The China Children and Teenagers’ Fund collected 81 million yuan (US$9.8 million) in donations in 2000, according to Cheng Shuqin, secretary-general of the fund, who made the report at the third session of the fund’s 13th council held Tuesday in Beijing.
The Spring Bud Plan, initiated by the fund in 1989 to help China’s poverty-stricken girls, has now supported the schooling of more than 1 million who would not otherwise have gone to school, Cheng claimed at the meeting.
The plan has so far raised more than 300 million yuan (US$36 million) from people and organizations in China and abroad. Fund managers have used the money to set up Spring Bud Girls’ Classes throughout the country.
Cheng said the classes not only offer general courses but also attach importance to technical training with the aim of helping the girls make a living for themselves in the future.
The fund’s secretary-general cited the case of Zhang Jilian, a girl from central China’s Hunan Province, who set up a photo studio after going through the Spring Bud Program and now has a yearly income of more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,200).
Last May, the fund initiated a Safety and Health Plan for Children, which was aimed at disease and crime prevention among Chinese children.
As part of the plan, organizers held a charity art performance on December 6 that raised 36 million yuan (US$4.4 million).
(China Daily 02/21/2001)