Our Story

CNYTrust is an independent, volunteer organisation committed to improving access to education for young people in rural China.

Our work is underpinned by a fundamental belief that every child has the right to the best possible start in life – we believe that begins with education. Education provides people with the freedom to make their own choices, to change their lives and to be great; countless studies have shown that education is directly linked to standard of living. In China, millions of rural children may therefore never escape their impoverished backgrounds, not because they do not want to, but because they are not empowered to make that choice. CNYTrust is committed to giving them that option.

The problem of access to education in rural China is the compounded result of many factors. Firstly, society's focus on economic development and growth has put longer-term, less visible improvement in educational development low on the investment priority list. Secondly, lack of state support for funding means most rural students drop out of school earlier, losing the chance to take the National College Entrance Examination, which allows them to continue onto higher education. Thirdly, China’s two-track education system has prioritised supporting education in cities, whilst historically leaving rural areas to fund themselves. This issue is exacerbated by the Chinese hukou registration system, which ties Chinese citizens to their place of birth. Rural-hukou who migrate to cities are not eligible for basic urban welfare, social service or public education benefits. Therfore, whilst families move to urban areas to improve their standard of living, too often it is the children who end up suffering.

The choice for rural families is therefore bleak: stay in the countryside, where schools are under-funded and developed; or move to the cities (where standard of living might be higher), but lose access to education and state benefits (not to mention the added complexity of discrimination within urban schools towards admitting rural students).

Where your money goes

For every £1 raised, we aim for 60p to benefit our students. The remaining 40p helps to raise the next £1.

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