From December 19 to December 28, 2016, a team of the Pfrang Association visited 308 disadvantaged students from underdeveloped areas. The project aims to encourage them to continue their studies and to foster their well-being. Every year students from Nanjing send Christmas gifts and New Year greetings to disadvantaged students from poor areas. The activity called 'Giving Tree' is usually held in December between Christmas and Chinese New Year. Students of the Nanjing International School (NIS) prepared encouraging postcards and most of the gifts that were distributed with the help of the China Post in Nanjing.
The Pfrang team consisted of representatives from the Amity Foundation, businesses and officials. “Students like those gifts very much and they were deeply moved seeing those touching words on the Giving Tree cards, ” says Amity's project officer Mengzhijuan. “Although our visit time in each school was very limited, we tried our best to know more about them - their living condition, study in school, hobbies and dreams.”
At the same time, all the new students of the Pfrang program learned about the project. The team told them about the importance of education and encouraged them to study hard and develop a bright future. “In addition, we got the contact information of most of the Pfrang students during our visit and we plan to establish a communication platform for them, so that we could have more contact with those sponsored students,” tells Mengzhiyuan about the future of the project.
From October to November, 2016, the Pfrang visited the students' homes and families to confirm their living conditions. In 2016, the program selected 120 new students to receive financial support. Students in both junior and senior middle school are eligible to receive 2000 Yuan per academic year for boarding, lunches, school books and supplies. As education is neither free nor compulsory for students in grades 10, 11 and 12, Pfrang offers grants of 3000 Yuan per academic year after students have successfully passed the entrance exams. The life stories of the supported are often heart-breaking and of great misfortune, as the one of student Cheng who joined the program this year. His mother died of lung cancer in 2016 while his father got in a car accident and was seriously injured at the same year. Since then Cheng has not only to overcome the psychological burden of losing the mother, but since then the family faces financial pressure, too.