Tracy, our Shenzhen Office Manager, recently had the privilege of visiting 13 young ladies from the Vocational School Scholarship (VSS) Program, their principals and local coordinators. She shares with us her memorable experience of spending quality time with the girls.
13 young ladies studing through the Captivating Vocational School Scholarship Program
Despite the hectic schedule in school, their enjoyment was evident. Most of them were shy when we first met, but I was surprised when I discovered their love for singing and dancing. Their longing for applause, affection, and acknowledgement from others also struck me. One of the girls, Zongkyid, especially made an impression on me. She is a sweet girl who is working through her nursing training.
Tracy (right) with Zongkyid (left) who is studying nursing through the VSS program
Zongkyid told Tracy, “When I heard that someone could help me to go back to school, I couldn’t believe it at first. How could there be such a good thing in the world? I didn’t think I would be this lucky. Not only could I go back to school, but I could also choose the course that I would like to take. I believe that as long as I study hard, I will find a good job after graduation. Special thanks to my principal, Mr. Danguo and the charity that funded me (Captivating & Shamtse), for without your trust and help, I would not have such a bright future. Thank you!” said Zongkyid happily, with her eyes full of courage and vision for a better future. Thank you to Mike & Sue for sponsoring her through this program.
I am honored to be involved in this project and delighted to witness the butterfly changes with hundreds of girls. I am grateful for the girls who help me better understand my values and responsibilities and for inspiring me to move forward. They have inspired me to be better in the work that I do because it can help change their fate.
All the girls in the Vocational School Scholarship program share a similar story as Zongkyid. They dropped out of school for various reasons. Unfortunately, chances to go back to school for those who drop out are difficult to find.
Our VSS Program is a significant turning point in their lives – the girls are given another opportunity to go back to school, to find and build on their strengths, and to fulfill their dreams.
Puyuxia, 19, comes from a rural area. She lives with her grandfather who raised her by himself ever since she was a little girl. Puyuxia's father died in an accident while her mother left them in search of a better life.
In August this year, 95 girls joined Captivating's Vocational School Scholarship program, bringing the total of girls in this 3 year program to 277. All these girls were found by our on-the-ground partner [Shamtse] to be out of school. Getting these girls back into school where they can learn a skill that will provide them with independence and job opportunities is important to us at Captivating. It's girls like Zhang who bring special meaning to this program.
62 girls in our second cohort of Vocational School Scholarship Program graduates, completed their courses in July 2020. Most of these girls were only able to go to school up to grade 9, with many dropping out even earlier. The key reasons being financial difficulty, prejudice on the part of their parents not valuing education for girls, and varying family circumstances. Their dreams of a career and independence were gone. But thanks to the Vocational School Scholarship program, dreams are coming true again. Luma is one of our graduating girls and she shares her story.
Tashi entered the Vocational School Scholarship Program in 2018, and took up Preschool Education as her chosen vocational study. Her family used to borrow money so she could study but it all became too difficult financially so she had to drop school in 2017 after she finished grade 8. She shares her experiences and dreams with us.