The Bilateral—A CCBC Podcast
Ching TIEN received CCBC’s 5 at 50 award in the Women’s category. Ching is the founder of Educating Girls of Rural China, a charity with the philosophy that educating women is the fundamental way to alleviate poverty and make better societies. EGRC has sponsored >1300 girls and young women to complete their high school and university education.
- The changing nature of philanthropy in China since Ching started EGRC in 2005.
- How things are changing in far-flung places like Gansu. China’s poverty reduction measures are especially obvious in the past few years, and while the urban/rural gap still persists, all boats are rising.
- Many government policies reflect the importance of education. Tuition and accommodation rates at universities across China have stayed flat over EGRC’s 16 years, even as costs of living have risen. And recent policies to grant free high school tuition/board to students below the poverty line, plus loans for university tuition for rural students, make it possible for many more students to obtain higher education.
- A girl who finishes grade nine but cannot go to high school has a much-reduced set of possibilities – if she goes to a city, she may do low-wage factory work, wait tables, or work in a beauty salon. If she stays in the village she will be married by 15-16 and have children quickly. The girls who go on to do high school and universities bring their families out of poverty and act as role models for their entire village.
- People to people relations will continue, and efforts like EGRC’s create educated women who think for themselves. They all know Ching’s story and how Canada fits in, and several have come to Canada for post-graduate work
- It costs amazingly little to make a big difference. C$3600 for three years of high school, and C$2800-7500 for four to five years of university, depending on the destination.