Yuzhong County, Gansu, China – August 25, 2017
On August 24, the Honourable John McCallum, Canadian Ambassador to China, made a special visit to Gansu province with Ching Tien, the Founder of Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC), to visit EGRC’s project in Yuzhong County and see first-hand the impact of the charity’s work on the ground.
On his trip, the Ambassador visited Enling High School and met with EGRC sponsored students, teachers and school officials. EGRC has been working with Enling High School since 2006, and has sponsored over 200 girls from this school, providing the funds that allow them to continue their education. The Ambassador also travelled to local villages to visit a few students’ families and farms, where he learned about their living situations, the challenges of affording to keep children in education, and the impact of EGRC’s work on the region. The Ambassador was particularly struck by one girl, Ren Guojuan (pictured), an orphan raised by her grandmother who, under EGRC’s sponsorship, has graduated Enling High School and will begin university in 2017.
Meeting Ren Guojuan in her home with her grandmother was one of the most moving moments of my career. Ren Guojuan was excited to be setting off for university the next day, and she was the first girl in her village ever to do so. Thanks in part to the support of EGRC, the life of Guojuan is about to be transformed, and there are still many girls like her across China who are in need of support. That is why EGRC’s work is so important. – The Honourable John McCallum
Gansu Province has the lowest GDP in China, with a per capita income in rural regions of ¥6,939.20 RMB, seven times lower than that of Beijing or Shanghai. Over the past 12 years, EGRC’s programs have sponsored more than 700 young women from Gansu, Guizhou and Qinghai provinces to receive both high school and university educations.
John McCallum – appointed as Canadian Ambassador to China in March – was present when Ching Tien was awarded the Governor General’s Medallion in July.
EGRC founder Ching Tien grew up in Beijing and was sent to Gansu to work in a factory after the Cultural Revolution, as a consequence not having the opportunity to finish her own education. In 2005, after living in Canada for over 20 years, Ching Tien founded Educating Girls of Rural China, with the belief that educated women have educated children.
EGRC’s goal is to provide opportunities for financially-challenged young women in rural Western China to receive an education. Over the past 12 years, EGRC’s programs have sponsored over 700 young women from Gansu, Guizhou and Qinghai provinces to allow them to receive both high school and university educations. EGRC’s work has received the support of the Government of Canada and many Canadian citizens, as well as other individuals across continents, multinational organisations and corporations in China.