In this newsletter you will read about our 2020 graduate girls, a photo contest to reflect the lives of our girls under Covid-19, British Ambassador to China, Barbara Woodward’s continued support, and a reminder of our Art Sale Fundraiser. See what you can do to make a difference in these girls’ lives!
Congratulations, Class of 2020!
We are delighted to let you know that 30 out of 140 of our university students have graduated in June. Similar to many around the world, our students spent the latter part of 2020 studying from home, attending classes online, and cumulating in their virtual graduation celebrations.
Given the challenges of the pandemic, we predicted that our graduates would face not only face emotional strain but have difficulty in securing employment. A survey was conducted in April to give us a better understanding of their needs so we could take informed and supportive next steps. The first was an online training program that was conducted generously by a volunteer professional. Secondly, we connected girls through our ‘Mentor Talk’ section. Senior EGRC alumnae carried out one-on-one conversations and answered questions our graduates had about securing employment, resume building, and how to prepare for an interview.
Up to date, seven graduates have been accepted to master’s programs, and twelve have successfully found employment; the remaining girls are still actively looking.
High School Graduates Update
The rural high school students in Gansu have returned to schools in early May. With local government security measures, our team has not been allowed to conduct visits. Out of the 346 girls in our sponsorship program, 98 will graduate this summer.
Gao Kao, China’s national university entrance exam has been postponed to July 7 and 8. The 98 girls are currently in isolation and are studying hard to prepare for this exam. We are hoping to visit them after the exam and in the meantime, wish them luck. Further updates will be provided in later days.
British Ambassador to China Sponsors a Girl
“I am inspired by the wonderful work of EGRC and the opportunities it provides for girls in Gansu. We have seen time and again how much difference education makes to life chances and livelihoods, not just of the girls concerned, but to their communities. As a former teacher, I’m delighted to support EGRC’s work personally and, as British Ambassador, I’m delighted that we’ve been able to welcome one of EGRC’s students, Monica Ma, to study at Liverpool University. I hope there will be many more who follow in her footsteps.”
– Barbara Woodward, British Ambassador to Chin
Art Sale Fundraiser
A reminder that our Art Sale Fundraiser continues. Please check out the two prominent Canadian artists. Perfect gifts for graduation, retirement and other occasions. 50% of the purchase price will be donated to the EGRC sponsorship fund.
Photo Contest: Covid-19 Pause
Art unites us and creates a safe space during difficult and unpredictable times. In May, we invited our university students and alumnae to capture their lives and perspectives through a photo contest. Here, we’ve selected 11 from the 50 submissions to share. The photos record their lives during a special time. Despite isolation and uncertainty, we see beauty and comfort through their simple daily lives.
Hutong – Drying Vegetables
The city has lost its hustle and bustle; it has grown eerily quiet. Gone are jobs, wages, loans, and rents. The silence belies the bubbling anxiety. Nevertheless, aunties in the Hutong alleys seem to have retained a sense of composure – they bathe their vegetables by hanging them on a wire under the sun, as if patience and resilience will grow out of it.
By: Huiming Ma, Tianjing Normal University, Pre-K education, EGRC Class of 2008
The Best Gift
My mother has never been to school, yet she believes that education changes lives. Now my sister and I are both pursuing master’s degrees and my younger brother will graduate from high school soon. During the pandemic, I was able to spend time with my mom, teaching her to read and write. After four months, my mom mastered Pinyin, the Chinese phonetic system, and can write simple Chinese characters. She is now on Wechat and Tiktok, sharing pictures with her friends. This is probably the best gift I can give to my mother.
By: Weixia Li, Hebei Institute of Technology, Master of Business Administration, EGRC Class of 2015