Project Background. Visits to our sponsored children’s rural homes, villages, and schools made us aware of their very basic living and educational environments. Most books and educational aids were either old or non-existent. Discussions with headmasters and local educational officials revealed that little to no funding was available to the schools for library books. We established that RMB 20, 000 would purchase a large selection of curriculum supporting reference and library books. We also found it would be most appropriate and cost effective if the headmasters selected and purchased the books needed on credit with a regional supplier. Heart to Heart would then pay the supplier.
School Selection. Before a school is selected for this project, H2H must receive the RMB 20,000 donation. The required RMB 20,000 can be from a single sponsor or a combination of donations of lesser amounts. We rely on the same agencies that source needy children for our congenital heart surgery sponsorship project to investigate which schools are in most need of school library books. These agencies are asked to visit with the schools to investigate their needs and to provide Heart to Heart with full information on the poverty level of the schools.
Heart to Heart Audit. H2H checks to make sure the RMB 20,000 donation is correctly spent on school library books, computers, or shelving needed for the library. To do this we combine our quarterly provincial sponsored children visits with library books presentation ceremonies. Generally, the books are purchased just before our visit …and the supplier is on hand ready to receive payment. H2H requires that we receive a manifest of all purchases and a full receipt (fapiao) before we hand over the cash for payment. We also ask that all purchases be available for our spot check audit.
Library Book Sponsors: Reports. When a sponsor makes a payment to H2H, the sponsor is given an approximate date that their donation will be used. At this time the name of the school is not available. Once the selection procedure has been finalised and dates confirmed for our visit, the sponsor is advised of the name and the location of the school selected for their sponsorship. The sponsor is invited to accompany us on our field trip to visit the school and to take part in the presentation ceremony. During the presentation ceremony, the school is presented with a bookplate stamp bearing the library books’ sponsor’s name.
Once the field trip has been completed, the library book sponsorship record is finalized. A copy of this report along with a copy of the paid invoice (if required) is given to the sponsor. The report has the full contact details for the school along with an observer’s report as to its condition and needs. Should the sponsor wish to give the school further support we encourage them to do so and can provide contact details of the local support agencies that may be of assistance.
As of January 2018 H2H has sponsored and/or facilitated the sponsorship of 122 rural school libraries.