It is because of my grandmother.
My grandmother died in 2014 at the age of 94. The picture here is the village where she spent her childhood. Her education stopped only after days of schooling. Even though she couldn't write her name, she would often chant what was taught on her first day at school:"Humans were born with a kind heart." It was one of her most precious memories. I can still remember how she respected books and she would scold me if I ever trashed any paper with written words. Words were sacred to her. I will never forget that she gave me her savings for my studies at Boston University in America. And I want to do the same to help girls out of school because of poverty or gender discrimination.
Once I brought my grandmother's patch-work to a circle of art friends in Germany and they were amazed at her dexterity. It dawned on me that women in rural areas can sell their skilled handcrafts to sponsor education for their girls.
Tiengol's mission is to bring about a rebirth of traditional handcrafts with a global perspective. We commit ourselves to reciprocate the birthplaces of handcrafts by supporting their girls' education. This may eventually change their life courses.
All are welcome to join us in the journey of discovery!
—Jing Zhang, Founder of Tiengol
We take 3% out of sales and trust philanthropy organisations such as Girls' Education Initiative with our donation.
For example: 1 Euro=14 notebooks / 14 pencils for the school children in Yunnan Province, China.
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), June 14, 2000
By Jing Zhang
At eight o’clock in the morning, Cao Shuiyin, a 10-year-old girl in pigtails, walks along a huge vegetable farm on the outskirts of Beijing to attend her first-grade lessons.
The “School with a Loving Heart” is where she is going. The school name is written, in huge Chinese characters, on a red, mud-brick wall of a three-room house with a wooden roof that stands in a western corner of the farm. A ray of sunlight peeps through a broken classroom window and rests on the blackboard. No electric light can be seen.
Six rectangular tables, or rather wooden planks and iron pieces knocked together by the head teacher Yang Guimei, stand on the mud floor of one of the rooms. The school has only two teachers for its 40 pupils: Ms Yang, 40, from Zhangjiakou, 150 kilometers north of Beijing, and a woman in her early 20s. (full story)