Senior students in Beichuan Middle School were excited because their “Mama Wang” came again.
Ten years ago on May 12, 2008, a devastating earthquake hit Beichuan. On the day of the earthquake, Linda Wong, who was studying at Harvard University in the United States, initiated a disaster relief initiative at Harvard University.
On September 21, 2008, the China Overseas Chinese Federation assisted in the construction of Beichuan Middle School project design. Yihai Group participated in the creation of the aid construction team. Linda Wong invited professional architectural planners from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hong Kong University, Tsinghua University, Tongji University and Beijing Institute of Architectural Design to form an international design team.
On August 17, 2010, the new Beichuan Middle School was officially opened. During the past two years, Linda Wong had not only coordinated the design and construction on the frontlines of the disaster area, but has also been busy securing donations in China. Through her unwavering commitment to this project, 16 million RMB were raised. All of the money was given to Beichuan Middle School through the China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese Philanthropy Foundation.
“At that time, I hardly had the energy to take care of the company’s own business and lost several large business opportunities,” Linda said, “but in my heart, Beichuan’s children are my own children, and Beichuan’s education development is connected to Yihai as well.”
Beichuan children affectionately call Linda Wong “Mama Wang.” Liu Yachun, headmaster of Beichuan Junior High School, who lost his wife and children during the earthquake, faced the pressure of losing loved ones and rebuilding the school. He told reporters, “Linda Wong’s help over the years has given me huge support. After she arrived, I was relieved.”
“There is no shortage of caring people in China,” said Wong. “What is lacking is a charity organizer. I hope the children of Beichuan Middle School will also join in.” Linda Wong published “Love in Beichuan Students” written by Beichuan teachers and students who once witnessed the earthquake. More than 70,000 books were sold on a charity sale and donations amounted to more than 2.6 million Yuan were raised, all of which were remitted to the accounts of overseas Chinese charitable foundations and were used to aid the construction of New Beichuan Middle School.
Since 2009, Yihai Education Group and Beijing Xicheng Education Committee have selected the top teachers from 40 high school schools to teach in Beichuan Middle School. They have sent six batches together, 73 teachers in total.
“The original intention was to solve the problem of insufficient local teachers, and to bring Beijing’s high-quality educational concepts and teaching methods so that Beichuan students can continue to receive quality education for a long time,” said Wong. Reality has proved that the support led to the rapid growth of young teachers in Beichuan Middle School. Today’s Beichuan Middle School has increased from an admission rate of 1.5% in 2011 to 34.7% in 2017, and the total admission rate has increased from 75.1% to 98.2%.
As an overseas Chinese investing in the Mainland in the initial period of China’s reform and opening up, Linda Wong has been doing charity for many years and has been highly praised. She has won the “China Charity Award” and China’s “Top Ten Philanthropists” several times.
“Let every student enjoy a fair and quality education.” This is a new goal of Beichuan Middle School in the new era and is Linda Wong’s educational aspiration.