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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Qinzhou Grant

Blessing Hands is now expanding into another area of China besides Yangshuo. We will now be giving 100 students tuition help in the area of Qinzhou, Guangxi, China. Qinzhou is a port city near Viet Nam and seven hours by bus from Yangshuo. I taught teachers there for four weeks in a summer English camp in 2004. I became fond of my students there and wanted to help their schools and students with tuition help as well as those in Yangshuo. My good friend Anna Liu was in charge of that English camp and is now a visiting scholar in Morehead, KY where I live. She was able to advise me on setting up this expanded outreach and help me present a grant proposal to FFCF. I am looking forward to working with her for the good of the children in her area for many years to come.

Qinzhou is a small city by Chinese standards being about the size Ashland, Kentucky. It has a teacher's college nearby. Qinzhou No. One Middle School is one of the best middle schools in the city. They have 6,500 students in lower and upper middle school. Their school is like a college campus, since most of the students are boarding students who come from the outlying countryside. The students above the age of 15, who need tuition help, number about four in a classroom of 70. You can see how they fit in all those students in the photo above. The picture shows a physics class at Putao Middle School near Qinzhou.

The student's homeroom teachers will select the students who show promise in areas of responsibility, effort, leadership, and scholarship. Around Qinzhou there are 60 higher middle schools like Putao that also have children who cannot afford tuitions. Yearly tuition in US dollars, not including boarding expenses, runs $150 in the city schools and $140 in the country middle schools. These farmers might make $400 a year from their leased land, so they have to borrow money to support their children in the higher grades. For $75 a semester a child's life can be changed.

Blessing Hands proposes to help 100 children in the Qinzhou area during the 2006-07 school year. $8,500 of the FFCF grant is set aside for the fall semester. The grant will also include some extras like school supplies and maybe book bags. Anna Liu hopes to gather local support to provide the children with used clothes and other needs. If you are interested in contributing to the Qinzhou project, your donation can be matched by FFCF, and you will receive a tax deduction. Send donations to Founding Family Charitable Foundation, 1004 Rodney Drive, Nashville, Tennessee, 37205-1018. You can even donate by Paypal at http://foundingfamily.org/. That would be especially easy for people in other nations to use.