The picture above witnessed the book-passing event organized at Jijie Elementary School in Guangnan County, Yunnan Province, the first school to benefit from OCEF's Online Book Donation Program. The kids' longing for books and their excitement upon receiving this gift from our donors are written all over their faces.
The Online Book Donation Program is one of the many OCEF programs aimed at collecting books for rural schools. Volunteers carefully selected the most suitable titles based on the student population as well as their age and needs at each school, and then created wish lists on book-selling websites. Donors can simply choose items from a wish list to purchase, and the book-seller will handle everything else per prior arrangement. The process makes it a breeze for donors anywhere in the world to donate books through the Internet. The targeted schools have gone through careful screening by OCEF. Once the books are delivered, volunteers will follow up to help the schools organize library procedures and reading programs, and to encourage the kids to read more.
Since it was launched at Jijie Elementary School, the Online Book Donation Program team has organized similar campaigns for other schools, including Zhalong Elementary in Lichuan, Guansu, Baliqiao Elementary in Yinchuan, Ningxia, Nantian Elementary in Dawu, Hubei, Yantou Elementary in Yongzhou, Hunan. Currently, the program in focusing on Nanyuezhuang Elementary School in Guangling Cunty, Shanxi Province. If you would like to help, please take a moment to browse thewish list, buy a few books, and experience the program first hand. In the future, we will add more schools in need to the Onlone Book Donation Program, and your generous support will always be appreciated.
My name is H, I am 26 years old, and I graduated with [the equivalent of] an Associate Degree in July 2012.
I grew up in a little village called Yingguang’ai, in the mountains of Mabian County, Sichuan Province. It is a beautiful place with good climate, lush vegetation, clear streams, and loving people. I had a very simple but enjoyable childhood—simple, because rural kids did not have much to do but playing hide-and-seek, rope-jumping, or catching birds in winter and dragonflies in summer.
My elementary school was on another hilltop. Every morning, a group of kids would walk to school together, with older ones helping out the younger ones. It typically took us an hour to complete the trip on the winding mountain trail, crossing a river on a single-plank bridge and a highway. I studied very hard but had to drop out after graduating from elementary school because of financial hardships at home, and that kindled a yearning for further schooling in my mind.
Two years later, my dream came true thanks to my parents’ tireless effort, and I went to junior high in our local township. Three years after that, I was admitted to senior high with excellent academic credentials. Then I had another dream: I wanted to go to a great college and then land a great job to help my family out. I wanted to be a teacher so that I could contribute to the education of other kids in my hometown.
Hard work earned me good marks and I became one of the 20 or so students in my class with the best chance to go to college. My academic performance and financial situation got me partial tuition waiver from the school and sponsorship from OCEF. Despite of my frugal life style, my schooling was still a big burden to my family as the living expenses were higher in the town where my school was and the tuition was twice the amount for my junior high. When I received my college admission, I was working in a supermarket and had been thinking about giving up my college dream. A relative told me: "It would be a waste of so many years of hard work if you give up now. You are the first one around here to be admitted to college, and I will loan you the money for tuition." I was in tears when I heard that—that was when I realized how much college really meant to me.
College life greatly broadened my horizon and I constantly warned myself not to waste this precious opportunity. I studied very hard and engaged in all kinds of extracurricular activities and practical training. These activities helped me improve my academic abilities and practical skills while at the same time reducing the financial burden to my family. At this point I got sponsorship from OCEF again, which smoothed the way for me to get through college.
After graduation I found a job but the company was soon facing bankruptcy. So I returned to my hometown to work for the marketing department of a supermarket, only to be forced to quit a month later for health reasons. Later I became a chemistry teacher in a middle school in a nearby town inhabited by the Yi people and realized my dream of being a teacher. Although the conditions are even tougher than in my home township, I am very happy.
Growing up in a rural environment made me strong and honest. A happy childhood and strong family ties gave me an energetic and open-minded personality. A busy high school schedule shaped my diligent work habit. A full and varied college life helped me develop excellent organization and communication skills. My work experiences after college enhanced my understanding of the society and my sense of responsibility. Because of these qualities and my appreciation for OCEF, I want to be an OCEF volunteer. I am grateful to OCEF, deeply respect OCEF, and would love an opportunity to give back to the society.
Upcoming Event: GlobalGiving Bonus Day Competition
If you are planning to donate to OCEF during the second quarter, here is an opportunity to let your hard-earned dollar make a greater impact to the kids. Please consider participating in a small online donation canpaign and turn a $100 donation into $115.