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University student helps pupils in poor areas

By LIU CE | China Daily | Updated: 2016-06-06 07:45

After learning about struggles facing pupils in poor, remote areas, 22-year-old decides she can make a difference

University student helps pupils in poor areas

Liu Jiaying (wearing glasses) distributes gifts to students at Shaba primary school in Qianxi county, Guizhou province while visiting the school for the launch ceremony of the first Flying Box project in June, 2015. Provided to CHINA DAILY

Liu Jiaying says she does not normally stand out from the crowd, but the 22-year-old student from Shenyang Architecture University separated herself from the pack when she designed and built a portable dormitory for pupils in a mountainous area of Guizhou province.

The dorm, which Liu calls the "Flying Box", was inspired by journalist-turned-philanthropist Deng Fei in 2015. Deng's dream was to offer safe and comfortable accommodation to students whose homes were far from their schools in poor mountainous areas and save them from long laborious commutes on foot along slippery and steep mountain paths.

Liu helped make Deng's dream a reality and students have welcomed the first of the new temporary dorms.

"Thanks to the Flying Box, I don't have to walk for two hours along the mountain trail to school every day. I can't remember how many times I fell over into the thorn bushes next to the path in the cold black morning," said Wang Ting, a 10-year-old pupil at Shaba primary school in Qianxi county.

Wang is among many children who have to walk a long way to school, thanks to the closure of a lot of small rural schools in depopulated areas. Children who want to avoid the long walks can usually stay in a school dormitory, but these tend to be very humble, and are difficult places in which to feel at home.

Deng thought such dorms could be a whole lot better.

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