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Gender, Education, Poverty
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China, Guizhou
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This documentary project examines the status quo of women and children's education in Guizhou province, the most impoverished area in China.
Liu Xin

1993 — student winner

In China, there are currently 37 million school-aged children who are barred from school because of poor family backgrounds. Among them, 80% to 85% are girls.
China is a big country with a population of more than 1.2 billion and extremely uneven economic and cultural development. In the vast rural areas where most of the population live, the popularization of primary education is beset with difficulties. Influenced by traditional values, especially among the ethnic groups, the drop-out rate of girl students is horribly high.

The documentary project I am presenting is a photo essay of the status quo of women and children's education in Guizhou province, the most impoverished area in China.

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Wang Cui Yun, 8, an orphan who lives on social assistance, struggles to go to a small village school with donated money. Liu Xin/Alexia Foundation
With the help of donations worldwide, some schools now can get books for students. Most schools in this area are still short of basic supplies. Liu Xin/Alexia Foundation
Girls, ages 16 to 18 of Yi, an ethnic group in Guizhou province, dress up to celebrate an opening of a new school. None of them could read or write because they have never been to a school. Liu Xin/Alexia Foundation
Twelve-year-old Li Ping Ping goes back to school every Sunday night carrying rice and vegetables from home. She and her schoolmates will stay at school during the week. They cook their own meals everyday. Liu Xin/Alexia Foundation
A father of a drop-out student felt sorry and helpless for his son because of the poor economic situation of his family. Liu Xin/Alexia Foundation
Lie Ping, 5, and Liu Dong, 8, of Guizhou go to Beijing to make money for school by performing in the street during their summer vacation. Liu Xin/Alexia Foundation
Wan Yu Wei, 9, of jinzhai, dropped school and became a coal miner to make money for his family. Liu Xin/Alexia Foundation
More and more youngsters who drop out of school become drug addicted. They are sent to a local prison-like Youth Drug Rehabilitation. Liu Xin/Alexia Foundation
Children become major laborers at home when they are out of school. Liu Xin/Alexia Foundation
A retired railroad worker, Li Tai Xiang built up a free school in the storage area of an apartment building for those children who can't afford to go to public schools. Most of the children's parents are floaters who make a living by collecting garbage. Liu Xin/Alexia Foundation