The China Children and Teenagers' Fund (CCTF) and the China Charity Federation yesterday received 21.32 million yuan (US$2.6 million) in donations to help children from poor families finish their studies.
So far, contributions of more than 70 million yuan (US$8.5 million) have been raised for the first China Children Charity Day on June 22, which aims to mobilize all social forces to help children kept out of school by poverty.
Nationwide there are more than 2 million poor children who cannot go to school.
The percentage of children going to school increased to 99.1 in 2000, up from 96.3 in 1990. Nine-year compulsory education is now available to 85 percent of the population.
All children are entitled to receive nine years of compulsory education, according to Chinese law.
However, 0.9 percent of children cannot go to school. That means 2 million children are missing out on school in the Chinese mainland.
To help dropout children back into the classroom, China has organized several famous charity programs such as Project Hope and the Spring Bud Plan, which helped more than 10 million poor children with donations and warm care.
"We sincerely hope that all members of society will lend their strong hands to children who drop out due to poverty and make them feel society's warmth and care," said Gu Xiulian, vice-president of the children and teenagers' fund, at yesterday's donation ceremony.
"Let's tell them with love and action: 'Dear children, go back to school,'" she said.
(China Daily June 15, 2002)