Planting the Seed of Hope

In April 2008, CCAI’s co-founder and President Joshua Zhong put forward a groundbreaking proposal to the Chinese government: Make higher education accessible to high school graduate orphans.

It was almost unheard of in China before 2008 that orphanage children would have the chance to receive higher education.  The very few who were lucky enough to enter and graduate from high school had no opportunity to fulfill their college dreams due to financial difficulties and the lack of community support.

Believing that orphans should enjoy the same opportunity and live a dignified life full of possibilities, Josh decided to break the ceiling by proposing and partnering with China Center of Adoption Affairs (now called CCCWA) to launch the Orphan Higher Education Fund (OHEF).  On September 27, 2008, seventeen high school graduates from ten orphanages received the grant from OHEF and entered Changsha Social Work College, the largest social work college in China.  Three years later, ALL SEVENTEEN kids successfully graduated and found their dream jobs, as counselors, social workers, orphanage managers, etc.

The success of this program not only forced the Chinese government and orphanages to re-examine their traditional mentality, but, in the end, also inspired them to see the tremendous impact orphan education would have on thousands of older orphans wandering in the orphanages across China.  In 2009, China decided to take on and expand this life-changing program.  By 2012, over 200 orphans from twenty-two provinces have graduated from college and 120 more new students have been accepted and enrolled into the 2013-14 school year!
Four years ago, CCAI and Joshua planted the seed of hope.  Today this tree of hope is growing strong.