To ensure transparency and accountability Australian China Education Foundation (ACEF) has established a unique operational model, namely its fundraising activity is designed to support designated programs that have been carefully developed. Information about each of its charitable projects is made available and transparent to you so you can make an informed decision about which project to support. In doing so, ACEF channels your kind contribution to where you as a donor consider as top priority. This model ensures all the funds collected for a specific program will be used for that program.
The necessary cost for ACEF’s business administration is also clearly marked as one of the items for you to support. This is in addition to our membership fees all of which will be used towards the cost of running the operations.
By doing this, every dollar of yours is used according to the purpose you have nominated.
Xiushui, in Jiangxi Province is one of the poverty areas identified by the Chinese government, which means the net average yearly income is below 1500 yuan per person or under A$ 300. It happens to be the place where the flag of Red Army was first raised when it was one of the strongest bases of the Red Army during Chinese civil war during 1927-1936. However, we didn’t choose it because of its historical importance in Chinese modern history nor because it is the poorest area in China.
In 2002, ACEF’s Founding President, Mr. Taojin Nie, donated to the building of the first primary school — Jinrong Primary School in Xiushui, Jiangxi. It was very warmly received by local residents. Subsequently Mr. Nie decided to donate to build one school every two years and commit to building 10 schools over the next 20 years. After Mr. Nie immigrated to Australia in June 2007 he didn’t give up his commitment. The building of the 6th primary school donated by Mr. Taojin Nie will be completed in July 2014. Over the same period Mr Nie’s charitable work has touched his friends and many people who came to know him. As a result they joined forces together and three more schools have been built replacing dilapidated schools that pose safety risks to children and teachers.
During his many visits to the area, Mr. Nie also identified through his interactions with teachers and principals in the area that there are many children struggling to complete their basic education due to the area-wide poverty and disadvantage affected by the loss and/or disability of their parents. These children are at risk of falling into a cycle of poverty, if they cannot attain education up to year 12. The dire situation of these children brought back by Mr Nie became the call for action and hence ACEF’s first sponsorship program.
The XiuShui program includes four inter-related projects.
- Direct financial assistance through one-to-one sponsorship. Through one-to-one sponsorship, eligible students in Xiushui will receive direct financial assistances from families in Australia who will sponsor the students to complete their education up to year 12. This project will directly benefit the needy students in Xiushui.
- “More blessed to give” — Australian students volunteering to teach at the primary schools in Xiushui. During the holiday period, ACEF will organize groups of students from Australian families to take up opportunities to help students at Xiushui. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” — through this volunteering, it is hoped that Australian students can gain precious experience in a humanitarian area. This project will directly benefit kids and families here, particularly many Chinese migrant families.
- Educational capacity building. ACEF offers unique opportunity for distinguished teachers and principals of the local schools in Xiushui to visit Australia and to engage in education exchange activities with teachers and principals in Australia. ACEF will develop specific details for this program in the near future and is likely to ask donation to cover the costs for flight, accommodation and local expenses.
- Resource support. Within this category, we encourage people to provide support for the cost of ACEF’s business administration, as well to support the identified schools’ resources such as libraries, playgrounds for in the area. If you are willing to provide more support than the above, we encourage you to contact us and we will work with you and help identify the business case for new projects.
How are the children for sponsorship identified? ACEF has identified 132 children from Xiushui to be eligible for one-to-one sponsorship. The majority of the children suffer the loss of a parent from accidents and/or sickness. Some of them are cared for by their grandparents or relatives as both parents have left the family home to find work in another city. These children face special hardship due to the economic hardship of the area further exacerbated by the family disadvantage.
These children were identified from two visits, in September 2013 and again in January 2014. These kids are carefully assessed after their applications were made first by writing to the principals of their local schools and then verified by our volunteers in China.. The assessment involves our field volunteers visiting the family homes and interviewing the family members of the candidates. The original applications, together with our local volunteers’ assessment are then reviewed by ACEF’s head office to ensure a transparent and fair assessment process.
Our first group of volunteers is made up of students learning Saxophone with Mr. Yi Yang, a well-known expert in Saxophone. The group will perform their pieces at the ceremony, to be held in July 2014, marking the inauguration of the 6th Jinrong Primary School in Xiushui donated by Mr Nie. During the one week of stay, the Australian students are encouraged to experience life together with the sponsored students through their stay at the student’s homes. They will also go to different schools there and give music lessons to local students. ACEF will donate a harmonica for 200 children who take part in the music lessons. We hope the small instrument will not only be a souvenir from the visit of the Australian children, but will also inspire the Chinese kids to learn something about making music.