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Founded in 1998 by Françoise Grenot-Wang, the not-for-profit association Couleurs de Chine supports the building of schools, dormitory blocks and annexes in the Great Miao mountains of southern China, promoting access to school education for girls, and working to preserve local traditions.
Life in the remote villages of the Great Miao Mountains is hard, with only basic amenities and rudimentary living standards. Local farmers struggle with poverty and illiteracy, and while enrolment at school is free, the financial sacrifices involved in education are too much for many families. Inevitably, girls are often the first to have to leave school and devote themselves to domestic tasks.
With support from Couleurs de Chine, 3,580 children (especially girls) in the region have been able to complete their primary studies. 1,080 girls have moved on to junior school, 296 to senior school, and 91 entered university in 2010.
The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès provides sustained support for the association's work to promote universal education as the key to autonomy and freedom of choice. Couleurs de Chine also supports the building and refurbishment of schools, and the purchase of school furniture and materials. Complementing its educational activities, the association helps preserve local Dong culture by renovating or building traditional drum towers, encouraging traditional costume, and forming music and dance troupes in schools. Couleurs de Chine also promotes greater self-determination for local people, for example by encouraging future university graduates to return to the region and establish local businesses.
Annual support since 2008
President: Philippe Marescaux
Vice President: Jean-Paul Lajoinie
Treasurer: Maurice Brossaud
Secretary: Béatrice Reinhold
Swiss representative: Roselyne Kohn
Belgian representative: Jean-Pierre Gaullet
Webmaster: Pascal Buch