Educate Girls in Rural China

100% of donations made through BBS go to those in need.

Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC) empowers young women to break the cycle of poverty through education. EGRC Founder Ching Tien herself was denied the opportunity to receive an education when China’s Cultural Revolution forced her to leave school and work in a chemical factory in Gansu Province for eight years. After immigrating to Canada in 1983, Ching never forgot the poverty and especially the struggles of women she witnessed in Gansu. Founded in 2005, EGRC’s work is based on the belief that educated women have educated children. Through EGRC’s financial sponsorship and dedicated moral support, hundreds of young women from poverty-stricken regions of rural Western China have changed their fates and broken the cycle of poverty.

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China’s rapid economic development has coincided with a widening inequality gap across the country, with rural regions in Western China remaining decades behind. Western China’s Gansu and Guizhou Provinces, in particular, have the lowest GDP in the country. In rural Gansu, per capita income is about USD $1,000 (RMB6,939.2), seven times lower than that of Beijing or Shanghai. Some EGRC sponsored students’ family incomes are only $400 to $500 annually, significantly lower than the local standard. The young women sponsored by EGRC come from particularly difficult circumstances and ones where girls are the most vulnerable.

Gender inequality has deep traditional roots in rural regions of Western China where boys are still preferred over girls. EGRC alumna Wenjuan Ho’s father abandoned her family after her mother gave birth to four girls and failed to give birth to a son. In many families, girls are often pressured to quit school, find work, and even support their male sibling’s education. UNICEF has identified educating girls as a uniquely positive force for development. Regions that invest in girls’ education see a positive feedback cycle, with future generations better educated, higher GDP growth and a healthier population.

This is why EGRC works at the grassroots level in rural regions of Western China to meet an outstanding need by sponsoring the education of girls who would otherwise be left behind. In coordination with the local school system, EGRC identifies students most in need of support, offering financial sponsorships for three years of high school and four to five years of university. What sets EGRC’s work apart is the personalised moral support offered to each young woman sponsored by EGRC, with EGRC alumnae mentoring current students on personal, academic and career decisions. As a result of this process, the students have achieved a graduation rate of above 99%.

100% of donations made through BBS go to those in need.

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