We are a group of OCEF volunteers working at Google. Last December, OCEF, a first-time participant in Google Giving Week, was designated one of the four Featured Charity Organizations and was invited to our Mountain View campus for a two-day presentation. Googlers proved to be a very resourceful group. Within a week, OCEF received donations from about 500 Googlers, amounting to a total of $110,000 from employee contributions and company match.
Time flies and we are now about to embark on the 2016 Google Giving Week. In this season of harvest, we would like to report to you what school-aid programs have benefited from Googlers’ donations. Of the total of $110,000, $84,000 was used in the programs listed below. The balance of the total comprised individual donations that were earmarked by the donors for such programs as 1-to-1 partnerships.
1. Senior High School Scholarships ($35,000)
We supported 100 underprivileged rural students attending senior high schools in Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi, Qinghai, Gansu, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Jiangxi and Henan at $350 per year. Many of these students are orphans or are from single-parent households, and financially they face extremely challenging situations. Some were severely undernourished or suffering from illnesses, and all were at risk of dropping out of school at any time. If we can collect sufficient funds this year, we will be able to support them through high school via the 1-to-1 aid program.
2. College Freshmen Scholarships ($3,000)
Of the 100 students mentioned above, 31 graduated from high school this summer and 19 were admitted to colleges. Each of them received a 1,000 yuan (RMB) scholarship under the College Freshmen Program. We wish them the best in their future journeys and dreams!
3. Stipends for Non-government-sponsored Teachers ($3,000)
Non-government-sponsored teachers are a very unique and often neglected group. Many of them practically run their rural elementary schools single-handedly, yet they earn as little as a few hundred yuan per month. We need to support them because in many cases they are the schools, and without them the students would have to travel very far for school or even drop out. Take, for example, Mr. Wang Jianlin of Changshan School, Huining County, Gansu Province, the only teacher to the nine students he has, and also the cook who serves them free lunches at noon. He has been at his post for 30 years and only makes 200 yuan (less than $30) a month. At night, he stays in the lonely schoolhouse with no connectivity to the outside world. We provide 6,000 yuan for each of them per year, which will go a long way to help build a future for the children.
4. Books ($10,000)
We are in the process of purchasing new books for Huoqing Elementary School in Xinshi Township, Zaoyang City, Hubei Province, and Laozhangcun Elementary School in Miaozi Township, Luanchuan County, Henan Province. Soon the kids will have new books to read, and the budget for these two schools is 15,000 yuan. In addition, we also sponsored the Book Project under the individual Financial Aid Program, which gives one book to each recipient of the financial aid package. In two batches given out in the spring and fall of 2016, more than 3,200 books were distributed at a total cost of 47,400 yuan.
5. Online Classroom ($12,000)
Through the Online Classroom Program, volunteers teach classes or conduct seminars for rural school children through the worldwide web, covering subjects such as English, Arts, Music, Biology, Geology, and Astrology. Due to the time difference, sometimes the volunteer teachers have to get up at 4 a.m. but they think it is well worth it when they see the happy faces of the students. Starting in July 2016, donations from Google Giving Week have covered all expenses of the Online Classroom Program, including equipment, materials and compensation to local teachers. Are you interested in becoming a volunteer teacher? Please register to become one!
6. Teacher Training ($16,000)
OCEF organized a summer training camp for teachers in Yinchuan, Ningxia, last summer. We sponsored 81 teachers from rural schools in Ningxia, Guizhou, Gansu, Henan, Hebei, Shanxi, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Hubei, Hunan, and Fujian, covering 50,000 for transportation and 55,700 yuan for lodging and meals.
7. The Gift of Warmth ($5,000)
Over the past few years, OCEF has contributed heavily on special programs in Guangling County, Shanxi Province, which is on the national list of impoverished counties, to dig wells for arid villages and schools, purchase schools supplies and equipment, and improve playgrounds. At this time, we are sponsoring a Warmer Winter project at Liangzhuang Elementary School in the county by purchasing 300 winter coats for students in poverty, so they would no longer suffer in the severe weather this winter.
Our donations have benefited many students sponsored by OCEF. From online classrooms to books in the students’ hands, your love and care have come across through a variety of programs. At the end of this review, we also want to take the opportunity to thank OCEF for the grassroots efforts, volunteer work, and creativity over the past 24 years to create this effective, efficient, and trustworthy school-aid platform at the lowest possible operating cost, and for enabling us and the numerous other donors to realize our aspiration to help rural children in need.
Would you like to join us in the pursuit of equal opportunity in education? To become an OCEF volunteer, please apply here: https://ocef.org/volunteer.
(OCEF volunteers at Google; English translation by He Xueyang)
28 days, 64,000 RMB yuan, and 738 winter jackets—a story is being told by these numbers. Ms. Zhao Yulian, an 80-year-old granny, gifted winter jackets to the 738 students at Dangjiaxian Middle School as a birthday wish. According to the principal of the school, this is the largest single donation they have ever received.
We all know that people in mountainous areas of China lead a difficult life, but we seldom have a firm grasp on how hard it could be. Dangjiaxian Middle School is located in the mountains in Huining County, Gansu Province, about a 2.5-hour drive from the county seat, in a township known for its high altitude and cold weather. Indoor heating is a necessity for nine months of the year. Because of its setting, remote location, and an arid climate, the township is one of the most impoverished in the county, which itself is classified as being impoverished under national guidelines.
The school sits on a hillside frequented by strong winds, which makes the classrooms extremely cold in winter. The students are all from nearby villages, and many of the families cannot afford to buy winter jackets for their kids. We have seen the kids putting on many layers of clothes to stay warm, which interferes with their physical activities in school. We have seen their frostbite hands. When Mrs. Zhao learned about this, she immediately decided that she wanted to help.
Her daughter, Ms. Long, relayed her message to us: “This is a good project. The weather is getting cold, and the children need their jackets. Let’s get it done quickly.” From the time Ms. Zhao first heard about the project, it took merely 28 days for the jackets to reach the hands of the children in Dangjiaxian. The night after we delivered the jackets, the children were too excited to go to sleep. The next morning, we were treated with the beautiful sight of 738 children in their brand-new, bright red winter jackets under the rising sun. When they learnt that this stemmed from the birthday wish of an 80-year-old grandmother, the children promptly repaid her kindness with a large number of hand-made birthday cards.
OCEF does run a regular winter clothing program, but this was the first time we were able to donate winter jackets to an entire school with so many students. We were happy to help Ms. Zhao fulfill a birthday wish while she helped every student at Dangjiaxian Middle School. At her birthday celebration, Ms. Zhao pledged a $10,000 donation every year for children in the mountainous regions. We are thrilled that she chose us as the partner for her charity work, and take this opportunity to pledge our commitment to Ms. Zhao, her family, and all of our donors as well as the children in need: we will do our utmost to live up to your trust.
(Zhang Jing, OCEF volunteer)
第27期（2016年10月）/No. 27 (October 2016) 组稿：杨敏 编校：汤柏 Compiled by Catherine Yang Edited by Tang Bai