On April 8th 2018, “Village lookout”paid a return visit to Zhuangzi primary school of Turpan city, the first FLFC school in Xinjiang, to record its 4th anniversary. (2018.4.8)
Zhuangzi primary school is a remote rural school, which is about 14 km from Chatkal township, 30 km from Turpan city and 210 km from Urumqi. Since April 2014, here 175 students and 20 teaching staff had access to “free lunch”. It is possible to have free lunch in the world thanks to the assistance of donors.
On April 2nd 2011, Dengfei initiated the public welfare project FLFC (Free Lunch For Children) together with 500 journalists, dozens of internal main-steam media and China Social Welfare Foundation. They advocated to provide poor schoolchildren with free lunch by donating 3 yuan each day. FLFC aims to help Chinese children avoid hunger and grow up healthily. It is hoped that through several years of effort the free lunch will be a basic welfare for Chinese children, so as to significantly improve the nutritional status of rural children in China.
As prices kept on rising in the past five years, the standard of 3 yuan meal could no longer meet the needs of the students in project schools. Since March 1 2016, the standard of 4 yuan meal was executed in the schools of the FLFC project to ensure that children in poor rural areas of China have nutritious and healthy lunch.
The little girl smiled shyly at the camera.▲
The implementation of both FLFC and the water purification project.▲
Four years have passed. Reviewing the four-year course, the colorful past is visible before eyes, especially the story of “snowdrift”.
In December 2013, there was a one-month egg meal test of Turpan FLFC school. The test was the preparation of FLFC before its formal implementation, and was part of the work-flow of Free Lunch Public Welfare Fund. In order to accomplish the test, the journalist Liping，who is the main coordinator of FLFC in Xinjiang, invited two press-photographers and me, a DSLR enthusiast, to go to Turpan by riding the private car of photographer Lan Tianxiang, a volunteer of FLFC in Xinjiang. On the expressway we unexpectedly met “snowdrift”, a kind of natural disasters as well as the prelude to the arrival of snowstorm. Consequently, the highway was under traffic control. We had no choice but to move ahead. For a few minutes the visibility was less than one meter and the front of the vehicle could not be seen, so the guardrail of the highway was used to determine the direction. I did not know how the other people felt at that moment, however I was scared. We saw heavy snow when reached Turpan. According to media reports, it was the heaviest snowfall in Turpan in nearly 60 years. I immediately sent a piece of weibo to introduce “snowdrift” and to share the trilling experience just now. Many e-friends worried about us and reminded us to pay attention to safety. Having no idea of “ snowdrift” before, I thought that we were protected by the god of luck since we got rid of the area of “snowdrift” safely. We took a rest in the service area where we saw a strange phenomenon that the bodies of all the vehicles were changed beyond recognition as if they had been sprinkled with lime powders.
Finally we arrived at the school and finished our scheduled work. We spent the night in the local teachers’ home because of the traffic restriction resulted from the “snowdrift”. During dining, the press contacted me and wanted to know the process of “snowdrift”. As I knew, people in the media field were brilliant. I gave the phone to Lan Tianxiang and said “ Your introduction would be more persuasive as you were driving at the time”. Later we understood why journalists interviewed us. Because we were the first witnesses of “snowdrift” on the highway from Urumqi to Turpan.
Along the way to Turpan, we saw the extremely spectacular karez.▲
Karez means the well point, which is called “Karez” in Xinjiang Uygur language. Karez is a special irrigation system in desert area, which is widely used in Turpan, Xinjiang, China. Karez, the Great Wall as well as the Grand Canal from Beijing to Hangzhou are three famous projects of ancient China. The number of Karez in Xinjiang is more than 1,100, with a total length of around 5,000 km.
Karez is a kind of the ancient horizontal water-collecting structure, which applies to the exploitation and utilization of groundwater in the marginal area of alluvial fan. It is mainly used for irrigating farmland and offering residents water through intercepting groundwater.
The school is not far from the wonders of the world, Ayding Lake.▲
Ayding Lake, located in Gaochang district of Turpan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is the lowest place of both Turpan Basin and the China land. The lake is 154.31 meters below sea level, and its lowest point is -161 meters. Turpan Basin is a closed intramontane basin on the southern side of the eastern segment of Tianshan mountain, China, while Ayding Lake is the destination of surface runoff in Turpan Basin. In Uygur language, Ayding Lake is called “Aydingkol”, which means moonlight lake.
“Water Purification Project” aims to cope with the issue of safety of drinking water for children in rural schools through the assistance of water purification equipment and other means.
On 1st June 2017, Xinjiang Poverty Alleviation and Water Purification Project was launched in Urumqi. It is also the first provincial demonstration site in China.
The new classroom of the school.▲
Xinjiang Hongshi Charitable Foundation & Good People’s Public Welfare Fund sent the first aid kit of the “Helpful Nurse”project to front-line staff.▲
Xinjiang volunteers of FLFC.▲