Nankai University Students Promote Patriotism in Privately Sponsored Islamic School

March 21, 2005

Nankai University in Tianjin recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lanzhou Cypress Alley Educational Center for At Risk Students, agreeing to send a group of college volunteers each year to work with the Center’s young minority students. A report announcing the agreement stresses that in addition to helping youngsters in the classroom, the volunteers will show patriotic movies and host other patriotic study sessions to strengthen the minority students’ sense of patriotism, unity, and socialism.

Less than a year before the new agreement was signed, the main Chinese language Islamic Web site hailed the establishment of the non-governmental Lanzhou Cypress Alley Educational Center for At Risk Students as the sixth most important story in Islamic news for 2003. The Center was established in May 2003 by the Lanzhou Islamic Society for the Advancement of Culture and Education with funding from Oxfam in Hong Kong. Reports hailed the Center as the first non-governmental school to provide free education to young Muslim dropouts. Local media coverage was so positive, the Web site reports, that a second class of 120 students was opened, this time with sponsorship from local Islamic businesses.

The Nankai volunteer program is part of a nationwide campaign to increase exchanges between schools in the eastern Han areas and the minority populated western regions.