Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 17

Kicking up a stink! Angry parents stage ridiculous protest by dumping RUBBISH outside the primary school that rejected children after they failed its entrance exam

•Rubbish was piled outside Sida Foreign Language School in Henan, China

• Waste was left by parents of children who failed school's entrance exam

• Sanitation workers have refused to move rubbish until dispute is resolved

By Poppy Danby

Failure was not an option for a group of parents whose children got rejected from school.

On July 18, the angry parents dumped piles of rubbish in protest outside Sida Foreign Language School in central China's Henan province.

According to People's Daily Online, the smell was so strong that passersby had to cover their mouth and nose in order to walk past.

Dirty protest: The rubbish that parents left outside the Side Foreign Language School disgusted passersby

However, the rubbish shows no sign of moving, as sanitation workers have refused to touch the waste until the dispute between residents and the school has been resolved.

The uproar began after a number of children failed the school's entrance exam and were rejected by the admissions office.

Rather than taking the news gracefully, the children's parents sought revenge - and not for the first time.

Just three days earlier, on July 15, parents locked the school gates.

Full story at The Daily Mail Online (July 2015)

Hard work and determination DOES pay off! Nine-year-old Filipino pictured studying in the light of a McDonald's is swamped with donations after the picture goes viral

•Daniel Cabrera, 9, now has a college scholarship from the donations

• His mother and sibling have also received lifechanging financial support

•The young student only has one pencil and dreams of becoming a doctor or a policeman when he is older

By Tom Wyke

A photo posted online and shared hundreds of times has changed the lives of a young boy and his family in the Philippines.

Daniel Cabrera, 9, was photographed by 20-years-old medical technology student Joyce Torrefranca, after she spotted him studying in the light of a restaurant on the streets in the Philippines.

Since it was posted online, the photo of the young boy has gone viral, leading to a huge number of donations for Daniel and his family.

A lighting light: The young boy has been identified as nine-year-old Daniel Cabrera, a student in Mandaue city

Inspirational: Daniel lives with his mother and younger brother in a food stall without any walls

Daniel will now be able to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor or a policeman after people from around the world fundraised an education scholarship to take him all the way through college.

As well as securing financial support, the family received cash and other school supplies.

Daniel, 9, is at a Grade 3 elementary school student in Mandaue City. Before the photo, he only had a single pencil after one of his fellow students stole his second pencil from him.

In an interview with AFP, Daniel's mother, Christina Espinoza, said: 'We're overjoyed. I don't know what I will do with all of these blessings. Now, Daniel will not have to suffer just to finish his studies.'

Daniel lives with his two young sibling and his mother in her employer's small, wall less food stall after his father died in prison and their old home burnt down five years ago.

His mother said she earned just 80 pesos ($1.77) a day, working as the stall owner's domestic helper. In order to help provide for her children, Ms Espinoza also sells cigarettes and sweets on the streets in Mandaue.

Joyce Torrefranca saw the young boy and felt so touched by his efforts, she took a quick photograph of him

Speaking about her son Daniel, Ms Espinoza praised his tenacity and sheer determination.

'He is a very studious and determined boy... he would insist on going to school even without his lunch money because I have no money to give,' Espinosa said.

Despite the difficult conditions, Daniel is committed to his studies and whilst his classmates are playing football in the streets, he is often spotted studying in the light of the restaurant.

Ms Espinoza said: 'He always tells me: 'Mama, I don't want to stay poor. I want to reach my dreams'.'

Full story at The Daily Mail Online (July 2015)

Donations pour in to help girl whose sad story moved netizens

Mukuyiwumu [Photo/West China Metropolis Daily]

A 12-year-old girl whose heartbreaking essay about her tragic loss of both parents went viral on the Internet has got help from the local government, a charity organization and thousands of netizens and said she is not afraid of the hardship she faces, West China Metropolis Daily reported Wednesday.

The girl, named Mukuyiwumu (Liu Yi as pen name), is a fourth grade student in a poor village in Meigu county of Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture in Sichuan province. She now lives with her paternal grandmother after her father died of illness in 2010 and her mother died of a heart attack in 2014.

In her essay written in class in June, she described her mother's poor health and death in a moving way. "My textbook said there is a place called Sun Moon Lake (in Taiwan), that's formed with tears I shed for missing my mom," read the essay.

The hashtag #the saddest essay written by a primary school pupil# became a hot topic on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like social networking site, on Tuesday. It was read by more than five million people by Tuesday afternoon. Many netizens forwarded the story prefaced with "tears".

The sad story also caused a stir among our readers. A reader with with the user name "chinaright" wrote Wednesday: "What would happen to this orphan now? Will she be sent to an orphanage?"

Donations flooded in after the story spread online and by Wednesday noon, the Sichuan branch of had received about 430,000 yuan ($70,000) for its charity program called "Help Children in Liangshan Mountains". Donations via various online channels amounted to 920,000 yuan, according to

Shy as she is, the girl from the Yi ethnic group is optimistic, strong and audacious. "I have no fear," she told the newspaper on Tuesday in a telephone interview when asked about living alone at night with a younger female cousin without any adult in a shabby house made of brick and cement. Her grandmother does not stay with them at night.

She likes painting and is good at writing, said Wang Zhaoxin, a volunteer teacher in her school, adding that she studies hard and ranks above average in her class.

She lives in poverty since her parents died but the situation has improved after July 19 when a local foundation called Azalea helped arrange free boarding and learning at a primary school in Xichang for her two younger brothers, one aged 5 and the other aged 10. Before that she had to take the 5-year-old brother with her when she went to school in the day. She also has an elder sister, aged 16, and an elder brother, aged 15, both of whom work in plants in more developed areas.

Being orphans, the siblings get about 600 yuan ($96) each in monthly allowance from the local government, said Huang Hongbin, head of the foundation. And the prefecture government confirmed Wednesday evening that the family gets 3,390 yuan every month in subsidies, 678 yuan for each orphan. The allowance is collected by their grandmother. The government also said the girl's essay was improved by her teacher.

Full story at China Daily (August 2015)

Winds of change sweep universities, student life

By Choi He-suk

Like almost everything else in Korea, universities here have seen dramatic changes over the past few decades.

In the years immediately following the 1950-1953 Korean War, universities were home to the offspring of the few who could afford higher education for their children.

As the country’s economy grew, university education became more widely available and the universities became the breeding grounds for diverse aspects of society, from democracy movements and political ideologies to popular culture.

Kyung Hee University

But in the more recent years, university campuses have come more closely to resemble construction sites.

With the government introducing categories concerning facilities in assessing institutions of higher education, many universities have taken to packing as many buildings as possible in to their grounds.

As twentysomethings have gained more spending power, some universities have rented space within their grounds for commercial establishments such as cafes and convenience stores.

Such implementations have sparked debate over whether commercial facilities are there for the students, or to help the universities make more money.

Yonsei University

The biggest changes, however, may be those visible in the students.

Once, university students were the driving force behind social change, and universities were the epicenter of democracy movements.

It was not long ago that university campuses and surrounding areas were enshrouded in tear gas the police deployed to bring demonstrations under control. Chiefs of student bodies were often wanted by the authorities for actions against dictatorial governments; some spent months hiding at religious facilities.

These days, students are more concerned about their so-called “specs” -- or specifications, like qualifications and certificates deemed desirable by potential employers -- than social issues.

Full story at The Korea Herald (August 2015)