Work in Mainland China
When A Bean Grows Up To Be A Tree - Sharing from a Beneficiary of China Children and Youth Education Programme

I was an ordinary kid from a poor family. I loved studying and obtained high academic results at school. My parents cared about me but they never worried about my studies. It was a shock when they left me so soon. I was only twelve when they passed away, leaving me, my younger brother and grandparents behind. All of a sudden, our life became really difficult. Without the scholarship from The Salvation Army, my life would have never been the same. I would not have obtained my qualifications and been able to realise my dream of becoming a doctor.

My name is Dou Yu-chao, nickname "Bean" (for the meaning of "Dou"). I was born in a village in Shandong Province. My family used to grow wheat and corn for a living. I have always excelled in my studies and come out on top. My parents did not praise me very often, but I could feel they were satisfied. By the time I was promoted to senior primary school, my parents left home to work in the city to earn more for the necessary expenses of my future studies.

Losing Both Parents at a Young Age
Time flew by. I studied hard as usual. My outstanding results were a token of gratitude for my parents' hard work. But when I was twelve, I was overwhelmed by an unexpected piece of bad news: papa and mama were both killed in a car accident! For a moment, my mind went blank. I felt sadness and doubt, and soon I became fearful. No matter how well I did at school, after all I was just a child. The loss of parents' protection scared me. Emotional disturbance and financial difficulties affected my learning and I fell behind in my studies.

After a long time of emotional upheavals, I gradually accepted the cruel reality. I pulled myself together and continued to reward my parents in heaven with excellent academic results. However, due to the loss of the breadwinners of the family, we struggled to make ends meet. We could only have basic food staples. All the money saved was spent on our studies.

Worried about Senior High School Fee
Just before going to senior high school, I realised the annual school fee was almost 1,000 yuans. I knew we would never make that much money and I probably could not continue my senior secondary education. At that miserable moment, I received a piece of great news: The Salvation Army offered scholarships to outstanding students in our school, and I was one of them. I was so thrilled as if I just found my saviour. The heavy burden brought by school fees and daily expenses were alleviated. I even had spare money for reference books and was able to concentrate on my studies.

After receiving help from The Salvation Army, I started pondering the meaning of life. I always thought one must overcome their misfortunes all by themselves. However, when I came to a dead end, this timely assistance touched me so much. When I was studying in senior high school, I aspired to be a doctor to help more people and save their lives. In this way, I might contribute to the society.

Aspired to be a Good Doctor
Thankfully, I was admitted to the Tianjin Medical University. The Salvation Army scholarship supported me until I completed my MD studies. During those seven years, staff from The Salvation Army wrote to me regularly, asking about my studies and life. Their care encouraged me to think positively and to learn passionately. The MD programme is really difficult. One has to spend many long hours studying large books and memorise lots of complicated medical terms. Precise judgment is also indispensable. Without their support, I am afraid I may not have overcome these difficulties.

Before long I succeeded. I am now a postgraduate in neurosurgery after completing the MD programme. I went on to become a neurosurgeon. Apart from helping patients relieve their physical pain, I would also like to take part in community service and help more people in need. My misfortune makes me realize the importance of helping the disadvantaged in our society. Life is meaningful when you are generous in giving help.


China Children and Youth Education Programme
The Salvation Army provides educational assistance for children and young people from poor families in Mainland China. We provide financial assistance to primary and junior secondary school students for buying stationery, supplementary reading books, clothing and footwear. We also offer assistance to schools for improving students' diet, nutrition and dormitory hygiene. Scholarships are also given to outstanding students like Dou in support of their senior secondary and tertiary education, opening the door to a brighter future for children from disadvantaged families.

The Salvation Army scholars...
Dou Yu-chao is encouraged t...
Dou Yu-chao is currently a ...