4. Village Early Education Center and Volunteer Development Fund (Guzhang County, Hunan Province)
The Village Early Education Center is a project which has been carried out by CICC Charity Foundation since 2012 in cooperation with the China Development Research Foundation and the People's Government of Guzhang County in Hunan Province. The objective of the project is to provide left-behind children in underprivilaged rural areas with the opportunity to receive preschool education. From 2012 to 2017, CICC Charity Foundation donated a total of RMB 7.635 million to set up more than 70 mountain village kindergartens in Guzhang County, benefiting nearly 6,000 local children aged 3-6 years old. The project has achieved the expected results with the enrollment rate of local kindergartens up from 50% to 90% and children's comprehensive ability significantly improved in kindergartens. At the same time, the project has brought considerable benefits by reducing preschool education spending among underprivilaged families and government financial input. It has found a new path for preschool education inunderprivilagedmountainous areas, and taken an active role in stimulating the national education system development and policy formulation (especially the implementation of preschool education policies in impoverished areas in the central and western regions), which has been highly valued and affirmed by the Party's central leadership. In July 2018, the project won the WISE World Education Innovation Project Award, the "Nobel Prize for Education".
After the project was taken over by the local government in 2017, CICC Charity Foundation created the "Village Early Education Center Volunteer Development Fund" to support the training and education of volunteers in these kindergartens, with all resources solely invested in early childhood education in poverty-stricken areas. The Foundation grants RMB 250,000 each year to the "Village Early Education Center Volunteer Development Fund". In the seven years since the project was launched in Guzhang County, it has organized 15 different types of training sessions for more than 1,000 volunteer teachers. Twelve volunteers have improved their academic qualifications, and 10 have obtained preschool education professional qualifications. The development of teachers is now guaranteed permanently.