Hope: Adherence, Support and Relay --- Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xianfa at the 2nd Award Ceremony of the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship

Deputy Vice Chancellor Muturo,

Deputy Vice Chancellor Mubeche,

Students and Faculty of University of Nairobi,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen and Young Friends,


It is a great pleasure to be here today at the2nd award ceremony of the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship. Last year, the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, in collaboration with the University of Nairobi, established this annual program, the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship. Eighteen excellent students from family with financial challenge were awarded the Scholarship. This year, another twenty outstanding students are to be granted with the Scholarship.


First of all, please allow me to extend my warm congratulations to all the recipients and many thanks to all the applicants of the scholarship. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the faculty and administration of the University of Nairobi for their contribution to this program.


Although I have been serving as the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya for merely 9 months, I have been to this beautiful campus for four times. This is not only because the University of Nairobi is the incubator of academic achievements and the cradle of brilliant talents, which is well-known in both Africa and the world, because Vice Chancellor Prof. Magoha, Deputy Vice Chancellor Muturo and Deputy Vice Chancellor Mubeche are my good friends. Most importantly, it is because that whenever I am here, I can deeply feel the energy, vigor and vitality of the young students. From you, my young friends, I can see the hope and future of Kenya, of Africa, as well as of the China-Africa friendship and cooperation. So today, let me share with you some ideas about Hope.


Ladies and gentlemen, dear young friends,


Twelve years ago, a young Chinese girl called Zhou Biaoliang, lived in the poverty-stricken area in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, southwest of China. Being a middle-school student, she is with dream and hope, just like you. Unfortunately, her house was completely destroyed by fire, and the family was suddenly thrown into serious financial difficulties. The girl, Zhou Biaoliang was forced to quit school. But one day, her teacher came and told her that she could go back to school, because she was selected on the beneficiary list of "Project Hope" and the fund she received came from the donation of the former Chinese State Leader Deng Xiaoping.


Project Hope is a public benefit program in China. It was launched 25 years ago to assist school dropouts due to poverty to continue their studies. Since its startup, Project Hope has raised over tens of billions yuan, set up around 20 thousand Project Hope Schools and assisted a total of 5 million poor students. It is with the help of Project Hope that Zhou was able to continue her studies and receive her bachelor degree. She has always been steadfast to her dream and hope. After graduation from university, Zhou chose to go back to her hometown to be a teacher. Now she is already a principal of the Hope Project School.


Another story happened just next to you. Ruth Njeri, a Kenyan girl, was one of the first undergraduates of the Confucius Institute in the University of Nairobi in 2005. She loves Chinese culture so much and has always had the dream and hope of becoming an envoy of China-Kenya cultural exchanges. She studied very hard and finally was granted the Confucius Institute Scholarship by the Chinese Government.


With the scholarship, she got her bachelor degree in Chinese language and master degree in international politics from Tianjin Normal University. She got the chance to take part twice in the Spring Festival Gala Show by the Chinese Central Television, the most influential TV program in China. Hundreds of Millions of Chinese audiences get to know her through the show and become familiar with Kenya. She is now a celebrity in China, known as the "Jasmine Flower of Africa". Probably, many Chinese don't know who the Chinese Ambassador to Kenya is, but they all know Ruth, the lovely Kenyan girl.


After graduation, Ruth decided to dedicate herself to China-Africa cultural exchanges and bring the knowledge she learnt in China to Kenya. Now, she is with you as a formal Chinese teacher at the Confucius Institute in the University of Nairobi.


Ladies and gentlemen, dear young friends,


The above mentioned two stories are both about hope. From them, we can see that hope needs to be adhered to, needs to be supported and needs to be relayed.


----We should adhere to our hope. Young people should firmly believe that you are the hope of your family and your nation. The seed of hope can only sprout in the soil of hard working. The University of Nairobi has gathered lots of young talents, nurturing a favorable environment for study and research. Being a student at the University, you are already the proud of the family and the times. Nevertheless, you should keep working hard to become one of the elites that promote and lead the advancement of the society.


There was a saying that a nation will be prosperous if its young generation is ambitious and reliable. As long as you are steadfast, optimistic and hard-working with a vision, you will become a pillar of the society and contribute to the development and progress of Kenya, the realization of Vision 2030 and the prosperity and revitalization of Africa.


----We should support young people's hope. In your pursuance of national and personal hope and dream, we are obliged to help within our capacity. China and Kenya are good friends, good partners and good brothers. We respect, understand and support each other in the course of peace and development to jointly achieve national hope and dream. The exchanges and cooperation in education between the two countries has brought new hope for the future of the two countries.


Each year, Chinese government provides over 500 government scholarships and high-level training opportunities. We have established 3 Confucius Institute and 1 Confucius Class in Kenya and the 4th one is to be launched soon in the University of Moi. As Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, I would like to become a sincere friend of Kenyan youth and create more opportunities for young people of the two countries to strengthen friendship and enhance mutual exchanges and learning. I would also like to help light up your hope and illuminate your way forward. This is also the initial purpose of the Chinese Ambassador Scholarship.


----We should relay the hope. The common place of the stories of Zhou Biaoliang and Ruth Njeri is that after receiving assistance, they, in their respective way, help others to realize hopes and dreams."The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose."I encourage you to fully exemplify your value by helping others to change their life and gain development with your knowledge, your capability and your mind.


The strength of individual is obviously very limited. However, the combined efforts of thousands and millions of people can turn into magnificent momentum for national development and social advancement. This is the expectation and hope from me, a diplomat from China and a friend of Kenya.


Thank you and Asante Sana!

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