A journey toward a better life with PEACH Foundation
02116 Zhao Gui Ru
I came from Dali, Yunnan Province. I have been working at Kunming Huaitian Technology Co. for a year. When I first graduated from college, I was an intern at the Dali State Academy of Agricultural Sciences making ￥ 2,000 a month. Later I moved to Kunming and started working on biomedical research for the currently company. My monthly base salary is ￥ 3,500 a month. My income is mainly to pay my student loan. In addition, I am able to purchase new furniture and home appliances for the family too. The quality of my family living has improved dramatically in the past ten years. This would not happen if it was not the help from Peach Foundation.
My family consists of five members, namely my parents, grandma, younger brother and myself. My grandmother is deaf and mute who needs year-round care. My mother's limbs have severe rheumatisms that hindered her movements.
Looking back when I was growing up, I have had hardly any new clothing. I was envious when many of my classmates showed off their new clothes in the beginning of each new semester. I remember vividly the shadows of my busy working parents getting up at crack of dawn and going to bed late at night every single day.
For lacking education, my father can only do the roughest labor intense work to at coal mines. Imprinted in my mind is that often father was not even paid on time for his blood and sweat labor.We were living in poverty.
Father had to borrow tuitions money from relatives and friends. The family's expense is always much greater than what my parents can earn. Because my father often works far away, our neighbors would force their way into our house, trash our home, and even beat us. This hardship has strengthened my belief to study hard and to make a lot of money in the future in order to provide a better life for the family.
March 1, 2003, at the start of my 2nd grade junior high, my family could not afford the ￥ 360 for my tuition. My teacher and several other school officials referred me to the Peach Foundation after learning my family financial situation.
September 2004, I became one of the few in the village to enter high school. However, the family was facing another financial crisis as I have to board in the school. My tuition along was ￥ 860 Yuan plus other expenses. However, I was not afraid because I knew Peach Foundation was there to continue its support of my education. All left to be done was my determination and my studying.
In 2006, I had the opportunity to attend the Peach Foundation summer camp at Yangbi. That was the first time I left Eryuan County. The uncles and aunts from Peach Foundation opened our eyes, increased our knowledge, and broadened our thoughts. Their care for us was meticulous. We even received free eye exam and glasses. I wrote a thank-you letter in English to those kind uncles and aunts who could only communicate in English and who has been silently supporting us. I kept the thank-you letter for over ten years till now.
September 2007, I was admitted to the Honghe College of Agriculture Science and Engineering. I kept marching toward my dream. At that time, there was no student loan available at the school, so I applied for the interest-free loan from Peach Foundation. At the same time, I also held several part-time jobs such as tutoring, handing out flyers, and doing sales promotion to pay for my living expenses.
In addition, I received bursaries in my freshman and sophomore years. I doubled my professional courses and got an inspirational scholarship. With the money I earned, I was able to send some money home and bought new clothes for my parents for Chinese New Year.
During my senior year, I have set up a target that I would not settle for just a salesperson position at an agriculture company to sell plant seeds or chemicals like most of my classmates. I decided to go the master program. I was admitted to the Master of Botany at Yunnan Agricultural University with a score of nearly 400. It was the highest score ever recorded at Honghe University. On the eve of graduation, I received ￥ 1,000 cash master program.
July 2014, I graduated and found a job in Kunming. I worked hard and saved every penny. I paid off my student loan. And I was able to send money to my parents so that they could eat a little better, dress a little better, and be able to visit doctor when needed. They don't need to worry about money anymore.
I have a goal to buy a house in Kunming and send for my parents to live with me. I like them to enjoy the rest of their life. I also want to have a family of my own with children. Our life will definitely get better.