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The Asia Foundation Launches Scholarship Program for Migrant Women Workers in Nanjing

Nanjing, April 26, 2007 — Today, The Asia Foundation, with the support of Federated Department Stores, Inc., and in partnership with Nanjing Women’s Federation, launched the first-ever scholarship program for migrant women workers in Jiangsu Province. The program will support 26 migrant women workers over the course of three years to pursue vocational and university degrees, build their capacity to improve their living standards, enhance their development potential, and help them advance their careers.

Xu Huiling, Vice Mayor of Nanjing; Dr. Jonathan R. Stromseth, The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative for China; and Ms. Chen Liqin, Chairwoman of Nanjing Women’s Federation attended the launch event. “This program will help migrant women workers in Nanjing better integrate into the city,” Vice Mayor Xu Huiling said.

“The long-term support for migrant women workers, already provided by the Nanjing Women’s Federation over several years, has established a solid foundation for the implementation of the program. I hope this program will inspire more and more migrant women workers to pursue their dreams, develop their potential, and make greater contributions for the development of Jiangsu Province,” Jonathan Stromseth said.

The program will support migrant women workers over the age of 17 who have worked in Nanjing for more than a year. The scholarship will cover tuition, fees, and textbooks. Students with extreme financial difficulties may also apply for a partial living cost subsidy as well. After the scholarship recipients finish their programs, the Nanjing Women’s Federation will also help them find jobs.

To date, 46 migrant women workers have applied for scholarship assistance. One applicant is Ms. Zhou Qian , a 20-year-old from Anhui Province. After finishing junior high school, she had to leave school because her family did not have sufficient income to support her to continue her studies. She came to Nanjing to work and found a job as a salesperson in a wholesale market. Last October, she broke her ankle in a car accident and, as a result, lost her job and is now unemployed. Speaking at the launch ceremony, she said, “This is a great opportunity for me to fulfill my dream of continuing my study. I will grab this chance and work hard to develop myself.”

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