Salute to Women Devoted to Rural Education amid Poverty Relief Work

 August 12, 2020

Editor's Note: As a Chinese proverb goes, "give a person a fish, they will have a meal; teach them to fish, they will have food." Promotion of education plays an important role in China's battle against poverty and calls for lots of concern and unremitting efforts. In China, there is a group of women who have devoted their all to China's rural education, and their stories have touched the heart of each Chinese person.

Salute to Women Devoted to Rural Education amid Poverty Relief Work
Zhang Guimei, a 63-year-old teacher at the Huaping Senior High School for Girls in Lijiang City, Southwest China's Yunnan Province, accompanies a group of children at a children's welfare home in Huaping County. [For Women of China]

 

There is a group of Chinese women who love to contribute to China's rural education. They give lessons in classrooms, the crop fields or the mountains, illuminating impoverished children's future.

Zhang Guimei, 63, principal of the Huaping High School for Girls in Lijiang City, Southwest China's Yunnan Province, has been advocating education for needy girls for years.

Zhang founded the country's first all-girls public high school that does not charge tuition fees, and helped more than 1,600 students realize their dreams of attending university.

She has spent over a million yuan (US $142,594.36), part of which was for medical treatment to enable her to run the school in the mountains, and stuck to her position even when she was under the weather.

In addition to the next generation's education, Zhang also cared for their lives. As president of a children's welfare home in Huaping for two decades, she has shown concern to 130 unaccompanied children and helped them grow up.

Salute to Women Devoted to Rural Education amid Poverty Relief Work

Yao Qingyue, a primary school teacher in Xixia County, Nanyang City, Central China's Henan Province, teaches a class. [For Women of China/Yao Qingyue]

 

Yao Qingyue is a volunteer teacher dedicated to rural education of Xixia County, Nanyang City, Central China's Henan Province. As the only teacher in the local school, Yao made a clean sweep of nearly all the work, including teaching, cooking and purchasing school supplies.

Yao has stayed in the mountains for more than 30 years trying her best to guarantee the children's nine-year compulsory education. According to her, it is very important to enhance basic education, not only for imparting knowledge, but also for cultivating talents.

With a passion for her career, Yao has introduced many children into the hall of knowledge and to a broader world full of hope.

Salute to Women Devoted to Rural Education amid Poverty Relief Work

Mose Xiaolan, a teacher of Yi ethnic group in Yuexi County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, poses for a group photo with children receiving schoolbags from donators. [For Women of China/Mose Xiaolan]

 

Mose Xiaolan is a village-stationed official and teacher in Yuexi County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Southwest China's Sichuan Province. She joined the anti-poverty battle out of a strong sense of mission, as she herself received help to finish school and now wishes to give back to society.

In the past 10 years, she has traveled all over the county at the cost of three electromotor cars, helping 351 impoverished children get pairing-up support, raising more than 1.7 million yuan (US $242,602), and distributing donated materials to over 2,500 people.

Salute to Women Devoted to Rural Education amid Poverty Relief Work

Gesangdeji, a Tibetan teacher from Motuo County, Nyingchi City, Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, poses for a group photo with her students. [XZRTV/Suolangzhaxi]

 

Gesangdeji, whose life was changed by education, is another woman hoping to help more children who are sharing the same experiences as her.

Gesangdeji was born in Motuo County, Nyingchi City, Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. Motuo was once an "isolated island" on the plateau, and the last county to have a highway.

After graduating in 2001, Kelsang returned to her hometown without hesitation, deciding to devote herself to local children's education.

The villagers called Gesangdeji "dream protector" since she has raised the hopes of many families over the past two decades. With the continuous improvement of educational conditions, more and more children of Monba ethnic group have walked out of the mountains and changed their destinies through education.

Salute to Women Devoted to Rural Education amid Poverty Relief Work

Xu Dongmei, associate professor at a college in Hefei City, East China's Anhui Province, gives suggestions on agricultural products to the local villagers during her visit to a field in East China's Anhui Province. [For Women of China/Zhou Qiao and Gao Bin]

 

Xu Dongmei, associate professor at a college in Hefei City, East China's Anhui Province, is a teacher studying agriculture. She took the initiative to go to rural areas, hoping to use her knowledge and ideas to help farmers increase income and become prosperous.

Xu stuck to her post, shuttling between fields, poverty-alleviation workshops and residents' houses to provide guidance and training to villagers who were making modified products based on superior traditional ones.

With Xu's leadership and unremitting efforts, 379 villagers from 178 households had been lifted out poverty by the end of 2017.

But unfortunately, Xu was diagnosed with a malignant tumor just when she was working hard for the local people with ambition and enthusiasm.

After retreating from the front line of the battle against poverty, Xu returned to her former position in the college. What she had experienced encouraged her students and more young people to pursue their dreams. "It's a pity that I can't go back to the front line of the battle against poverty, but I am still ready to contribute to the rural revitalization as much as I can," Xu said.

 

(Women of China)

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