Liu Faying, vice-principal of Huaping Primary School, in Changyang Tujia Autonomous County, in Central China's Hubei Province, attended an interview, via video link, at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, on March 8, during the fifth session of the 13th NPC. Liu shared her stories of teaching rural students and promoting poverty alleviation through education.
After she graduated from a normal college, in 1991, Liu worked as a teacher in Huangbaishan, a mountainous township in Changyang. At that time, many students were from poverty-stricken families. Liu used her salary to support in-need students.
As one person's power is limited, Liu decided to mobilize people to help students in difficulty. In 2005, Liu posted an article online, in which she called for support from society to help impoverished students in rural mountainous areas. Numerous netizens were touched by her sincerity, and they joined her effort to help in-need students. Since then, Liu, who goes by the online name Sister Yingzi, has connected caring people with students in need.
In 2010, with the support of Changyang's Party Committee and the people's government, Liu established both a website and a team to promote rural education and support in-need students. "By the end of February this year, we had received support from more than 2,000 caring people, at home and abroad, and we had raised more than 29 million yuan (US $4.46 million) to help more than 4,300 students," Liu says.
To Liu's relief, the students who have received support have found decent jobs and been able to enjoy good lives since they have graduated from school. Some of the students have joined Liu's team, and they have been supporting other students.
In 2020, Changyang was lifted out of poverty and removed from the list of national-level, poverty-stricken counties. Both the enrollment rate of school-age children in compulsory education and the education subsidy rate of in-need students have reached 100 percent. "Now that students in difficulty can afford to go to school, we are thinking about how to enable them to receive better education, and to have greater prospects. We will continue to safeguard the dreams of children who live in the mountains, and we will help them to have more chances to excel in life," Liu says.
In recent years, Liu has been honored — as a National March 8th Red-Banner Holder, national advanced individual in poverty alleviation and national outstanding Party member — for her contributions to poverty alleviation through education.
As an NPC deputy, Liu has been paying attention to issues on rural revitalization. "The improvement of infrastructure and the cultivation of talents are the keys to rural revitalization," she says. During this year's NPC session, Liu offered suggestions on how to strengthen support for enterprises that focus on crop-seed research and improving traffic efficiency at Duobaosi Station, a high-speed train station in Changyang.
"As a teacher and an NPC deputy, educating students, supporting students in difficulty and promoting rural revitalization are my responsibilities. I will perform my duties and contribute my wisdom to helping people in the mountains live happier lives," Liu says.
Photo Supplied by Liu Faying
(Women of China English Monthly April 2022 issue)
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