Chongqing– The Rural Reading Program is a charity event held in Shizhu County, which aims to foster a more cultural atmosphere for children who grow up in remote mountain villages. Here, the phenomenon of left-behind children, where parents work long-term in other provincial regions while their children remain in the care of elderly family members, is quite pronounced.
In order to enrich the lives of children and the elderly, the Lu International Communication Federation has organized the Rural Reading Program with the support of Tencent Charity and Tencent Southwest Headquarters.
Since the elderly in rural environments commonly lack higher education, they are unable to assist children with reading skills and foster cultural awareness. Additionally, rural communities usually don’t have books available outside of curriculum-based resources at school.
Now that rural communities across Chongqing Municipality enjoy the basic necessities of ample food and clothing and safe housing, medical care, education, and transport links, the cause of rural revitalization has assumed the goal of enriching the cultural atmosphere for children in country villages.
In the case of Mulu Village of Qiaotou Township, Chongqing, the Luhai Federation is setting up the Backpack Library that will provide a wide range of books for local children to read according to their interests, while volunteers and teachers regularly tutor them in a variety of cultural activities such as calligraphy, while also counseling those with emotional and psychological support needs.
A further activity has been organized so that children can foster a love for their home environments. The approach taken involves training youngsters in photography skills using their mobile phones and how to edit them into videos they can keep and share with others. This has encouraged them to think more about the flora, fauna, and atmosphere of their home communities and gradually nurtured a fondness for them as a result.
Meanwhile, some activities have been organized for the elderly, such as the Caring Photography Program, where they can have photos taken for many purposes, such as wedding souvenirs. This program has successfully given the elderly in rural villages a strong feeling of warmth and has enjoyed praise from the wider community.
In this third installment of the charity event series, iChongqing is joined by two overseas students from Chongqing University and the two presenters from the YouTube channel Ni Hao Cassandra as we take a journey into Shizhu County to experience the progress in cultural development achieved on the back of rural revitalization.
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