Benjamin, a Warrant Officer of Burkina Faso Army
When I was studying in Niger a few years ago, there has been a China-aided hospital there, characterized by the best medical equipment and treatment conditions in the local area. Now in my homeland Burkina Faso, more and more people are using mobile phones and products made in China. In order to experience China’s development and changes personally, I have always longed to study in China and experience China’s development and changes.
In September 2019, I finally got my wish and came to China as an international student at the PLA Army Engineering University. I have been to some places in China in the past year, including Beijing, and witnessed the prosperity of big cities in China. Of course, there are still some places, such as remote areas in southwest and northwest China yet to develop.
In recent years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese government have proactively taken measures to help poor people improve their living conditions, including building schools and hospitals to improve local education and medical standards, and building roads to solve travel problems, which have achieved tangible results.
As a matter of fact, the eradication of poverty is a common problem for all developing countries. In Burkina Faso, the poverty rate is relatively high for the population as a whole.
In my opinion, the key to get people out of poverty is education. Take my family as an example: my father, one of the six children in his family, studied hard to get a doctoral degree and found a job in the city. But the rest of his siblings still stay in the countryside.
Education has not only changed the fate of my father but also that of my two brothers and me. In Burkina Faso, rural children have fewer learning opportunities, since their parents cannot afford to send them to school or even do not value education. In contrast, my father has insisted on sending us to schools to receive a good education. Given the opportunity to study abroad at present, I better understand why my father has always disciplined us so strictly. Only with a good education can I have a promising future.
In China, I found that people around me usually attach great importance to education and learning, which is a way to facilitate them to realize their dreams, in their opinion. We have just visited Houbiaoying Primary School in Nanjing, an ordinary elementary school in China, not long ago, and it has left a deep impression on me. All the hardware and software facilities are available herein, and the learning and teaching conditions are excellent, which is very desirable.
After the restoration of diplomatic relations between China and Burkina Faso in 2018, educational exchanges and cooperation between two countries are getting closer. There have been more opportunities for us to come to China for training and studying. As far as I know, the construction of a middle school in Burkina Faso aided by China has started. I believe that the school will significantly improve the local educational conditions once completed. Those rural children who cannot afford to go to school will also get relevant educational resources.
Furthermore, through this year’s study life abroad and the observation of poverty alleviation practices in China, I have realized that assistance alone is not enough to change the poverty situation in rural areas of Africa. What are indispensable are parental support and encouragement to children education, as well as national efforts made to improve the capabilities of teaching staff and educational facilities. Also, education and training targeting the poor are quite necessary, to equip them with better skills to guarantee and improve their living standards.
This year marks a critical year for China’s poverty alleviation. China, with a population of 1.4 billion, is bound to achieve the goal of poverty alleviation nationwide, which is sure to be an amazing miracle. After the COVID-19 epidemic, I want to visit those villages in China that have already been lifted out of poverty to explore more secrets for China’s success in fighting poverty.