Annual Support of "Friends of Qinghai"
The Chongren Foundation and Mark Qiu personally have supported the Switzerland-based foundation Amici di Qinghai (i.e. Friends of Qinghai), since its inception in 2008, by yearly financial contributions. Furthermore, Mark Qiu personally co-financed various primary school projects in Qinghai´s remote highlands in earlier years already.
The Amici di Qinghai is a Swiss-based foundation, supervised by the Swiss authorities, to support education projects in the province of Qinghai, in close cooperation with the local authorities. The motivation is purely educational. The teaching materials are exclusively provided by the education authorities. Donations are spent on projects without any deduction by the authorities or the foundation for administration, travels, accommodation, printing, et al.
Chongren’s significant financial support of the Amici di Qinghai has allowed to implement around one third of more than 70 primary village and moving nomad schools completed so far by the Swiss foundation. Most of the projects were realized by co-financing, a few by Chongren´s exclusive financial support. Besides, the active and continued cooperation by the local authorities, the Education Bureau and the villagers concerned has always been and remains crucial for the success of these education projects in remote areas of Qinghai.
Chongren´s support and the local authorities supervision have recently allowed the Amici di Qinghai to launch a new type of pre-school teaching on the sparsely populated highlands, the so called moving nomad school. Not the kids are going to attend classes in a school building, but the teacher in a car with all the material goes to reach the students at a couple of meeting points every week, to provide the latter with basic teaching in reading, writing and arithmetic. The new method allows the young students to get ready in their pre-school education for the time when they have to attend the nearest boarding school. Furthermore, an electronic textbook that allows the young students to learn by themselves basic Tibetan, Chinese as well as arithmetic et al in the days when there is no teacher around, has proven to be of very effective help in improving the pre-school education level in the sparsely populated nomadic areas since its introduction in 2011. Since then 23 additional moving nomad schools have been launched in the district of Zeku.
The activities supported by the Chongren Foundation in the remote areas of the Qinghai province can be viewed at the following website: www.fondazione-amici-di-qinghai.org
All activities, as described in the annual reports, have been constantly coordinated with and monitored by the competent local authorities, and continue to be so. The choice of Qinghai for these activities is due to the fact that the head of the Amici-di-Qinghai foundation was made a Honorary Citizen of Qinghai by the Provincial Parliament in 2008.