Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hopes and Fears, Joys and Challenges of the last school year...

2013/2014 has been a good school year!

In the school year 2013 /2014, there were  420 girls helped by 
Guangxi Girls Education Progamme. 

Here are some of them from the areas where we work...

262 girls are helped by international sponsors.
158 girls are now being helped by Chinese sponsors. 

Thanks so much to our sponsors all around the world.
- with your help, all these girls can go to school and enjoy their school lives, follow their dreams and have a better life.

One thing we have noticed and are very  glad to see, is  that right now girls do much better than boys at school. This situation has changed a lot over the years!!

14 of our girls have graduated from college/university this term. 
Some of them have already found jobs, and some are still looking....

They are working as company employees, teachers, nurses....we will share more of their news later :-)

They are doing so well with their jobs, and are starting to make a contribution to their families and communities.

Be very proud of them!!!!!!

One of the things we are introducing this year for our college/university girls, is a plan to help them become more independent. For the fist year of college studies, we will continue to support them, and for most girls , also the second year. But from then on, we are encouraging them to take on a job, apply for government loans, and be more in control of their own lives. So for these last years, we hope they will not need financial support, but they will remain a part of our group, so that Lucy and Matthew can arrange help where needed. This also means we can follow thro with sponsors to see their girls graduate, and share in their Celebrations!

                         However, every girl has her own special story. 

                       Not every girl will follow the main life path.  

We are here to support and give equal opportunities for the girls to follow their dreams. Not all girls will follow an academic path, but they will all be encouraged to learn, have confidence in themselves, and be independent. 

There are two girls:  Caichun and Shufang. They met the people who loved them, care for them and provide them a home. So they chose to leave school and get married. That is another life path. We hope that they will be happy!

 Although conditions for some of the rural girls has improved slowly over the years, we still see that some families are struggling for their lives. 

 Yuhong, her family had a not very rich but still good life before she got ill. 
But now they have to travel to Nanning every 3 months and pay huge  medical bills. We are doing all we can to help her and her family.

And there is a family in Du’An: mother and two sisters. Their father passed away and the mother is the only worker in the family. The two sisters’ names are  Aiji and Aifei. They are being helped and supported by Chinese sponsors. 

Last year, their mother got ill and could not do the farm work any more. She asked Aiji to come home to do the farm work and support the family and her little sister Aifei. But Aifei asked to leave school and go home to support the family  instead of her sister. Aifei thought her older sister does better than her at school and so she would give up her chance for her sister.

She wrote a letter to us and shared her decision with us and thank  her sponsor for  helping her all these years. We wanted to help them but we could not do anything, for there must be someone to help to do the farm work for the family. 
Aiji and Aifei are both sensible and lovely girls. In Aifei’s letter, she told us that Aiji lives a hard life at school, and she has one steam bread for breakfast and lunch some day in order to save money and reduce her mother’s burden.

So have seen some improvements, but still many challenges for girls to face.

In this term, we had some sponsors and their children come to visit the girls. Emily, she came to Nanning and worked with us and visited some girls’ homes with us. 
Anna, represents our AFAC sponsors ( in Spain) and came to visit the girls who are supported by AFAC.  She also talked with them and visited their homes. 

And of course, Linda visited Nanning and Cenxi in June, along with Manna. They met with some of our older girls in Nanning, seeing them developing in their jobs. And when we travelled to Cenxi, we met with our new girls in the Programme, and also visited some new girls living in poverty in the villages.

All of this helps to develop communications between the girls and their sponsors.
This is what we do :-)

Thank you for for helping to make it all possible.
Lucy and Linda