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Ye Baolong — Yesterday’s struggles, tomorrow’s hope

Fourteen years ago, nestled in the mountainous south eastern region of rural China, in a small, quiet village, the wailing of a newborn girl could be heard. Her name is Ye Baolong (叶宝龙). It was that same year that Ye’s mother left and never returned home.

In the crumbling building Baolong and her family have been calling home, sit her elderly grandmother, three sisters and father with medication in hand. Her father suffers from the same illness that took her grandfather’s life only years prior, thrombosis; a condition that creates blood clots in blood vessels and veins disrupting regular blood circulation.

Totalling over 200,000 yuan in operation fees for Ye’s father’s Thrombosis in addition to the constant fee for medication her family still relies on him and Ye’s elderly grandmother to tend to the fields all-year-round for a living. Recently, in hopes of creating an easier life for themselves, the family borrowed thousands of yuan in order to operate a lottery shop.

Growing up watching her ill father and elderly grandmother tend to fields day after day, Baolong became a determined and hardworking student with high hopes to pursue her education and one day pull her family out of poverty.

Those hopes would begin to flourish on a regular school day when a change came into Ye’s life ーthe Education For All Foundation’s English Education Program would be partnering with her school, Yanglin Primary School in Pengzhai Village.

As an opportunity arose to build English skills to better her future, Baolong was excited. Replacing the heavily accented teacher who lectured on about out-dated terms are our bilingual North American volunteer teachers. Our English Education program is designed to develop reading, writing, speaking and listening skillsーthe four branches of language learningーin order for us to help prepare Baolong for her future in the ever changing urban job market.

Take a look at one of our lessons at Yanglin Primary School for yourself!

Despite the hardships Baolong and her family have faced, she still smiles and laughs with every intention of making her future her own. Especially on June 1st, Children’s Day, the once quiet village erupts with the sound of childhood laughter with Baolong and her three sisters enjoying their childhood, while their grandmother takes the time that day to prepare vegetables the children dislike into various shapes.

Soon Baolong will be leaving EFA’s partner school and will be heading off to bigger places. But, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of EFA and Ye’s relationship, with your help we can continue to support Baolong on her journey to success!

Figure 1: A class of students at Yanglin Ai Xin Primary School who EFA's teachers see every week for English lessons.