At the end of June, our staff traveled to Guangling, Shanxi Province, with two GlobalGiving staff members. A lot of students who have been receiving our financial aid live in Guangling and we were really happy to visit some of them on this trip.
One of OCEF’s aid recipients in Guangling is in his final year of high school. His grandparents are ill and his father is disabled. His mother, somewhat healthier, has diabetes. Together the school’s tuition and the medical expenses far exceed what the family can afford, as the annual household income is only $1,350.
Another student attending the same high school is faced with similar struggles. This student lives with his parents and sister. His sister has congenital heart disease and paying for her operations has left the family in huge debts. Even worse, his father was disabled by a car accident, which leaves his mother as the only person in the family able to work, bringing in little more than $800 a year.
These two students with financial difficulty each received $350 from OCEF last year, like many other high school students in the Financial Aid Program. To apply for OCEF’s financial aid, a student must prove that his family’s annual income per capita is below 2,300 yuan (approximately $380). Every year, we visit and evaluate new applicants as well as re-visit and re-evaluate existing recipients to make sure that our help goes to where it is needed the most.
The recent trip to Guangling, like many other trips before, showed us the strong will of aid recipients to stay in school and the progress they have made after months of dedicated studying. What we see greatly encourages us to continue our work. Since 1992, OCEF has distributed over 14,000 financial aid packages. We have changed the specific amounts of these packages a few times over the years according to the cost of living in China. At present, we offer yearly, need-based financial aid of $100, $150, and $350 to elementary, middle, and high school students, respectively.
As always, we truly appreciate your kindness and help. Thank you for making our work possible. Please keep supporting our students as you always have.
On August 7, 2015, the OCEF Summer Teaching Camp successfully drew to a perfect close as the volunteers bid emotional goodbye to one another in Lanzhou, Gansu Province.
This is the third consecutive year in which OCEF hosted the summer teaching camp, and the second year at the same schools, Chaimen Middle School and Touzhaizi Central Elementary School in Huining, Gansu. In a short period of three weeks starting July 16, close friendship had been built among the volunteers, between them and the students, and even between the volunteers and the students’ families and local residents. The tears that the new friends shed together upon the volunteers’ departure will remain fresh in their memory for a long time to come.
This year’s summer camp was even better than the last two. Firstly, the volunteer teacher group was stronger with many core volunteers of OCEF and returning veterans of past summer camps in the mix. Secondly, the volunteers did a lot of bold experiments with the curriculum, adding the theme of “understand your hometown, understand the world, understand yourself” to the six main categories from last year. Thirdly, a fundraiser was carried out through the summer camp, which provided heart-warming gifts and OCEF T-shirts for the students. Fourthly, all volunteers living at those two schools adapted to the environment really well and had a lot of fun together, further enhancing their friendship.
In these activities, the captain for Chaimen Middle School was elected from the volunteers, and the captain for each class was selected amongst students sponsored by OCEF, which greatly increased the students’ level of engagement and enthusiasm. Zhu Wei, head of the Internet Classroom program, brought baseball gears for the students and the volunteers. His coaching in baseball stimulated the participants’ interests in sports, and the eventual baseball tournament turned out to be a great team-building experience for the students.
At Touzhaizi Elementary, the students elected their own class captains. Xuejun, who came from Japan, brought awe-inspiring experiments and Japanese origami to the students. Mengqi held an art class focusing on painting umbrella, which showcased the students’ talents. In the end, the students used the umbrellas to put on a wonderful modeling performance.
Needless to say, the classes brought by all volunteers were great. Talent shows were held at both schools, and every day of the summer camp left long-lasting memories in everyone. In the end, the volunteers at both schools shot group photos under the starry sky together, and preserved the most beautiful moment of this summer.
The summer camp is over, but it will hold a special place in every volunteer’s heart forever.
第21期（2015年10月）/No. 21(October 2015) 组稿：杨敏 翻译：何雪炀 编校：汤柏 Compiled by Catherine Yang Translated by He Xueyang Edited by Tang Bai