The Blackford Trust - Investing in Talent in Scotland and China

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Please note The Blackford Trust is now closed - this page is retained for purely historic interest

The Library Project, China

Our support

We provided funds for libraries in three schools in Langao County, southern Shaanxi Province, about 500km south of Xi'an. These are Ping Xi Elementary School, Fang Ya Elementary School and Dian Po Elementary School, with a total population of some 500 primary children. We visited one of these schools on 16 March 2010 - please see below.

Photos courtesy of The Library Project

This project is also in partnership with the Langao Education Board and the Langao Charity Association.

Background to our partner (see also here)

The Library Project donates books and libraries to underfinanced schools and orphanages in the developing world. The organisation believes education is the key motivator to breaking the cycle of poverty that exists in the developing world. As they see it, education is change.

In China, they provide libraries for elementary schools in rural areas, including shelving, furniture, and floor mats depending on specific local needs. Although many local schools have some of this equipment, they often lack appropriate books to put on the shelves or only have books so old that they are falling apart.

So far, the organisation has established around 1,500 libraries in China, supporting over 500,000 children with over 1,000,000 books.

Outcomes and lessons

The award was made in late 2008 and the libraries were established in January 2009. The photos at the top of this page show some scenes from their inauguration.

We visited Langao County 15-16 March 2010 and met the pupils and staff of Ping Xi Elementary School. This is a primary school in the mountains outside Langao town - to reach it we travelled south from Xi'an by train for five hours and then drove another two hours by car. There are around 150 children aged from 6-12, some of whom board at the school during the week as they come from outlying villages. We had a great time meeting the children and teachers, and heard more about how they are enjoying using the books. The teachers explained that the libraries were already having a very positive impact on the children's reading and learning abilities.

The photos below show the beautiful scenery around Langao town, a Grade 3 class who hosted our visit, and an outside view of Ping Xi school.

Photos courtesy of The Library Project

For an interesting update on Library Project's work Chinawide, see this interview with their founder, Tom Stader.

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This page was last updated on 18 July 2016.

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