Zhou Xiufang [Women Voice]
A former retired teacher, Zhou Xiufang, from Yinzhou District in the city of Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province, has dedicated herself to supporting child education in rural areas since 2015.
As an outstanding and experienced professional, Zhou was hired by a local private school after her official retirement in 2003.
However, the easy life never made Zhou feel inner peace. She was still regretful of a failed application to work in the villages of the southwest province of Guizhou several years prior.
"I heard that the local Jiangdong District was recruiting teachers to Guizhou when I was 50. I signed up but they rejected me because of my age," said Zhou.
Keeping that dream in her heart, Zhou finally realized her wish in 2015 after she learned that Tonglin Village in Huaihua, central China's Hunan Province, was badly in need of teachers.
Tonglin is located deep in the mountains and its roads are steep and dangerous. Many schools there were housed in thatched sheds that were difficult to heat.
Zhou said she would never forget the first day she went to visit Tonglin Primary School. "It was snowing outside. Around 30 kids crowded in the classroom. Although there were three stoves in the room, children were still shaking with cold."
Under such harsh circumstances, Zhou started to work and help build up the school at the same time.
The warm-hearted woman also gave money to help impoverished students and prepared birthday cakes for those children whose parents had left them at home to find jobs in cities.
In addition, Zhou always posted her experiences and wrote about the true condition of the school on the internet, which prompted a great number of people to donate money and daily supplies to local children.
They have also built five Hope Primary Schools across the region and sent goods and materials worth millions of yuan to the school, thanks to Zhou's efforts.
Her good deeds she has won people's respect for her in both Zhejiang and Henan and also brought her the titles of one of the Most Touching People in Hunan in 2016, the Most Beautiful Ningbo People and Morality Model of Ningbo.
Zhou talks with a parent during a home visit. [Women Voice]
(Source: Women Voice/Translated and edited by Women of China)