It’s been too long since I blogged, but Cool Mountain has been busy with our new projects. Here’s a quick update:
We have formed our Scholarship Advisory Council, composed of our former scholarship recipients who are now schoolteachers themselves, to nominate their own students for this year’s scholarships. We asked them to nominate students who are good in their studies (not necessarily those with the highest grades, but good, diligent students), and whose families are poor and in need of help to keep them in school. Under this program, we gave eight scholarships of 4,000 yuan (about $600) each.
Jike Avie is one of our recipients. She comes from the remote mountain village off Yilowo, and attends the 8th Grade at Bapu Middle School in Meigu County, where the population is over 98% Nuosu. She has a brother in the 7th grade and a sister in elementary school. Her total family income last year was about 8,000 yuan Here is her story, in her own words:
I’m a student from Meigu County in the Great Cool Mountains. Our family economy is pretty difficult–when ww were little, my dad was very able; he supported our family. But when we were in the seventh grade, we suddenly found out that he had cancer, and our household income was cut off. My mother never had any good education, so she has always been a farmer; she doesn’t understand much, and only speaks our Nuosu language. I’m still a pretty good student; outside of studying, I like to play basketball, listen to music and sing. I want to study hard and make a contribution to society.
Our other project is girls’ education and trilingual education at Zeyue Primary School in Xide County. Board member Dr. Aga Rehamo has begun these projects with support from the Institute of Multicultural Education at Sichuan Normal University, where she is an Associate Professor. Aga’s graduate students have been teaching elementary sex education to girls at the school, and Aga has developed a trilingual Nuosu-Chinese-English textbook for fourth through sixth grades. This is the first program anywhere in Liangshan that has combined English with the Nuosu people’s own language, so that using Chinese as an intermediary language is now optional rather than the only way to learn English.