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Sports Lottery Funds Poorest College Students
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The General Administration of Sport signed an agreement at Peking University on Thursday to donate 4 million yuan (US$495,000) in the coming ten years to the "New Great Wall Students-aid Fund" to assist more than 1,000 university students from very poor families.

The signing ceremony, for monies raised through the Sports Lottery, was attended by about 200 people, including Peking University students who had benefited from the fund in the past.

The fund was launched by the Chinese Poverty-Relief Foundation in September 2002 and over 18,000 students in 537 universities throughout the country have since been assisted. It aims to provide recipients with 2,000 yuan (US$247) annually.

Previous donations from over 2,000 organizations and individuals have amounted to 80 million yuan (US$9.9 million).

In order to direct funds to those who need it most, the Sports Lottery's motto, the lottery administrators said they decided to assist the poorest students in their education.

One hundred students from Beijing, Shanxi Province, and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will become the first group of recipients of the new donation.

The lottery administrators have been involved in several large donations, including for public sport buildings in Yunnan Province and over 2 million yuan (US$247,000) to Project Hope's work in Anhui Province, but the new funds are for a particularly specific use and long time.

(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2005)

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