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In China / Society and environment / AC Sunshine School / Survey for Rural Yi Primary School

Survey for Rural Yi Primary School

2011-05-30

(Page 4 of 7)

Persistent devotion

If it was not because of her whim, Josephine Charles would never knew Luowu Buha.
 
“In 2001 when I worked as an consultant in an international clinic in Beijing, I came here for the first time to have a holiday. While I was waiting for the approval of going to Lhasa, the manager of the small hotel asked whether I had gone to Liangshan Autonomous Region, he said it was a place with a long history and rich culture.” She recalled.

The Foundation named after Josephine Charles, dedicated to launching sustainable educational projects, tried to help improve the life of underprivileged children, especially that of girls. It has built six new schools and restored three ones in the Region. In her opinion the Foundation shall continue its support after the completion of the project, while keeping a good partnership with the headmasters and the local communities so as to win their valuable sponsorship on finance and support.

Josephine Charles, the founder of the Foundation, is a psychologist and consultant, living in China for many years and working as a consultant and English teacher in an international clinic in Beijing. She used to study Chinese art at the Asia-Africa College of London University, and worked in the art department of Sotheby's auction agency.

Now that three days had to be waited for the approval, she decided to visit the ethnic groups she had never heard of before. She planned a three-day trip, and took a case and put some clothes in it, considering that was enough for the three-day trip. But it never occurred to her that the stay should last seven weeks. Every day she took the old bus to commute between isolated villages, passing through the precipitous mountain roads.

At that time, old bus was the main means which was only available for some big towns “It is surprising and disheartening to see the people in the towns with such dignity yet living in such poverty.” she said.

She saw that the children were in rags, with tears in their black eyes. They had running noses, showing an undernourished state. Young women were working in the fields, and their faces showed an aged complexion. Actually they had given birth to several children.

She considered it necessary to contribute her effort to improving these people’s lives. She called upon the regional educational department, and donated some books and pencils to those children she saw in the villages. They expressed their appreciation, acclaiming her as generous, and said to her,“ Miss Josephine, if you are sincere enough, help us build a school.”

She did not think about building a school, so she had some misgivings. But she agreed to visit Huopu Village, 2 hours’ drive from Xi Chang.

But after she arrived, she was shocked by what she saw. The two classrooms made of earth were in a terrible state, facing the danger of collapse. And the wall on the roof was damaged, and the other walls were broken to varying degrees. Outside the walls long branched were used to sustain the classroom. Only one window in each classroom enabled dim light into it There was no blackboard, no desks and chairs but only some broken wood boards and piles. Never was any teacher willing to have lessons in this “pigsty”. “How could I just say no, and simply go away?” She said.

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