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Lu Mai Attends Conference on Poverty Alleviation through Education in Daming County

On December 23, 2016, CDRF Secretary General Lu Mai led a delegation to Daming County of Hebei Province to attend the conference on poverty alleviation through education. Zhang Shuming, vice head of Daming County, delivered opening remarks. Volunteers from Handan University Daming Campus and village-level child wellbeing directors gave speeches, saying that they will continue dedicating themselves to implementing the projects and serving young children and left-behind children in rural areas. Deputy Party Secretary of Daming County Qin Lizhi also delivered remarks. Also present at the conference were representatives from education, civil affairs, poverty alleviation and other departments. In conclusion, Lu Mai stressed the importance of child development to poverty alleviation and expressed expectations for improving project implementation in 2017.


CDRF and the government of Daming County jointly launched the Program on Poverty Alleviation through Education in July 2016, aimed at improving rural preschool education and child development in Daming County. The Program mainly includes two parts.


First, to carry out the “program on quality improvement of kindergartens in mountain villages” to train rural preschool teachers and send preschool education volunteers to kindergartens in pilot towns, so as to improve the quality of rural kindergartens. The program has partnered with Handan University Daming Campus to recruit 80 preschool education volunteers and deploy them to 32 kindergartens in four pilot towns. Funds have been allocated to purchase toys and illustrated books and improve kindergarten facilities. Experts have been organized to provide training for preschool teachers, and a training mechanism will take shape.


Second, to establish the mechanism for caring for rural poor children, especially left-behind children, through the “village-level child wellbeing directors” program. In cooperation with the Bureau of Civil Affairs of Daming County, “village-level child wellbeing directors” are selected in pilot villages to take charge of the work regarding children. For example, they conduct home visits to find out children’s needs, and propose and implement targeted measures. Effective practices and experience accumulated in explorations will ultimately help advance the work of child development in the whole county.


After the conference, the delegation inspected project kindergartens in Shageta Town and Dajie Town. Accompanied by village-level child wellbeing directors, they also visited three households with left-behind children in Jindong Village and Jinnan Village of Jintan Town.


Rujiazhai Kindergarten of Shageta Town is located inside Rujiazhai Primary School. It was built in September 2016, coinciding with the implementation of the “program on quality improvement of kindergartens in mountain villages”. Daming County Department of Education deployed two preschool education volunteers to Rujiazhai Kindergarten and arranged competent teachers of Daming County No. 3 Kindergarten to help newly recruited teachers organize educational activities and provide guidance on how to improve the kindergarten environment. Now at Rujiazhai Kindergarten, children no longer just write Chinese characters or do sums as they did before; instead, they read books, built blocks or draw pictures in different corners of the classroom. “We didn’t know how to run the kindergarten, but luckily we have received a lot of guidance and help from the program”, said the kindergarten head, “One day, a woman brought her granddaughter to the kindergarten at about ten o’clock, saying the child was ill but still wanted to come here. This shows that children do love our kindergarten, and its operation is successful!”


After leaving Rujiazhai Kindergarten, the delegation, accompanied by two village-level child wellbeing directors, visited three households with left-behind children in Jindong Village and Jinnan Village of Jintan Town. They first came to Uncle Hu’s home with Sun Yanling, child wellbeing director of Jinnan Village. According to Uncle Hu’s wife, all of their three sons, together with their wives, are working in Chengdu, leaving seven children in the village. The eldest child has just entered junior middle school, and the youngest is less than three years old. The problem is, though the elderly couple is healthy, they are busy feeding the seven children, and have no time or ability to care for the study or psychological health of those children. The second family the delegation visited was in greater difficulty. The old man has been on medication for nephrotic syndrome for 15 years, and his wife cannot walk properly because of poliomyelitis. As their only son and daughter-in-law are working in Beijing, the old couple has to take care of two young children, which is obviously not an easy task for them. Together with Guo Lixin, child wellbeing director of Jindong Village, the delegation visited a family in Jindong Village. The 93-year-old grandma is going strong, but she is still looking after her young grandson at such an advanced age because her younger son is suffering from necrosis of femoral head and her daughter-in-law has to make money to support the whole family. These visits have brought home the necessity of the “village-level child wellbeing directors” program and the importance of their duties.








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