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Spring Buds Program Benefits Girls

The Chunlei (Spring Buds) Program has benefited over 900,000 female school dropouts since 1989, when the program was launched by four Chinese organizations.

The program has so far received 220 million yuan (US$26.51 million) in donations, and classes for female students are operated in 29 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions across the country, said Lin Xinglan, head of the Children's Affairs Section of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region's Women's Federation, while organizing a fund-raising activity for girl student dropouts in this capital of Guangxi Saturday.

More than 2 million children in China drop out of school each year, and seven out of 10 are girls. The Spring Buds Program, launched by the Children's Foundation of China, the All-China Women's Federation, the Ministry of Agriculture and the State Nationalities Affairs Commission, is designed to pool donations from all walks of life throughout the country to help millions of young girls who are forced by poverty to drop out of school.

Guangxi, where the Spring Buds Program originated, has raised 30 million yuan (US$3.61 million) under the program, with which 150,000 girl students have returned to school and five Spring Buds schools have been built, according to Lin.

Lin added that six similar fund-raising activities would also be staged in other cities in Guangxi.

(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2003)

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