捐款人快讯 2019年5月号 Donor Newsflash May 2019

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寒门难出贵子?




编者按:本文作者薛英是海外中国教育基金会(OCEF)义工,曾担任高中生奖学金项目新疆助学点协调员多年,经常下乡走访贫困学生家庭,有丰富的一线经验,现在担任OCEF回信组组长。薛英以她在基层工作时所遇到的几位“寒门子弟”在社会有爱人士的资助下,勤奋努力,考入理想大学,成功就业、成才的故事,让我们看到一个真实而温暖的命题。谁说“寒门难出贵子”!只要有OCEF这些公益组织的存在,只要有越来越多的有爱人士加入到这些爱的奉献群体当中,一定会帮助更多的“寒门子弟”通过自己的努力奋斗改变命运,所谓“寒门难出贵子”的结论就一定会成为众矢之的、尴尬离场的伪命题!

“寒门难出贵子”是去年曾在朋友圈比较热门的一篇文章,暂且不去讨论这篇文章的论述及内容,就点题的结论,我就不能苟同。作为一个在农村及县城工作了二十多年的基层工作者,亲身经历、耳闻目睹的大量事实证明,寒门子弟,是可以通过努力学习获得良好高等教育,并以此为契机改变自己的命运轨迹的。

在县教育局工作那些年里,做过一段时间民间组织OCEF的协调员,为了确定资助对象,走访过数百个贫困家庭,亲眼看到过寒门子弟生活的家庭环境。有些家庭,真得是可以用家徒四壁来形容。但是他们中的半数以上最后都被理想的大学录取,也如愿就读并且最后毕业,凭着自己的努力过上了与自己的父辈截然不同的生活。那些孩子中,令我印象最深的几位,至今令我难以忘怀。

输在了起跑线上的“寒门子弟”

第一位从北京外国语大学毕业后考取了公派留学生,本科毕业后去了法国,如果没有继续读博,她应该已经毕业工作了。这个孩子的遭遇,完全够格被寒门论作者认定为出生就输在了起跑线上的“寒门子弟”。这个孩子是汉族人,住在离县城约十公里的一个村子里,这个村以维吾尔族村民为主,因此,村教学点没有汉族班,只有维吾尔语学校和班级。这孩子的父亲是残疾人,没有劳动能力,母亲患有精神方面的疾病,一个哥哥一个姐姐,也都不同程度存在一定的智力缺陷,在这个孩子被老师发现带去学校上学之前,全家五口人都是文盲。

上世纪九十年代中期,我们县面临基本扫除青壮年文盲、基本普及九年义务教育工作的“两基”验收,各组政府、各学校、教学点拉网式查找失学、缀学适龄儿童,这个孩子家所在村的村小老师走访到她家,发现了这个九岁还没上学的孩子,于是经过与学校和村上商量,免除了这孩子的全部书费、学费(那时候还没实行两免一补政策),把这孩子带到村小学上学,当然是就读于维吾尔语班(那时候也还没全面开展双语教学)。孩子很勤奋,也很有天份,从上学开始就是每次考试第一名,小学和初中还跳过级。

就这样,这个孩子从小学直到高中,各种学习及生活费用等通过政府资助,学校老师帮助,慈善组织资助等途径解决,没有因为经济问题出现过上不起学等情况。高中毕业,毫无悬念地以高分考入北京外国语大学法语专业。上大学时,县民政部门和镇政府出钱解决了她大学第一学期的学费、部分生活费及去学校的路费等费用。后来听我们县考入北外的学生说那孩子上大学后通过助学贷款、学校向贫困学生提供的勤工俭学岗位、自己兼职打工、学校奖学金及一些社会慈善组织的帮助完成了大学学业,顺利出国留学。

维吾尔族孩子:古丽

第二个孩子是个维吾尔族孩子,称她为古丽吧,一个很漂亮的小姑娘。父母都是文盲,企业下岗职工,没有地,没有农民应有的技能,家徒四壁。好在我们县是各民族杂居区,古丽的父亲汉语很流利,虽然自己是文盲,却很重视教育,无论家里多穷,都要让孩子受教育。作为OCEF协调员家访过这孩子家后,我将孩子和她父母的情况告诉了一位希望资助一个孩子的在石油系统工作的A先生,A先生从这孩子高一第二学期开始资助,资助范围包括这孩子每学期的学费、书费、住宿费。

后来这孩子考上了北京一所211大学,A先生又资助了孩子去北京上大学的路费等其他一些费用。A先生因工作原因经常去北京出差,也经常会来新疆的南疆出差,孩子也与A先生及家人一直有联系。现在孩子考取了南疆一个机关单位的公务员岗位,A先生有时候与我谈起这孩子,还很为她自豪。孩子的哥哥高中毕业后因为汉语水平比较高,在我们县也有了稳定的工作,收入还不错,孩子的父亲也找到了一份适合自己做的工作。那孩子一家的生活,与当年我去走访的时候相比,有了截然不同的改变。

寒门兄弟俩

还有一个男孩,家中兄弟俩,父亲的生病及早逝造成了家庭的困顿。我去走访这孩子家时,他家的房子已经卖掉,他和哥哥、母亲借住在不知道是村委会还是别人家的除了床和锅碗瓢盆、炉子、桌子之外没有其它家具,除了灯泡没有其它家电的两间小小的房间里。家访之后,我与一位曾向我表示想资助两个孩子的乌鲁木齐市一位私营企业主的B先生取得了联系,B先生当即决定资助这个孩子。从高一第二学期开始的,B先生对这孩子的资助范围与A先生对那姑娘的资助范围差不多。

两年半后,孩子顺利考入北京一所大学,也是一所211工程学校。再后来,孩子大学毕业在内地找到了工作,收入不错,如今已经结婚有了自己的家。前些年偶尔还与B先生联系,谈起这个孩子的时候,B先生赞不绝口。孩子的哥哥高中毕业报考了一所零批次录取的师范大学并被录取,得以免费读完了大学,大学毕业后听说回到新疆在北疆一所中学教书育人。在新疆,教师的工资是高于公务员的工资的,孩子的哥哥已经结婚成家好几年了。如今,这曾经的寒门兄弟俩和他们的母亲,已经完全摆脱了“寒门”的命运。

机械工程师

我这里想说的最后一个孩子,是我印象最深刻,也是我接触最多的一个。这孩子本来有一个虽不富裕但还温暖的家,在她上初中时,因为一场意外,失去了父母家人,靠乡政府给的微薄的生活费生活,父母给她留了八亩地,孩子上学同时,还在上学之余在八亩地里种麦子。她在上高中时,未对学校和老师提起过她的困难,她的班主任是一位非常细心的老师,因为这孩子拖欠学费及孩子平时的一些表现,老师感觉到这孩子家庭经济情况可能比较困难,于是将这孩子作为资助学生候选人推荐给我。我去距离我们县数十公里之外的另一个县这孩子家家访时才从她的邻居口中知道了她的情况。

因为OCEF的资助在当时是每学期1000元,远远不够这个没有父母的孩子高中住宿、生活及学习的费用,于是我将她的情况整理后发到了OCEF论坛。一位杭州的OCEF义工看到帖子后通过我与孩子取得了联系,开始了对孩子的资助。在这位义工的资助下,孩子顺利读完了高中,考取了内地一所211学校,通过助学贷款、勤工俭学、奖学金等顺利完成了大学学业,毕业后找到了一份不错的工作。毕业没多久孩子靠自己的努力还完了助学贷款,孩子去银行还完最后一笔助学贷款的那一天打电话给我,抑制不住她内心的喜悦。接到电话时,我也激动得差点掉眼泪。如今,当年的孩子已经成了一位机械工程师,立了业,成了家,作了母亲有了自己的宝宝,成了一名成熟、自信、知性的年轻职业女性和母亲。

* * *

在我做OCEF协调员的五年间,除了这几个孩子以外,还接触过大约一百多名接受OCEF资助的寒门子弟。对于这些孩子我没有进行过详细的追踪,但他们高中毕业考取大学的信息当年都进行过了解,因为OCEF会在这些孩子大一的时候提供每人1000元的奖学金,因此我知道这些孩子中的绝大多数考上了不错的大学。其中有个女孩,我听她的高中同学说她大学毕业后又读了研,后来留在大学成为了一名大学教师。

我亲身耳闻目睹这些孩子的经历足以证明寒门的孩子通过社会的扶持和帮助,自身的勤奋和努力完全能够改变自己和家人的贫寒的命运!随着部分地区(如新疆)十二年教育两免一补政策的实行,这些地区的寒门子弟们完成高中教育在经济上已经没有障碍。我前几年接触过的一些在大学及毕业后和我还有联系的曾经的寒门子弟们告诉我,上了大学以后,除了助学贷款,学校会提供很多勤工助学岗位以帮助贫困家庭孩子度过难关,解决经济困难。只要自己够努力勤奋,寒门子弟完成大学学业完全不成问题。

无可否认,国家还有一些政策贯彻执行不到位的贫困、偏远地区,而我们一些诸如OCEF的公益组织带着各地有爱人士的爱心和奉献,给这里的孩子带来了希望,为他们的梦想和未来助力、加油,提供帮助和关爱。相信通过国家政策的有力实施和推行,社会各届有爱之人的援手和奉献,寒门弟子们自身的努力和勤奋,“寒门难出贵子”一定会成为一个众矢之的、尴尬离场的伪命题。


Underprivileged Children Will Never Make It?




Editor’s Notes: The author of this article, Xue Ying, is a volunteer for OCEF. For many years she served as the high school scholarship coordinator in Xinjiang and frequently conducted home visits with impoverished students and their families, which equipped her with abundant firsthand experience. She is now the group leader for the OCEF Correspondence Group. In this article, Xue Ying shares several stories about former students who rose from poverty to success with support from loving people and changed their lives through hard work and dedication. Through these stories she wants to show us that those with less fortunate upbringing can still achieve great success. As long as organizations like OCEF continue to exist, as long as more and more people with passion and love join us in giving to those in need, there will be more stories like these to discredit the old saying that children from the bottom of the society can never make it on top.

Last year a post went viral on WeChat Moments, saying that it is impossible for kids from less fortunate families to have breakthroughs and achieve success. Without getting bogged down with the specific arguments in the article, I just want to say that this conclusion clearly conflicts with my experience and observations. As someone who spent decades working in the countryside, my personal experience and stories I was told show that it is totally possible for someone from low upbringing to get access to higher education through their efforts and to leverage this as an opportunity to change their life.

During my tenure at a county education department, I took a role as an OCEF coordinator and interviewed hundreds of impoverished families for financial assistance purposes. I witnessed firsthand the hardship these kids faced at home, but ultimately more than half of them were admitted to the colleges of their dreams and went on to graduate, drastically improving their lives over their parents’ in the process through their own efforts. There were a few examples that I will never forgot.

“Lost at the Starting Line?”

There was this girl who got government-sponsored scholarship and went to France to further her studies after graduating from Beijing Foreign Language University. She is now pursuing a doctorate degree. This girl totally fits the bill as someone who had already lost at the starting line, as that WeChat post puts it. She was born in a village 10 kilometers from the county seat. Her family is Han Chinese, but they lived in an area where most residents were ethnic Uyghurs and all classes at the local schools were conducted in the Uyghur language. Her father was handicapped and unable to work, her mother had mental illness, and both her elder siblings also suffered from mental deficiencies. Before she was discovered by a local teacher and brought to school, everyone in the family was illiterate.

In the mid-1990s, there was an audit on the implementation of nine-year compulsory education, so governments and schools at all levels were going around to identify school-aged children who are not in school, and she was discovered. She was brought to the village school and all fees and tuitions were waived for her as a special exemption. She worked very hard and proved to be quite talented; she got the highest grade every year even though all classes were still taught in Uyghur at the time and was able to skip grades in both elementary and middle schools.

With help from the government, school and charity organization, she went through high school without ever having to worry about paying for school. Instead, she also received a stipend. Upon graduation, she was admitted by the French Language Department of the Beijing Foreign Language University. The local government paid for her travel expenses, the tuition for her first semester, and some of her living expenses. Later on, she paid through rest of her way with student loans and earnings from work-study programs. Upon graduation, she got a government sponsorship and went to graduate school in France.

Guli

This pretty Uyghur girl—let’s call her Guli—was to parents who were both illiterate. The parents had lost their jobs and had no land to farm nor the necessary farming skills. Luckily, her father really valued education and wanted his kids to have a good education despite their economic situation. After interviewing her family on behalf of OCEF, I passed her case to Mr. A, a donor who wanted to personally sponsor a good kid. Since then Mr. A has provided for Guli’s schooling, including tuitions, fees, books and boarding.

After high school, Guli was admitted to a Project 211 university in Beijing and Mr. A covered her travel expenses to school as well as some other costs. Over the years they have kept in touch. Now Guli has a government job in south Xinjiang and Mr. A is extremely proud of her. Guli’s elder brother also got a stable job with decent pay and their father has found a job that fits him. The whole family is doing much better than when I visited them years ago.

The Brothers of Humble Beginning

I know a boy whose family was in deep financial trouble after his father’s illness and death. They had lost their house by the time I visited. He was living in borrowed temporary quarters with his mother and brother, and it was two small rooms with no furniture but beds, a table and a stove, and no electrical appliances but light bulbs. After the visit, I passed their information to Mr. B, an entrepreneur, and he decided to provide for this kid right away.

Two and a half years later, the kid was admitted to a Project 211 university in Beijing. He found a well-paying job after graduation and is now married with a happy family. Mr. B has nothing but praise for the kid. The boy’s elder brother attended a normal university and was able to complete his college education without tuitions. He is now teaching in a school in northern Xinjiang. The brothers and their mother have now put their past struggles completely behind themselves.

The Mechanical Engineer

The last kid whom I want to talk about has impressed me the most. She was from a good family, not very rich but close, but lost both of her parents to an accident. After that, she lived mainly on a small stipend from the local government. Her parents left her about 1.3 acres of farmland, on which she grew wheat by herself while attending school. Despite the hardship, she never said anything about it to anyone in school. Luckily an attentive teacher in high school sensed that something must be going on in this student’s life and referred her to me. During a visit I learned about her situation from a neighbor.

At the time, the standard OCEF sponsorship was ¥1,000 RMB per month, far from sufficient to cover her expenses, so I posted her story on the OCEF forum. After reading the story, a volunteer in Hangzhou got in touch with her through me and started sponsoring her. With that, she finished high school and got to a Project 211 university and finished school with student loans, work-study and scholarships. She got a decent job after graduation and paid off her loans. The girl called me the day after she paid off her loans and sounded very excited, and I could not hold back my tears either. Now a mechanical engineer, married and the mother of a new baby, she had become a confident young professional.

* * *

During my five years as an OCEF coordinator, I worked with more than 100 students from poor families who received OCEF financial aid packages. I did not keep track of all these kids in detail afterwards, but I did gather their college admission information since OCEF provided a ¥1,000 RMB scholarship to each of them who entered college for their freshman year. Thus, I knew most of them went to decent universities. One of them later enrolled in graduate school and eventually became a professor.

My personal experiences told me that kids from less fortunate background can totally change the destination for themselves and their families with hard work plus support and guidance from the society. With the implementation of free K-12 education policy in some regions, there is no longer any financial burden for kids in those regions to get an education through high school. Some of the students who received OCEF aid and later went to college told me that once they were in college, a lot of work-study opportunities were available, in addition to scholarships and student loans, to help them overcome financial challenges. As a result, it is no longer a problem for kids from poverty to finish college as long as they are hard-working.

Needless to say, there are places where the national policies have yet to be fully implemented, and that is where charity organizations such as OCEF come in. these organization, kindhearted people everywhere could channel their love and financial contributions to the children in need, to help them, and the cheer them on in their pursuit of their dreams. I do believe that with the full implementation of the national policies, with the support and help from the society, and with their own hard work, the statement that students from families of poverty and lower status can never have a breakthrough will surely be proven false.


您的旧物件让我们来义卖助学!




一年一度的OCEF大芝加哥地区助学义卖就要开始了!自从2015年,第一次助学义卖活动收到了许多当地朋友的欢迎与支持,义卖成为大家期待的年度活动。去年,义卖筹集了两千多美元,全部用来资助与改善乡村贫困地区的教育。2019年,第五届OCEF大芝加哥地区义卖助学活动期待更多朋友的加入与支持!

  • 捐物时间:2019年6月5日前
  • 接收的物品:比较新的小件家庭用品,比如小孩玩具、自行车、小型运动器材、小型电器、工艺品、装饰用品等家庭用品
  • 不接收的物品:car seat、high chair、衣服、家具和大件物品
  • 捐物接收站:现已在Chicago Downtown、Vernon Hills、Buffalo Grove、Hoffman Estates、Naperville等地设有
  • 捐助方式:请扫描以下微信二维码,OCEF义工会与您联系安排具体事宜(捐物者将收到OCEF捐物收据)
  • 义卖时间与地址:6月8日(10:00am to 3:00pm),Vernon Hills Township Garage Sale,Prairie View Train station(2701 N Main St,Buffalo Grove, IL 60089),摊位号103-106
与往年一样,除了义卖旧物,我们将继续烘烤义卖,欢迎孩子们来展示自己的烘烤本领,捐助cupcake、小点心、饮料等等。

义工招募:

  • 设立更多捐物接收站,贡献自家的车库一角暂存物品,并在义卖当天送到义卖地点。
  • 急需借用义卖当天用的遮阴棚和长条桌子。
  • 义卖当天的场地布置,销售与场地清理。

如有意愿成为2019年义卖助学义工,请扫描微信二维码加入。


Donate Your Used Items for Education




The 2019 Donate Your Used Items for Education charity sale in the Great Chicago area will be on soon! The annual charity sale was first launch in 2015 and was well received and supported. Since then, it has become highly anticipated event among our friend in the Chicago area. Last year over $2,000 of funds were raised, all of which have been used toward supporting rural education in impoverished areas in China. This year we will have our fifth sale, and we are looking forward to more friends joining us!

  • When to donate: before June 5, 2019
  • What to donate: small household items in good condition, such as toys, bicycles, small exercise equipment, small appliances, crafts, and home décor
  • What not to donate: car seats, high chairs, clothes, furniture, and bulky items
  • Where to donate: donation stations have been set up at Chicago Downtown, Vernon Hills, Buffalo Grove, Hoffman Estates, and Naperville.
  • How to donate: please scan the QR code below on WeChat and OCEF volunteers will contact you with further details (donors will receive receipts from OCEF)
  • Time and location of the charity sale: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on June 8, at Vernon Hills Township Garage Sale at the Prairie View Train Station (2701 N. Main Street, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089), Space Nos. 103-106

Bake sale will be held as usual during the event. We welcome all children to show off their baking skills and encourage you to donate cupcakes, cookies, drinks, etc.

Calling for volunteers!

  • We need more volunteers to set up additional donation stations by contributing your garage for temporary storage, and to transport donated items to our booth on the day of the event
  • We have an urgent need to borrow shade canopies and folding tables to be used on the day of the event
  • If you are available to help us set up and man the both or clean up afterwards, please let us know

Please scan the QR code if you are interested in volunteering for the 2019 charity sale!


第35期(2019年5月)/No. 35 (May 2019)
翻译:何雪炀     编校:汤柏
Translated by He Xueyang      Edited by Tang Bai

海外中国教育基金会/Overseas China Education Foundation

地址/Address: P. O. Box 772436, Houston, Texas 77215-2436, USA
电话/Telephone: (281) 506-2018 电子邮件/e-mail:
该E-mail地址已受到防止垃圾邮件机器人的保护,您必须启用浏览器的Java Script才能看到。

捐款链接/To make a donation to OCEF: http://ocef.org/donation

了解更多OCEF义工工作/To learn more about OCEF volunteers and their work:
http://www.ocef.org/publication/vol-newsflash





Overseas China Education Foundation
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