The city will launch a program this year to provide
needy ethnic minority university students with renowned scholars
and entrepreneurs for financial subsidy and free counseling
Initiated by the Shanghai Committee of the China
People's Political Consultative Conference, the "Sunshine
Education" program comes in response to a public proposal to help
needy students studying in the city.
The first batch of 10 students coming from a
poverty-stricken countryside has been chosen. Each will have a
personal mentor, who will donate 5,000 yuan (US$644) each year to
finance their living and study for the next three years.
Mentors will also sign a letter of commitment
promising to provide regular living and career-development
counseling services, as well as creating internship
"Donations are everywhere," said Zhang Su, office
director of the Shanghai Committee of CPPCC's ethnic and religious
"But what we wish to offer is combined financial and
intellectual support to secure ethnic minority students a life
equal to their local peers."
China is home to 55 ethnic
minority groups. Shanghai has more than 10,000 ethnic minority
students from nearly 20 ethnic groups studying at
About 80 percent of these students are from poor rural
families, according to a report by the Shanghai Ethnic Minorities'
"Poor family background plus cultural shock in large
cities have put heavy psychological pressure on those students,
making them always feel inferior to their peers," said Zuo Hong,
the federation secretary.
Daily May 11, 2007)