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Charity to aid African students in China [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-12-24 09:52:37 |Display all floors
The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation plans to provide more financial assistance to underprivileged but talented young people who want a college education, including those from Africa.

The foundation has helped about 100,000 students from disadvantaged backgrounds to complete college since it started the New Great Wall project in 2002, He Daofeng, vice-chairman of the foundation, said on Sunday.

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Because of inflation, the charity will raise the annual stipend for underprivileged university students to 3,300 yuan ($530) from the current 2,000 yuan, he said.

He was speaking at a ceremony in Beijing celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the project.
He said the foundation plans to expand the charitable project by assisting impoverished African students who study at universities on the Chinese mainland.

Chen Hongtao, deputy secretary-general of the foundation, said most of the African students studying in China come from developing economies and they might need more help than students from developed economies.
Chen said the foundation will conduct research into how many African students are in China, where they are, and the economic background of their families. The foundation's subsidy will mainly serve as a living allowance.

Zhang Hu was among the first students to receive the foundation's financial support 10 years ago.

The older son of farming parents from Zhangbei county, an impoverished area in Hebei province, he was greatly relieved to receive a 2,000 yuan grant from the foundation after he enrolled at China Agricultural University in Beijing.

"It solved the living expenses for my entire freshman year," said Zhang, 30.

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Post time 2012-12-24 09:53:48 |Display all floors
"More important, it made me feel less guilty toward my parents, who had been working so hard to earn money for their children's education," he said.

Burdened by supporting two children's schooling, Zhang's father had to take several jobs at construction sites and factories during holidays because salaries were higher than the rest of the year.

Doing manual labor during the chilly winters, Zhang's father suffered from frostbite on both feet rather than buy a pair of warm shoes.

Zhang said he appreciated the opportunity to become the first university student in his family.

He was proud that he could get by without the foundation's financial assistance in his second year at college because of the scholarships won for academic excellence and the temporary jobs he took on campus.

The foundation has raised 269 million yuan to support needy students in recent decades. Since 2007, its financial aid has prevented more than 21,000 high school students from dropping out because of poverty.

At the ceremony, the foundation saluted the corporate and private donors for their support. China Minsheng Banking Corp was honored as the largest donor, giving more than 62 million yuan to the project.

The foundation also invited 90-year-old Wu Guanyun and her husband to attend the ceremony.

Wu has donated more than 218,000 yuan since 2003 to the project, helping about 100 poor students.

"I will continue donating until I die, and if I pass away someday, my children will carry on," said Wu, a retired medical scientist from Beijing.

hedan@chinadaily.com.cn

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