Yunnan Project

Overview of Project

       The Yunnan province is in southwestern China, approximately 152,084 square miles.  However, because of its mountainous terrain, it is also one of the world's most impoverished, encompassing almost 50% of China's minorities.  In many rural villages, the children start working as soon as they can walk and have to strive for daily food, shelter, and other basic necessities, much less a basic education.  Although many children want to learn how to read, the scarcity of money and books proves a formidable barrier.  School is often carried out in make-shift shelters.

       In many rural villages, most children are isolated from the modern world.  One child remarked, "I never knew locomotives or rockets existed until our village leader went into the city and brought back a book for us." One child describes another child she met,

               "Yanghua is twelve years old and lives with her grandmother and little sister because both parents died when she was young.  Her grandmother is 75, but she still needs to go and work, but even so, she can not earn enough money for both Yanghua and her brother's education.  Thus, after only half a semester, Yanghua was forced to drop out of school to help her grandmother make a living. When I met her, she was out tending the flock of sheep. I told her, 'Come to school with me,' but she replied, 'I can't. I have to tend the flock so that my brother can go to school.  Could you please bring a book for me to read?' I nodded my head but I knew I couldn't do it.  Bringing books home is especially hard for us because we only have two books in our school and those books are very precious because the whole village put together their money to buy them; now those two books are so worn down and torn."

       For many factors, the involvement of Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China in many areas, especially in the more mountainous regions, is little to none.  Because China has only recently opened its doors to the world, many of the conditions in the scarcely populated regions are not well known and have only begun to be revealed.  There is often little or no assistance afforded to many regions in desperate need, and sustenance is at a bare minimum. 

      The Chinese Academy of Memphis plans to acquire funds from various businesses and individuals to benefit the Yunnan area.  Our goal is simple: to help 2,000 children each pay their tuition and acquire a book.  Thus, the current project undertaken by the Chinese Academy of Memphis is unique in the following ways:

       1). The data collected about conditions in the Yunnan province have been accumulated over several years by local resources,  thus has been spared many discrepancies. 

       2). The money collected from the project will go directly to the villages and to those in need.  The CAM plans to go to China directly, to purchase the materials and to personally send it to many areas. 

In 2006, The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) conference will be held in China, and the CAM considers it a great opportunity to help China in such a way so compatible to the IBBY's goals. 

       In addition, because of FedEx's recent activities in China it would be advantageous to establish closer ties with the Chinese community, including in the form of charity.  Not only does the Yunnan project address the pressing educational concerns in much of the impoverished world but also could help the relationship that FedEx will undoubtedly foster in the near future. 

Measurements to determine project results

CAM will measure progress annually for:

Successful implementation of the CAM project (that each of the 2000 children will have tuition for school and at least one book) by

       Frequent communication with the villages aided

       Measuring the increase in children attending primary school and graduating

       Measuring the increase in the number of children attending secondary schools

Anticipated Sources of Revenue and Expenses

       The beauty of the project is in its simplicity.  All the funds will come form donations by various businesses and individuals.  The money will be divided into $5 increments.





$5000 ($2.50 each)



$5000 ($2.50 each)


Shipping Expenses






Because of discrepancies in cost of material items between the United States and China and because the books will benefit the children in Yunnan, the books will be bought in China at a significantly lower cost.  In addition, because of the cost of shipping, the CAM will buy the books in China directly to minimize cost.