Dictated by Ms. Shao Peizhen and interviewed by Pat Kwei-Ping Yang

I was originally a table tennis player and a coach in China. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Huang Rubin after coming to the United States. Mr. Huang was a real estate developer in New York and established the Huang Rubin Foundation with his life savings. The foundation was registered in New York in 1999 and its purpose was to provide education to children in underdeveloped rural areas of China, as Mr. Huang believed that education played a crucial role. Mr. Huang had great feelings for China because during the Second Sino-Japanese War, he was hired as an English teacher at Zhongshan Middle School when Sun Zhognshan’s son Sun Ke was the principal in Guangzhou. He later returned to the United States to study and was not able to go back to China after the diplomatic relations break-up between China and the United States. Therefore he had this wish in his life to donate 90% of his savings from life-long hard working.

Mr. Huang was very thrifty. He normally preferred cooking by himself rather than eating out. After the meal, he would use the hot water to rinse the bowl and drank it, leaving no waste. He seldom bought any clothes during the thirteen years since I knew him. I often joked with him and said, “I don’t believe you will leave the property to donate.” I remember very well about the day I accompanied him to the law firm at the World Trade Center back in 1999. The building was very big and it was a long walk for Mr. Huang, a 83-year-old man with a cane. On that day we signed the agreement. I did not manage the actual operation of the Huang Rubin Foundation until Mr. Huang passed away on February 5, 2000, and the focus was on rural education.

I was born in Shanghai in 1949 and was well educated. I felt very fortunate as the education I received while growing up in China was to serve the people. Although not as wealthy as it is now, people back then were very pure and honest, helping, trusting and loving each other. I was also fortunate to meet Mr. Dong Xulin, husband of Ms. Pat Kwei Ping Yang, as well as some other patriotic people from United Nations who participated in the movement to defend the Diaoyu Islands. As proposed by them, I started to get in contact with a group of selfless and dedicated people at Zigen Foundation and later came into contact with Ms. Yang. Ms. Yang received good education with her own education philosophy – started from the fundamental financial aid in rural education and then slowly escalated to today’s focus on rural teacher training and development. Similarly, our Huang Rubin Foundation also gradually switched our focus from one-on-one grant to the whole ecosystem of education and development. This has been a good collaboration and I personally have learned and improved a lot.

In 2003, we went to Leishan in Guizhou Province. We were impressed by the achievements of Zigen’s work at first sight. There was a pure and heart warm feeling when we got in touch with the local staff. Fifteen years has passed by. When I arrived in Leishan, my first impression was the beautiful landscape with rivers and mountains. We climbed the mountain from Kaili and stayed in a village in Leishan for one night. Local people were very nice to us.

Later I went to Mount Huaguo in Qinglong, Hebei Province and was equally impressed. Zigen was deeply rooted in the local community and well blended in the education in Qinglong. I also visited the Dasendian and Mazhangzi primary schools. A school as small as Mazhangzi Primary School was managed to avoid the merge due to Zigen’s efforts and huge influence. The campus was very clean, and it also developed a school newspaper, with many more development opportunities.

As to Huang Rubin Foundation, we were very diligent in managing his property and tried our best to make full use of the precious funding. Every year we donate to Zigen focusing on Green Eco Schools and teacher training, in education which is truly needed while hoping to support Ms. Yang to fulfill her desire for so many years. What we could help is only the donation, and the execution still relies on local staff of Zigen, whom I admire very much. They are all well educated and devote themselves to rural education with a modest salary. It is not easy at all, and I am very grateful for their contribution.

Very delighted to see that education in poor rural areas has improved a lot and getting better. Huang Rubin is not a big consortium though I believe the contribution is meaningful. I will do my best to manage the foundation, donate more money and keep the good work we have been doing.

Translated by Ruby Zhao, working and living in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. She has been a volunteer for Zigen since 2010.

2017年4月,邵培珍女士(左一)参加在北京师范大学举办的“共创可持续发展的乡村:教师培训”  
Ms. Shao Peizhen (first from the left) participated in the “Creating A Sustainable Village: Teacher Training” held at Beijing Normal University in April 2017

采访黄汝斌基金会邵培珍女士

杨老师采访邵老师口述

我本身是一个乒乓球运动员,在中国当教练,来美国后有机会认识黄汝斌先生。他是纽约一个做房地产的,把自己一生的积蓄投资于房地产,然后再留下所有的财产成立黄汝斌基金会。这个基金会是1999年在纽约注册的,它的宗旨是帮助中国贫困地区的孩子受教育。黄先生觉得教育是非常重要的,他对中国本身来说有非常大的感情,因为在抗日战争时期,他在广东、深圳、上海中学里面教英文,然后又回到美国读书,中美断交以后,他就回不去了,所以他一生有这个愿望,从他辛苦一生艰苦奋斗、勤俭节约累积的财产中拿出百分之九十捐出来。

黄先生非常地节省,他自己也会煮一些饭,基本上不到外面餐馆吃,吃完后会再用水把碗烫一下再喝掉,不剩下一粒米。我接触他十三年中间他也从没买过什么衣服,都是以前的。我常常跟他开玩笑说“我才不相信你会把财产留下来捐掉“。我记得很清楚,1999年陪他到当时的世贸中心的律师楼,我陪他一起走上去,里面很大,走了很久很久,他拿着拐杖走上去,那时候他已经83岁了,走上去以后签了约。黄汝斌基金会真正的运转是在2000年2月5日他去世以后,由我管理这个基金会。基金会运转以后,开始做农村教育工作。

我是49年在上海出生的,受的是非常好的教育。我觉得自己很幸运,我在中国成长的过程中间接受的教育是为人民服务,人与人之间非常地纯洁、互相帮助、互相关爱信任,虽然没有现在那么富裕。很有幸在联合国教乒乓球的时候认识了杨老师的先生董叙霖,然后也接触到联合国一批参与过保钓的人士,都是非常爱国的,他们向我提议了滋根,接触滋根基金会一批热衷于无私奉献、回馈祖国的人士,后来接触到杨贵平老师。杨老师本人非常纯朴,受过高等教育,又有教育理念,她在农村教育工作当中从一开始做最基层的助学金,然后慢慢提升到今天对中国农村教师培训的重视。我们黄汝斌基金会也慢慢从一个对一个地资助助学金能够更多参与到乡村教育与乡村发展的培训,我觉得这是一个很好的合作,我从中提升自己,也学到很多。

2003年我们去了贵州雷山,从第一站开始就看到滋根所耕耘的一些成果,接触到一批当地工作人员,就觉得有一种感情,这种感情很朴实,基本上已经是15年了。当年去贵州雷山的时候,首先给我一个印象就是雷山风水很好,大好河山。我们从凯里过来爬山过去,接触到当地的农民都是非常的朴实,在雷山的一个村寨住过一个晚上,我就觉得这是非常纯朴的一种乡村,给我的印象非常好。

后来到了河北青龙去了花果山,也是给我一个非常好的印象,青龙的教育跟滋根有一种打成一片了的感觉,滋根在当地扎根也很深。还去了大森店、马杖子小学。马杖子小学那么小小的一个学校,(因为滋根的努力)它没有并校,校园环境搞得很干净,还办成自己的报纸,它有很多发展的能力和空间。滋根的影响力是非常大的。

对于基金会,黄老先生的这个钱很不容易,我们也是根据他这种勤俭的精神,对他的财产的管理也是非常地节省,尽量能够让他这个钱多做一点捐款工作,把它管得好好的。现在我们希望每年这个钱真正地用到教育上面,对滋根的捐款基本上集中在绿色生态文明学校、教师培训,也希望能够支持杨老师,能够实现她那么多年的愿望。我们只是捐款,很多事情还是要靠滋根当地的员工。我对他们也是非常地敬佩,他们都是受过高等教育,拿着微薄的薪水做农村教育,我觉得很不容易,所以也非常感谢他们。

贫困农村的教育改变很多,乡村的情况也提升很多。黄汝斌并非一个很大的财团,管理基金会我希望钱能够生钱,钱能够捐出去,又可以保持我们一直做下去。

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