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Foundation to Fund Education of Migrant Workers' Children

The China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF) Tuesday launched a foundation to fund the schooling of children of migrant workers from rural areas.

The foundation had received the first donation of 50 million yuan (about US$6 million) from Kerry Oils and Grains (China) Co. Ltd., a CYDF spokesman said.

It planned to fund some 50,000 children from needy migrant worker families through primary school in the next five years, at a rate of 600 (US$72) to 900 yuan (US$118.4) per child every academic year.

The fifth national census in 2000 showed the floating population had reached 100 million people, most of whom were migrant workers from rural areas, and 19.37 percent were teenagers and children younger than 18.

Some 9.3 percent of the migrant children were out of school, according to a survey by the Women and Children's Work Committee of the State Council and United Nations Children's Fund in November last year.

The survey, conducted in nine cities, showed that 46.9 percent of migrant six-year-olds did not attend school.

In China, children must receive nine years of compulsory education from age six.

Society should provide equal opportunities for children of urban residents and migrant workers, according to Gu Xiao, secretary-general of the CYDF.

The CYDF runs Project Hope, a welfare program to fund rural children's education.
(Xinhua News Agency January 14, 2004)

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