Editor's Note: Every year, three out of ten eighth-graders in Yunnan will drop out of school. Driven by economic difficulties and the needs of their families, these students have little hope of resuming their education. This is the story of one talented eighth grader who risks the same future unless our community takes action soon.
Guo Conglan (郭从兰) is an eighth grade student at Dachaoshan Middle School (大朝山中学), located in Lincang Prefecture. Having known her for the past two years, I can say for certain that she is a student with great potential. She has earned her place in the school's advanced-level class through hard work and unceasing determination.
Aiming higher than the majority of students at Dachaoshan, she dreams of attending high school and then matriculating on to college. Unfortunately, she recently fell ill with a serious case of meningitis. Her illness put her plans for the future in serious jeopardy. Guo's homeroom teacher, who has been teaching her for two years, explains the situation as follows:
Guo Conglan is part of a single-parent family. When she was very little, her mother abruptly left the household and never returned. Since that time, her father has faced many serious issues and cannot successfully manage the family's financial matters. He often drinks heavily and falls ill, spending large sums of money on alcohol and his personal medical bills.
Because Guo's younger brother is in elementary school, her family relies upon her 80-year-old grandmother, who picks tea leaves to earn a meager income. This sort of work is an immense strain on Guo's elderly grandmother, exacerbating the family's problems.
Recently, Guo contracted a serious form of meningitis and was taken immediately to Lincang People's Hospital. Because of the gravity of her situation, she has already been required to stay for three weeks. The resulting hospital bills are, for Guo, enormous. This tragedy has only added more misfortune to Guo's already struggling family. With little savings and limited financial opportunities, they have tried to economize as much as possible. Despite this, none of Guo's relations have a way of paying back the huge amount of money owed to the hospital.
Although Guo will soon be released from the hospital, her future in school and in life will be directly affected by her medical debt. If she tests into high school, she will be unable to afford the tuition. It is also likely that her younger brother will be unable to stay in school, and instead will have to find a job as early as possible.
Moved by the tragic situation of this beloved student, the students, teachers and administrators at Dachaoshan Middle School have raised roughly 7,000 yuan in order to support her. Still, it is nowhere near enough. In order to pay for the medical care that saved her life, Guo needs at least another 12,000 yuan.
The kind folks at Salvador's Coffee House have generously donated an additional 4,000 yuan towards Guo's debt and have set up a donation box at the cafe. Further, online donations can be made through Zhifu Bao (支付宝) to the account of 蔡寒韫, ID: 18788376297.
If you would like to help out but don't have a Zhifu Bao account, you can also make a donation with most Western credit or bank cards by visiting the website You Caring. For any questions, please get in touch using the email address franderam[at]gmail[dot]com. Any and all donations will be gratefully accepted. Guo Conglan, her family and all of her teachers and classmates extend their thanks in advance.© Copyright 2005-2020 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.