Aug/Sep 2000

30th September 2000

Basic Education

This semester DORS is supporting 199 children in 9 villages to attend school.

Education support is one part of our longer-term community development initiative which seeks to improve the living conditions and income of the people in the poorest villages of Hanyuan County. The results from expenditure on education can never be seen immediately. While the other projects will help to generate additional income, in the short term it is unlikely to be sufficient to allow all the village families to pay for school fees for all of their children. DORS recognises the need to provide this short-term school fees support to ensure the current generation of children are not left uneducated. Selection: DORS works with village leaders and school teachers in each of our project villages to carefully select the children who have dropped out of school or whose parents are unable to pay the school fees this semester. Our priorities are to first support girls, children of the Yi minority, and primary school children. This semester we are paying fees for 125 girls and 74 boys. 173 of which are at primary school.

Donors: We are particularly grateful to Scott Bader for their funding support, providing £2,030. Thanks also to Marion Lang, Isabel and David Crook, and the Diocese of Middelburg. The total cost of supporting these 199 children this semester was approximately 3,000 GBP. School fees per semester are approximately 200 RMB (16 GBP) for primary school and 350 RMB (30 GBP) for middle school.

Are School Fees Projects Sustainable?

Several donors we have approached for funding have been unable to consider this type of project as it does not meet their criteria for sustainability. However, we feel it is an essential contribution towards the long term development of the individuals concerned and the community as a whole. Without basic education these children will continue to be disadvantaged in the future. For example, when they market their crops and are unable to do the basic maths, or when seeking casual labouring work they may be passed over in favour of labourers with primary education. As a DORS project, short-term education support is only provided alongside our other community development initiatives, in targeted project villages and for a limited time period until DORS other assistance is bringing real benefits to the villages.

Further funds required: Any further donations towards this project would be most gratefully received.

Social and Community Forestry

DORS have recently delivered 73,550 tree saplings to two Yi Minority villages of Nimei Township. The project was designed with the villagers of Huodi and Wanfu to meet their various forestry needs, such as timber, cash crops, fuelwood, and domestic use.

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