Buying desks – a charity project in Guizhou with ND Shanghai

29 Nov

This year I have been privileged to participate in the Notre Dame Club of Shanghai’s events and coordination.  Under our able leader, Monica, we have held game watches, Happy Hours, done a clothing donation event, welcomed students and entertained visitors.

As we set out our goals for the year, we wanted to set a consistent schedule of events, support ND football and hopefully support a charity that was connected with education.  As part of the Notre Dame family we feel strongly that all children deserve the opportunity for a good education.  It took us over half a year to find something we felt comfortable with, but we are now in the process of collecting money for Ya Village Primary school in Guizhou province.

The current school

One of our current ND students, Huili Chen is from Guizhou province and she, along with others, determined that the Ya Village primary school was the area where we could make a difference.   I am proud to participate in the fund raising.

Ya Village is 20 square kilometers and is located 14 kilometers from the closest tractor road and 25 kilometers from the closest highway.  It is a farming village of about 1305 acres. People grow tung oil trees (vernicia fordii), rice and corn to make a living. The average annual income for each farmer in 2011 was only 2150 Yuan (less than $350 USD). Due to the side effect of water storage by Long Tan hydropower station, 210 families had farmland that was flooded.

There is only one primary school called Ya Village Primary School in Ya Village. The school also takes students from neighboring villages such as Jiao Suan Village(交算村) and Kang Cun Village(抗村村). The current school is 580 square meters and there are only seven teachers including four substitute teachers.

Students studying in the current school

Our project is buying desks for the school.  The school itself going to be replaced by the government as it has been declared unsafe, but they aren’t doing anything more than the new building.  There are nearly 200 students at the school, so we are collecting for 200 desks and are steadily making our way to the goal – over halfway there as of the time of this post.  Each desk set (including logistics cost as this is not going to be an easy delivery job) is 150 RMB ($25 USD).

Students at their desks during the rainy season

If you are interested in helping us meet our goal, you can contact shanghai@alumni.nd.edu and we will make sure we get back to you.  In China we have an alipay account (used with taobao) as well as a specific bank account set up that we can provide you the details.

Assuming we can reach our goal, we are planning a trip to Guizhou to visit the school and deliver the desks in the middle of January.  Hopefully if my schedule cooperates, I will be one of the team to go.  If I do, I will definitely let you know.

When you decide to do charitable giving, what tips the balance for you?

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One Response to “Buying desks – a charity project in Guizhou with ND Shanghai”

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  1. Two more awards! « 中国 Jumble - December 16, 2012

    […] Travel to a place in China that is off the beaten path.  One chance may be Guizhou to deliver the desks to the school (we finally hit our goal!), but if that doesn’t work, […]

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