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PEACH Kids Are Blessed

06304 Yang Ze
Translated by Nie Xu Min

I became a PEACH kid in 2006. I am from a small and primitive mountain village in Niu-Jiao-Zhai Township, Yuan-Yang County, in Yunnan Province. There, layers of terraces are surrounded by mountains covered with lush forest and vegetation. The air is clean and fresh. For generations, people have lived here and still practice the old-fashioned farming method.

I wish to thank PEACH from the bottom of my heart. I am grateful to the uncles and aunts of PEACH for giving me a helping hand when I needed it the most - when I couldn't afford my tuition; when my family asked me to drop out of school; when I had to go hungry. Many of my peers quitted school and went out to work at a very young age. It was with your help that I stayed in school, sitting in the spacious classrooms, reading and studying.

Being a child of a poor family, I am fortunate. With the help of kind people, I successfully completed my studies. After graduating from college, I work in a public institution as a medical professional. My little sister was not as lucky. She dropped out of school when I was in first grade. Because my family was too poor to afford two of us to go to school at the same time and my parents favored boy over girl, my sister dropped out and I stayed. I feel guilty about my sister whenever I think about it. In my village, many of my childhood buddies were admitted to junior high school and had to quit because of either poverty or the attitude that schooling was worthless. As long as I can remember, most of them didn't enjoy the warmth and comfort of home. Many of their fathers were alcoholic and could not stop smoking. They didn't care about the well-being of their families and ignored their children's education. My father also loved drinking and didn’t take care of me much. Fortunately, he graduated from junior high school and he was interested in my education. He held me to high standard for my school work and had high hope that one day in the future I could get ahead in life. My mother could not read and could not help me with my study. But she took good care of me.

I could not imagine how I survived my days in Junior high school. My father only gave me 3 yuan for weekly allowance, which was barely enough for school supplies and daily necessities. Since I could not afford boarding expense, I couldn't eat in the school canteen even if I lived in school. Instead, I had to go back home a few kilometers away from the school to have my meals after class. In order not to be late for classes, I had to run back and forth between home and school. This continued for the whole first year of junior high school. I got frostbite in winters. Terrible frostbite accompanied me through junior high school and high school and did not go away until I went to university. My clothes were old. When they were torn or broken, I mended them. Although life was hard, I persisted, studying hard. Every day I got up early at five or six o'clock to study. During the three years of junior high school, my grades fluctuated. But I did not disappoint my family in the final high school entrance examination. I ranked seventh in the whole township and was admitted to County No.1 High School.

The first time I heard about PEACH was when I was in the second grade of junior high. At that time, all the students who joined PEACH were students with good grades. When I saw uncles and aunts from PEACH talking and laughing with those students, I really envied them. In 2006, I officially became a member of PEACH. I was thrilled. Every semester, PEACH gave me an 800-yuan grant. The money could be used to pay part of the tuition or living expenses. This helped to lessen the burden on my family. Not only me, my whole family are extremely grateful to PEACH. When winters came, PEACH sent me scarves, gloves, socks and thermal underwear, which warmed my body and my soul. I benefited greatly from Aunt Jeng's "Happy Life" speech at PEACH summer camp.

I did not do well in my first college entrance examination. I chose to study for another year. I was depressed and felt that I let down my family, PEACH and my teacher. During the three years of high school, I cherished every minute and worked hard. I studied during lunch breaks and stayed up later to read. The second time I participated in college entrance examination, the results were not ideal but good enough. I was admitted by a medical college. My major was medical imaging. After graduation, I chose to serve in Yuan-Yang County Hospital, a hospital in my hometown. The following year I took part in the public institution examination. Currently I work in a township health center. I truly believe my future will be even brighter with my efforts.

 

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