With the care of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and under the leadership of the All-China Women's Federation, the China Children and Teenagers' Fund (CCTF) launched the Spring Bud Project in 1989, to help impoverished girls return to school, and to promote girls' education in disadvantaged areas.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, in 2012, with the attention and concern of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, and with the strong support of Peng Liyuan, special envoy of the Spring Bud Project for promoting girls' education, the project has carried out various actions, focused on girls' education, safety and health, to care for and support girls. During the past decade, the project has supported 1.76 million girls, and it has provided one-on-one companionship services and personalized psychological counseling to 133,400 girls. After they receive support from the project, the Spring Bud girls never forget to give back to society. With love and various actions, the girls have demonstrated the Spring Bud spirit of "unremitting self-improvement, striving for excellence, developing stronger virtues and pursuing better lives."
Women of China recently introduce a new section, Spring Bud Blooms, to share stories about Spring Bud girls who have grown up and become contributing members of society, and to encourage society to care for the development of girls. Hao Lingyi is among them.
"If I were allowed to select a color to represent myself, blue would be my first choice, because I grew up in a mountainous area, and I often found comfort from the blue sky during my childhood," says Hao Lingyi, a beneficiary of the Spring Bud Project from Northwest China's Gansu Province. Hao adds the vast sky provided her with inspiration to explore the world.
Hao comes from a rural family in Yuzhong County, Lanzhou, capital of Gansu. Both of her parents are farmers. The economic situation of the two-child family was not good when Hao was a child.
Hao liked drawing very much when she was a child. However, she didn't choose to study fine arts when she entered Chang'an University, in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, because tuition fees for fine-arts-related majors were much higher compared with the other majors.
During her stay in Xi'an, Hao met a respectable teacher, and she wanted to attend the teacher's painting courses. However, she failed to raise enough money to register for his courses, even though she worked her way through college.
Nevertheless, Hao remained committed to painting, and she continued to paint in her free time.
Hao enjoys creating artworks in a free and easy style. When she is painting, fully expressing herself is most important.
Hao has attached great importance to social issues, and to people's livelihoods, and she has used her paintings to record the times.
For instance, Hao worked with her classmates, to draw 22 sketches, to show their respect and admiration for the heroic and selfless deeds of volunteers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 epidemic, when Xi'an was gripped with the contagious disease, in December 2021. The sketches were posted online, and they quickly went viral.
In January 2022, at the recommendation of Chang'an University, Hao, with an outstanding academic performance and strong sense of responsibility, received financial assistance from the Spring Bud Project.
"The financial aid of the project helped me a lot. It gave me an opportunity to take systematic courses in painting, and to pursue my dream in a better way," Hao says.
Through systematic learning, Hao has made great improvements in her painting skills, and she has gained a deeper understanding of artistic creation. She has also shared her creations with netizens, and she has received positive responses from her followers.
The Spring Bud Project has given Hao a deeper sense of gratitude and benevolence, and has caused her to become more interested and involved in volunteer-service activities.
Hao says she looks forward to making the project available to more girls in need. She is willing to do her best to help young girls fulfill their dreams of attaining a bright future.
After she graduated, in July, Hao received a job offer from a carmaker in Shenzhen, in South China's Guangdong Province. Hao says she is prepared for her new life in Shenzhen.
"Don't be afraid to do what you want to do," Hao says, with confidence and expectations for a better future.
(Women of China English Monthly)
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