Man in Western China devotes his life to improving rural education

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Yalqun Osman and his projects have earned numerous awards since he decided to devote himself to helping kids in the Xinjiang countryside ten years ago. Yalqun’s past life was as a staff member at the Urumqi customs, at which time he had no idea of the meaning of charitable work. After he had a few chances to volunteer in local schools, the gratification he felt was so great that it kept him continuing to look for opportunities to give more. Now Yalqun has been involved in more than 30 projects and set up a fund under the Hongshi Foundation to improve education in Xinjiang.

Due to historical and geographical reasons, Xinjiang remains underdeveloped and educational resources are lacking. Most parents don’t value education as it doesn’t guarantee a good job. These factors have formed a vicious cycle, keeping the schools old and under-equipped. Yalqun is determined to change this and has set foot in countless schools in Guangxi, Gansu, Yunnan, and Henan. He has a pledge to visit schools in the countryside belonging to each of China’s 56 nationalities, and claims to have achieved 70% of the goal.

Yalqun takes a lot of pictures when spending time in the countryside with kids. These pictures not only satisfy his passion for photography but have also attracted attention as well as resources from Chinese foundations to support his projects. When Yalqun is not the photographer, he is in the pictures – with a kid in each arm.