Supported by Amity’s Educational Programs, Fang Hua received subsidies to attend school when she was young. Over the years, she was continuously encouraged by people to follow her dream and go to college. This is the story of how placing seeds of love and support and encouragement can change a forlorn seeming future and empower people to pursuit their dreams. Amity is supporting more than 2,000 poor students every year.
Similar to many other kids under the aid of the Amity’s Educational Programs, also Fang Hua had a tough life. She was adopted in the mountainous areas in the south of Anhui Province by a family with a decrepit grandma and a single father. Although the family was hard-up, living close to a mountain pass and relying only on one small field for crops, all family members tried their best to save money for her education. Since elementary school, she had to cross a hill and walk for an hour to school every morning. As time went by, this lifestyle persisted until she was in senior high school.
At school, Fang Hua was among the top three students of the grade. She received high expectations from her teachers, who encouraged her to go to college. For a child who grew up in the mountains, going to college is a dream that is almost impossible to come true. Because of her malnutrition and her congenital weak condition, she had been suffering from chronic superficial gastritis. Sometimes, she was not only sick and could not eat anything, but also had to lie in bed. However, she was an innovative student and hoped that she could use her outstanding grades to requite her parents, teachers and caring people for their support. Those, who knew the little girl, were all moved by the passion and optimism gushed from her thin and weak body. Teachers helped her to collect all kinds of study materials. Benefactors gave her extra financial support for her grandmother’s treatment. Social caring people sent her books and medicine and encouraged her to pursue her own dreams. Finally, Fang Hua surpassed all expectations and received the highest marks in her school’s Gaokao (College Entering Examination). She received the letter of acceptance, informing that she was matriculated into college.
Fang Hua standing proudly in front her college
Before she even had time to celebrate, the young woman frowned. Her family had not been able to make the ends meet for a long time and her three years of high school relied entirely on the social donations. How was she ever going to find the money for the tuition? On the other hand, even if she gave up her chance of going to college, how could she take up the ordeal of working in the fields with her weak body? She could not bear the loss of dignity by being forced to give up her dreams. After careful deliberation, she packed her clothes and went to Shanghai for a job, hoping to earn her tuition by herself.
After Amity heard the news of her being admitted to college, we actively conversed and negotiated with our cooperative partners. Usually, the Amity Educational Program is aimed at helping poor middle school students, excluding the high school and university students. But due to her special situation, Amity Foundation and the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Social Services decided that we should continue to subsidize her to finish college. Her dream to enter college would help her to become a more independent person and enhance her confidence and abilities of embracing the unknown future. The model has been already proofed successfully by the University for Girls Program of Amity Hong Kong.
Fang Hua and one of her supporter Mrs. Li
When the staff of Amity’s Educational Programs met her again, she was waiting in the campus of a college, holding two bottles of water in her hands and looking eagerly in our direction. As soon as she saw us, she dashed towards us with great joy and handed us the water. “Let me help you carry the luggage!” she offered enthusiastically.
In the last three years, the Chief of Jiangsu Provincial Department of Social Services, Mrs. Li, who has been her dearest supporter, has witnessed her maturing. Li prepared fervently stationery and daily necessities for her. “Feng Hua made more friends in the college, she studied hard in classes and became a more confident and a more extroverted girl”, she nodded with a sincere smile.
Now Fang Hua is in the golden 20s, with the period of adolescent fading away. The tough period of adulthood is still yet to come. The girl in front of us is beautiful and comely. We sincerely hope that she can grow up in good health with nothing to be afraid of. This is also the hope of everyone who had cared for her with their financial support and love.
(PS: Due to privacy reasons, personal information have been changed - translation by Timothy Qiu)