HEAL project, Beiyinqing village will complete construction of four new water cisterns in time for the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) holiday. The new facilities will improve access to drinking water for the villagers, increase water access for domestic and livestock use, and increase irrigation reservoirs, improving farming and animal husbandry for the farmers in Beiyinqing. All of these improvements will improve the personal health and environmental sanitation for the whole community.

Parents in the village value their children’s education and support the training of youth health advocates and the subsequent education of their peers. The water and hygiene projects for the community can help to raise the quality of life and income for the families in the village.

A common path for those who are educated is to later leave Beiyinqing in search of better paying work, to help support their family members back in the village. The adults hope to raise the standard of living at home, so that their talented youth don’t need to leave for work, but can remain an integral part of community life. 

Meili shares this outlook of internal motivation to solve problems and find solutions without waiting for outside help. Her mother has admired Meili’s persistence and enthusiasm for learning. She hopes Meili will be able to go to a good school and have a bright future.

Meili is an exemplar of a peer leader, having already volunteered in other public welfare activities in the summer of 2020. She brought valuable skills, ideas, and language ability to the CWEF health education training for younger students in her village. Students who participated in the health education training will serve as health advocates for their fellow students—teaching them important health knowledge and modeling good habits.

As she looks to her own future, Meili hopes to study theology at a university in Yunnan, so that she can continue to teach and serve her Miao people in their own language and culture.

Thank you for your partnership in making our shared vision become a reality—where villages like Beiyinqing filled with people like Meili can grow into thriving communities, serving and inspiring hope in others.

A Grateful Heart in the Midst of a Tragic Year

written by Elena Semler, CWEF volunteer

Xuemei, a high school senior in Yunnan Province, has dealt with many hardships and feelings of helplessness during the past year due to COVID-19: 

“At the beginning of the school year, I failed to go to school for the first time. I had to stay at home and attend on-line classes… The price of everything was increasing, but the income of my family was decreasing. Living expenses became more expensive, and our debts were getting heavier and heavier.”

Like many around the world this year, Xuemei and her family struggled with increased living expenses and growing debts. It was then, in a time when she needed some hope, that Xuemei found it in the support she received because of your gifts.

“With your support, I didn’t feel so helpless. I felt warmth and saw light ahead of me.”


Xuemei with her classmates

Xuemei is a recipient of a CWEF High School Scholarship, which covers all school-related costs and provides student development support in crucial areas such as setting goals and making plans, managing emotions, teamwork, and more.

Although Xuemei’s family has struggled financially due to the pandemic, their decreasing income did not put an end to her education, thanks to your generosity. Once it was safe for the students to return to school, Xuemei was able to return as well. She is happy to share: “Now we are lucky to be able to go back to school again.”

Because of your generosity, Xuemei has not only been comforted amid a challenging time, but she has also received tangible help that, in her own words: “let me move forward and get closer to my dream.” With her renewed sense of hope for the future, Xuemei remains faithful to her goals and aspirations, “I will study hard and try my best to go to university.”

Xuemei and her family have lived a difficult life in rural Yunnan even before the pandemic. However, it is these difficulties that have given her a perspective that we should all aspire to have. In a letter to her scholarship sponsor, she writes, “Though I have never met you or seen you, I will still have a grateful heart.”

CWEF scholarships educate and equip bright young women like Xuemei to live a life of leadership and service. People like you make it possible for people like Xuemei, even after a global pandemic and a devastating year for her family, to have hope for the future.

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