Educating Village Children
Approximately half of Qinghai's population are Tibetan, Mongolian, Salar, Hui, or Tu ethnic minorities, and are either farmers or semi-nomadic herders. Most of them live well below the UN Absolute Poverty Line with little prospect for a better future. On the oxygen-thin high altitude grasslands, where elevation averages over 3,000 meters above sea level and the weather is extremely harsh, their homes are tents made of yak hair. In 1997, the Qinghai Poverty Alleviation Office asked Christian Action to help this beleaguered population.
Basic education is arguably one of the most effective tools for alleviating poverty and improving livelihoods. Yet in Qinghai, nomadic herdsmen live scattered in the vast tracks of land; for their children, attending school would often mean hours of walking each way.
Now, however, children in one prefecture finally have easy access to schools — and an education. Christian Action has built six primary schools since 2000, in the desolate Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
All the schools are now full of eager students. Two schools are already in desperate need of more classrooms and are seeking funds for extensions. It is a privilege to offer education to the poor families of this region who never dreamt their children would have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.
To help students to complete their studies, CA has offered scholarships that cover school fees, boarding fees, and teaching materials. CA has set up scholarships to encourage students to reach tertiary-level or university standard in HuangNan Children’s Home and in the Zeku area. Students who have residence identity, qualified admission to college or university, and proof of financial difficulty, can apply for the scholarship. CA gives priority to orphans, poverty-stricken families, or families whose members are either disabled or suffer long-term serious illness. Since 2008, 1522 education grants have been provided!
In addition to providing financial assistance, we also teach the value of sharing with, and contributing to society. Students are being inspired through the CA education grant programs to give however they can, such as doing volunteer work.