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China Kicks off Charity Walking to Raise Funds for Rural Schools

A charity walking campaign will be kicked off in Beijing to raise funds for the construction of physical exercise facilities in the Project Hope schools in China's rural areas.

Tu Meng, secretary-general of the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF), organizer of the walking said physical exercise facilities is urgently needed by rural primary schools, especially the Project Hope schools founded with public donations.

The CYDF's Project Hope was launched 18 years ago and has since provided funds to 13,285 schools. A recent survey among 34 Project Hope schools in 12 Chinese provinces and regions showed that 47 percent of the schools had no space for physical exercise, and students in 97.1 percent of the schools could only have physical lessons without facilities.

The charity walking will be held in October 1 to 2 in Zhaitang township in the Mentougou District of Beijing. Each participant for walking should donate at least 500 yuan (around US$70). Participants can choose from three different routes, which are 30 kilometers, 50 kilometers and 100 kilometers in length, respectively.

Since it is the first time Beijing hosts charity walking, the organizers will control number of participants within 1,500. Families, individuals and groups are all welcomed to participate.

Tu said "all the participants will receive certificates and two participants giving largest donation will be invited to act as the torchman for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games."

An official website for the charity walking has been set up, namely, and also a hotline: 010-84015969. Preparation work including medical and rescue service are underway.

Chinese Olympic champions Tian Liang and Mo Huilan as well as singer Tan Jing will all attend the charity walking.

(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2007)

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