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the story

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A little known fact of life in China came to light when the diary of a 14-year-old peasant girl made it from a remote town in rural China made it to the bestseller lists in France. The book, which has now been published in 16 countries around the world, tells the story of a young girl who is desperate to stay in school, despite the problem of sky-high school fees, which her parents can not afford.

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15 novembre 2005 2 15 /11 /novembre /2005 00:00
Laurent Parzy is the captain of the team "Children of Ningxia" which ran in Hong Kong's Trailwalker race this year. He explains why he decided to run for the second consecutive year in this gruelling race aimed at supporting humanitarian causes.

"I am a Science teacher at the French International School and I was introduced to the actions of the association “ Les enfants du Ningxia” by my colleague Anne-Marie Bordas.
The story of this association starts just like a marvelous fairy tale for children. “Once upon a time….” a young girl called Ma Yan was living in the village of the isolated province of Ningxia in the north of China.  Her family was very poor and could not afford to pay her school fees. Ma Yan wanted to study because she knew that education is the only thing that can help her out of her misery. She had written all her rebellious thoughts in her notebook. Her words were first read by a French journalist Pierre Haski who then made her story known to the whole world.  He edited Ma Yan’s Diary and many volunteer workers came to his help to set up the association “Les Enfants du Ningxia” and the funds started to arrive…
Now, Ma Yan continues her studies and hundreds of children of her region can go to school or college.  Thanks to the association, their living condition and their schooling facilities are improving every day.
This story is so beautiful and cannot leave any teacher or parent indifferent.  My daughter and my son have participated in a trip with their classes to Ningxia in 2004 and 2005 respectively.  These yearly trips were organized by their school.  They met Ma Yan; and they brought with them stationeries, clothes and money for the children in the region.  Those were trips to exchange, to discover and to share that had opened the conscience and spirits of the young learners as witnessed in the articles by the students.
Last year, I have accepted to commit to the Trailwalker race under the name of “Enfants du Ningxia” with 3 other colleagues and parents.  This race of 100 Km is organized by Oxfam each year to raise funds to finance humanitarian actions all over the world.  Our team “Enfants du Ningxia” has brilliantly finished the Trail in less than 24 hours, thanks to a magnificent moral, human and material support.
I have decided to renew my participation this year under the same colours of “Enfants du Ningxia” with a new team.  My 3 other teammates are: Regis Jouan, Sebastien Hesri and Frederic Thierry d’Argenlieu.  Our objective this year is the finish the 100 Km race in less than 20 hours and to raise as much funds as possible.
We will start our race from Sai Kung country park this Friday, November 11 at 11:00am and our team will bear the number 459.
Laurent Parzy
Captaine of team “Enfants du Ningxia”



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