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"Bank of China Loving Care Primary School" in Qingchuan County Put into Service


2009-09-10

A primary school in the mountainous area of Qingchuan County was severely damaged by the devastating Wenchuan earthquake more than one year ago. Now, a new school, resistant to earthquakes of magnitude eight and doubled in size, is put into service, putting an end to one year of study in plank houses of hundreds of pupils.

The new primary school, located in Jinzishan Township, Qingchuan County of Sichuan Province, is named Jinzishan Bank of China Loving Care Primary School. By a unique "loving care deposit" activity, Bank of China has attracted more than a hundred depositors in Zhejiang to donate their interest of mature deposits since last year. With a total raised fund of RMB 10 million, Bank of China Zhejiang Branch and the Hangzhou Charity Federation jointly built the modern primary school in the mountainous area of Sichuan, over 2,000 kilometers away from Hangzhou, providing a new study environment for hundreds of pupils who lost their school due to the earthquake.

Modern Love Caring Primary School

It is on August 31 when the Jinzishan Bank of China Loving Care Primary School is put into use and a new semester begins.

With a sense of mission, Wang Guangshu, a student of Grade six and also the ribbon-cutting assistant, arrives at the school early in the morning to practice holding the tray steadily.

He would rather talk about the facilities and tools which he has never seen before than recall what happened on May 12 last year.

"I like the new playground most," Wang Guangshu says, "it is soft, better than the old one, and we don't worry about hurting our feet or falling down when running on it." In fact, the synthetic tracks and the playground are commonly seen in urban areas but rarely in mountainous areas.

Another fresh thing to Wang Guangshu is the specially designed toilet pan in the toilet of the new school. Different from other toilet pans, this one has handrails made of stainless steel tubes on both sides, which puzzles him, "Is it for teachers only?" Later, he knows from the teacher during their visit around the school that it is specially designed for the disabled. The state requires the re-constructed building in the earthquake-stricken area to be equipped with accessible sanitary facilities for the convenience of the disabled.

The new primary school fully exhibits the good construction quality, high designing standards and humanistic requirements of facilities, such as synthetic tracks and accessible toilets.

It is said that the primary school, completed in only one year, is the first one putting into use among Hangzhou-aided schools.

The representative of Zhejiang Branch says at the opening ceremony, "The primary school is the condensation of Zhejiang people's love, Bank of China staff's hope and builders' painstaking efforts. We hope that you forget the pains and the grief, and advance bravely and grow up healthily."

A Sense of Social Responsibility of the Bank

While going back to the new school, Wang Guangshu and his classmates know that Bank of China contributes much to the rapid establishment of it.

A devastating earthquake struck Wenchuan on May 12, 2008. After the earthquake, the branches of Bank of China both at home and abroad as well as their staff donated over RMB 150 million of money and materials, of which Zhejiang Branch raised RMB 1,223,300 through charity organizations, RMB 3.826 million from its staff, and RMB 1.96 million from its Communist Party members in the form of special Party member dues.

However, the donation had little effect on relief of the heavy loss. Bank of China launched a unique "loving care deposit" activity to assist the children in earthquake-stricken areas in returning to school and provide a platform for people to donate more.

Zhejiang Branch and Hangzhou Charity Federation jointly launched the "loving care deposit" activity in June 2008 throughout the province. By combining deposit with charity, more warmhearted customers would directly donate for re-construction of schools in the earthquake-stricken areas at the time of selecting a corresponding product at Bank of China.

The "loving care deposit" is an activity where depositors donate their interest on time deposits to the charity. Upon maturity of a one-year time deposit, the depositor only withdraws the principal, while the interest is transferred to a specified account automatically, which will be donated by Bank of China to the Hangzhou Charity Federation for re-construction of "loving care schools". Similarly, another channel for cash donation was also provided.

The "loving care deposit" activity provides a reliable, direct and effective platform for more people to donate to the children in the earthquake-hit areas.

With great support from Bank of China customers since its launch, the activity, by the end of August, has raised RMB 10 million in total, including an interest donation of about RMB 7.5 million, up to RMB 180 million of deposits involved, and a cash donation of approximately RMB 2 million.

At last, Bank of China Zhejiang Branch came into an agreement with the Education Bureau of Qingchuan County through the Hangzhou Charity Federation that all the money raised would be used to re-construct the primary school of Jinzishan Township. In other words, the Jinzishan Bank of China Loving Care Primary School was constructed solely with the money raised by the branch via the "loving care deposit" activity.

"The primary school is an outcome of Bank of China actively fulfilling its social responsibility." said Li Chaodong, the secretary general of the Hangzhou Charity Federation.

Generous Business Owners and Excited Children

"In fact, Zhejiang Branch only serves as a platform for more warmhearted people to give donation effectively." A staff of the branch said, "those who generously donate for the re-construction of the school are the source of the activity."

Most of depositors participated in the "loving care deposit" activity are business owners from Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou and Taizhou. These business owners actively contributed when knowing the details of the activity, especially for the purpose of a loving care school. It is reported that the maximum amount of single deposit was up to RMB 2.15 million, which meant an interest donation of nearly RMB 90,000 as per the 4.14% interest rate of one-year deposits of September 2008. In addition, the maximum amount of a single cash donation hit RMB 80,000 in the activity.

At the opening ceremony on August 31, Mr. Yang, the representative of loving care depositors, together with another depositor, presents a Yamaha digital piano to the school. The depositors bought it in a department store of Chengdu upon getting off the airplane the day before. Yang also encouraged his son to donate his lucky money in the "loving care deposit" activity.

Thanks to the generous donators like Mr. Yang, a modern primary school was set up in only one year in the remote, earthquake-hit mountainous area.

After the opening ceremony, excited pupils rushed into their classrooms for their own seats, just like finding a long-lost treasure. "Our school is as beautiful as those in Hangzhou!" Laughter came out of classrooms from time to time.

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