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Funds to Help Students from Migrant Worker Families

China's Project Hope, a social charity program that helps rural students, will finance 15,000 students from migrant farmer worker families in 27 cities to go to school in the next half year, the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF) has said.

Each child will receive a grant of 600 yuan (US$73) before September 1 this year, when a new school term begins, said Zhang Chuanyuan of the CYDF, adding that the money can basically meet a student's academic needs.

After a public bidding held Thursday, the CYDF chose 27 cities to receive aid, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Shenyang and Ningbo, which attract migrant farm workers seeking jobs, Zhang said.

"One of the criteria for a city to be chosen was whether local government gives migrant children equal treatment for education as local children," said Zhang.

Statistics from the CYDF show that about 20 million children flow into cities from the countryside with their parents each year.

About 80 percent of these children pay an average of 856 yuan (US$104) more than local students, said a survey conducted by the CYDF.

The CYDF started the "grants for migrant children" program early in January this year and carried out trials in six major Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, in the first half year. So far the program has helped 4,200 migrant students to attend school.

(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2004)

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