by Han Qian
PARIS, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Josette Zoulim is a 78-year-old volunteer from Colors of China, a French non-governmental charity. She has been helping ethnic minority students from impoverished regions in China since 2006.
The first Chinese student sponsored by Zoulim was a girl from the mountainous Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China. She communicated with the girl through handwritten letters, the only way to keep in touch at that time.
Zoulim met with the girl in 2010 for the first time. After arriving in Guangxi, she paid 100 yuan (about 15 U.S. dollars then) for a bumpy ride by motorcycle through rocky roads for an hour and a half before finally arriving at the girl's school.
Meeting with the Chinese girl, the first thing Zoulim did was to give her the latest handwritten letter in person. "It was very moving, we were both very excited."
"Now she is already a young girl studying in a vocational school," Zoulim said proudly while gazing at the girl's photo in her hands.
Colors of China was founded in 1990 by French philanthropist Francoise Grenot-Wang, who worked as a translator for Doctors without Borders in Guangxi. Over the years, the charity has helped roughly 12,000 children in ethnic minority areas in Guangxi and Guizhou.
Nowadays, the charity has about 2,000 individual sponsors and 30 enterprise sponsors registered, and has bureaus in France, Switzerland and Belgium.
In order to facilitate the communication between sponsors and the students, Zoulim attentively maintains an archive that records over 100 students' basic information including names, ages, photos and schools.
With the help of internet, She even searched out many zip codes of Chinese rural villages in which the students live in order to facilitate the delivery of the letters from all western sponsors to the Chinese students.
Zoulim said she has always cherished her memories with the students. Up to date she keeps several photo albums and journals of all the moments she has spent with those Chinese students.
Zoulim told Xinhua about a Chinese girl who donate her first income to Colors of China. With charity sponsorship, the girl has obtained a diploma in Beijing Foreign Studies University.
From a donatory to a donator, the girl wants to help more children who have the same experience as hers, said Zoulim, adding that with help and love, they might have an even better future.