By Michelle Liu
In 2008, I traveled to China and only planned to visit my relatives. However, the trip turned into a much more meaningful experience. When I visited the countryside where my family used to live, I noticed many young children in the area were not at school, but working out in the rice field with their parents. I had the opportunity to talk to the children and their parents. It was heartbreaking to learn that their family did not have the money to send them to school. Although most of the parents wanted their children to get an education, they lacked the funds to pay for the school uniform and books. During my last days in China, I decided to use my free time to teach the children how to write and read in Chinese. For more than half of the children I taught, it was their first time learning how to write.
This experience helped me to learn that education is so important to a full life. Many children around the world, however, are not able to attend school because of poverty or culture. Additionally, some schools do not have enough teachers or available resources for the students. Without the resources or teachers, children are not able to learn, even though education is an important tool that helps reduce poverty around communities, which would end this cycle.
One way to help address the problem of education is to donate supplies: giving notebooks or pencils is a simple gesture that can make a huge difference to under resourced schools.
Additionally, UniversalGiving has two opportunities to volunteer in China! Check them out here: