"Our family was too poor to send our daughter to the county seat for kindergarten, and my heart was wrought with sorrow for her. Never in a thousand years would we ever have thought that Qianyang would come here to build such a magnificent facility. Now, my baby girl can finally get an education and even get a free lunch out of the deal! Today, whenever my wife and I go out to work at a construction site, our minds can be at ease for her, and we can focus on paying off our debts without the burden of a guilty conscience!" says an ecstatic Tashi Norbu, a member of one of the area's poorer households.
When lunch arrives, the fragrance pervades the entire campus of Moding Village Elementary in Xulong County. Braised ribs with carrots and sliced pork with black mushrooms are the choices today. When asked if they like it, kids shout to be the first to respond, "It's the best!"
Third grader Tashi Drolma wipes his mouth carefully before he cheerfully says, "There's something different every day! I love lunch!”
Parents can rest assured knowing that their children are happy and have full bellies. "Not only is it really good quality food, but we don't have to pay a dime for it!”
"With such great food, children will be motivated to come to school every day!”
At an altitude of 2,700 meters (8,858 feet), Moding Village is a remote location with a poor living environment, difficult communication capabilities, and lack of access to information. Poverty caused by diseases and poor education is a serious problem here. Although the State Council has started its Plan of Nutritional Improvement for Students in Compulsory Education in Rural Areas and provides meal allowances for over 26 million school children in China, students here are unable to enjoy nutritious food due to inconvenient transportation routes and lack of kitchen equipment. The government of Qingyang District, therefore, has begun to provide funding to the school to build and purchase facilities and equipment, including a refrigerated truck for the transportation of students' nutritious food. It also gives a one-yuan subsidy to every boarding student each day and benefits 872 verified and registered impoverished students.
The Chinese version of this story is written by Gaoyan, Xia Zuxian,& Weng Zeyu and translated into English by Huang Wenjuan. And the story is sourced from the United Front Work Deparment of the Communist Party of China (CPC)Sichuan Provincial Committee.
Editor: Ana Wu