An Interview of Pat Yang on the Occasion of her Award for “Person influencing China in 2012”

by Dong Qian, CCTV hostess

In the Award Ceremony of China Newsweek’s “Person influencing China in 2012”, the hostess Don Qian has a dialogue with Pat Yang. The following are the dialogue between the Dong Qian (CCTV presenters) and Pat Yang

Dong Qian: I heard that you have supported the cause of help rural girls to attend and finish school and appeal the "closing and merging the school policy", so can you tell us what sustains your insistence on this cause for so many years?

Pat Yang: At the beginning (initially), the people who involved in Zigen, include me, were oversea Chinese. We have a natural cultural identification to and profound feeling for China. Later, because of Zigen, we carried out the projects in many remote poor areas, we established a long-time contact with local people, and built a good friendship with them. Moreover, the projects of Zigen really gave the support to many girls for their schooling, and now they become the main force in their family and community. Zigen also support the schools and villages, of course they have a lot of obvious improvement. All of these are inspiring for us to continue.

Dong Qian: For so many years in doing so many things, you must have paid a lot?

Pat Yang: Actually, I don't think I have paid too much, instead, I gained more. I majored in international education, so Zigen gave me the chance to know more about China's education, and also because of Zigen, I had the opportunity to know a lot of friends in US, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China’s mainland and the rest of countries of the world.

About "The closing and merging school policy", I want to add some more. In March 2012, The proposals made by the deputy of the People's Congress, Hu Weiwu had made a difference. Special thanks to Chen Wei, the journalist of the "Newsweek" who went to the project site that supported by Zigen, Shilou County, Shanxi Province, finished 10-day survey interviewing, wrote three articles to report, and made a great impact. Because of the doubts and concern came from the all sectors of the society, the government is also fully aware of the problems of closing and merging schools, and that is why the General Office of the State Council promulgated "The Opinion of the General Office of the State Council on Regulating the Adjustment of Distribution of the Rural Compulsory Education Schools " on September 6th .

Dong Qian: Let us once again have a warm applause to Pat Yang. Although there is not much flashlight on her, She, as the "public interest defender", the trophy is full of content.