Message from the Founder

Today we celebrate and cherish our mothers. On this occasion, I am delighted to share a few stories from our girls about their mothers. Most of their mothers had little education, and in some cases none at all.

Nonetheless they determined that their daughters should have a different life, made possible by getting an education. These mothers have overcome all the odds and made sacrifices to support their daughters.

EGRC’s core belief is that educated women have educated children. German educator Friedrich Frobel (1782 – 1852) once said, “The future of the world is not in the hands of those who are in power, it is in the hands of the mothers.” EGRC’s work is to help create a generation of educated women who may choose to become mothers themselves.

Fangxia Li – alumna

Every day I wake up very early without needing an alarm clock. People have asked me how I do it, and it made me remember that as a child we didn’t have a clock at home.

Every winter snowed a lot. At night the moonlight would reflect against the snow and the plastic paper covering our window would glow brightly. My mother, was always afraid that we would be late to school, she would wake us as soon as she saw “daybreak”, but oftentimes it was still too early. Mother would send us back to sleep until daylight really did come… Now I understand that my mother would wake herself countless times during the night to look out the window and see if daylight had come. This is how I came to wake up early, as if by muscle memory.

My mother couldn’t be more ordinary. She worked so hard, she would forget to take meals and even her own birthday. But she engraved in us the importance of studying and getting an education.

Heyu Zhang – second year university student

“Mother, you told me that when you gave birth to me, it was in the middle of the night and the whole family was sound asleep. The next morning when they got to know that you had given birth to another girl, the whole family was in silence, no one said a word.”

My mother gave birth to four daughters, I am the youngest one. The family put pressure on my mother and wanted to give my handicapped sister and myself away. My mother is a tough woman. She did everything she could to keep all of us. Instead of the discrimination from the family and other villagers, she worked hard to earn money, she determined to send all of us to school.  Now, I am in university. I want to do well to show my mother that all the efforts and sacrifices she made were worth it. I want to give her a better life once I am able to. “I love you, Mother!”

Liqiong Chen – alumna

She is a woman with bound feet.
She gave birth to three sons and five daughters and now she has 20 grandchildren.
She is my maternal grandmother.

My grandmother is a tough woman, who boils the bitter days down to sweetness. She has tasted bitter suffering more times than the number of white hairs on her head, she has walked moments deeper than the wrinkles on her brow.

My grandmother is 84 years old this year, but she still guards her children and grandchildren constantly, in her heart.

Yanjuan Liu – third year university student

There is always something to say about my mother. As I start speaking about her my eyes fill with tears. I don’t know if it’s because previous school breaks were too short, maybe I just didn’t pay enough attention to my own mother.
This year because of the COVID-19 pandemic I was home for a long time. I realized my mother’s back was hunching. I asked her to correct her posture, then we discovered her cervical and lumbar spine have fused together, she simply cannot straighten her back. Mother said she’s had back pain for years from laboring in the fields. As the time has passed her posture has set in this hunched position. I was busy growing up and didn’t notice my mother was becoming crippled. Two days ago mother and I took this photo together. By looking at the photo I realized that more winkles gradually climbed onto her face. I suddenly realized that my mother is not young anymore.

Xiaoyan Qi – second year university student

2018 was the year I was accepted by my university and ready to leave home. My Mama was accompanying me on this journey by train to the city. We only had standing tickets. The train ride was from noon to late in the evening just in time to sign in to school. The trip was long, there was nowhere to sit, we could only stand. This photo was taken at night when we were almost arriving. She was so tired that her eyes were sinking into dark circles, her whole body wilted. Looking at her my heart ached. Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and I want to say to her, “I love you Mama”.