Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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Jun 18th
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Foundation Helps 2,200 Students with Scholarships

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Since 2002, the foundation has given 1,869 scholarships to needy students in Guangdong province in south China and is giving a further 389 this year. They make the difference between going and not going to school.

The province’s Heping County has a population of nearly 500,000. Many of the children in poor areas of the county have to leave school early, because their parents cannot afford the fees and the children have to go to work. The volunteers want to help these families escape the poverty trap and provide scholarships to enable the children to continue their studies, at high school and college.

One of them is Chen Jinshan, who started to receive the aid in January this year.  He is the top student in the best middle school in the area despite very difficult circumstances at home: his father has emphysema, his mother has a mental disease and his 85-year-old grandmother had a stroke. It was she who greeted the volunteers when they came during a visit, to make the awards for this year. They played the young recipients a recorded message of support from Master Cheng Yen and told them that, in addition to the material help they are providing, they would like to offer spiritual guidance in their lives.

This year they are giving scholarships to 389 students from four schools in the county. They were delighted to find that one former recipient, Huang Qiliang, had returned to his hometown to serve the community. Huang said that, when he saw that Heping county needed a teacher in his field, he was happy to apply for the post. “I want to give back and help improve my hometown,” he said. “I want to pay back society and all the Tzu Chi volunteers who helped me. So I returned here to teach.”

Life Wisdom: 06/02/2010 Reaching Out in People's Time of Need and Inspiring Love in Them