1. May the children stay away from violence and realize their dreams
2. Children are hopes of a nation
3. Panda is a best friend of Afghan children
4. If there is anything to be impoverished, it's not education; if there is any person to suffer, it's not child
5. The Belt and Road Initiative let the Afghan and Chinese children's dream fly
Last week, I was invited to attend the opening ceremony of the kindergarten of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan. I was glad attending this event, because I feel energetic and young staying with the children, also because I am a father. My little son is the same as the boys in the kindergarten, lovely and naughty.
Children are treasures for their parents and their families. More importantly, they are the future of their country and nation. Helping the children is the greatest goodness, while harming the children is the utmost badness. Every time I heard of the casualties of the Afghan children in violence, my heart bled. As a father, I could share my Afghan friends’ feeling, hope the children could go to school and back home safely and could be safe, happy, and healthy both physically and mentally at school. It won’t be long for children to play without annoyance. When they grow up and get married, they will leave their parents and have their own families. So, we should cherish the time when we can accompany our children, and try our best to create a good and peaceful environment for the children's studying and living.
All parents of the children in the kindergarten are diplomats, and also my colleagues. We are all proud of our careers, because we are emissaries of peace, trying our best to serve our home country, striving to create a peaceful and harmony external environment for our children.
Diplomats also have their own annoyance. Because we have to go abroad and change residences frequently, separating from our families. Due to various reasons, I cannot bring my boy to Kabul and live with him together, and neither can many of my colleagues in the Embassy. We can only talk to them by phone. While seeing the children go to the neighboring kindergarten cheerfully accompanied by their parents, we feel warm on the scene and sad on ourselves. We deem the children as our own. Their happiness makes us happy, and their sadness makes us sad.
In my memories, my family was poor when I was a child, and I did not have any toys except a wooden horse made by my father. At that time, I could not fulfill myself every meal. There was only one meal of mutton each month. Thus, when finding the children enjoy the “Made in China” beautiful and practical cribs, toys and electric appliances, I felt very happy for them. Children should enjoy better living conditions than their parents, also more and larger dreams.
The realization of children's dream requires a peaceful environment far from war, violence and drugs. The forty-year experience of China’s reform and opening up demonstrates that, domestic stability, economic development, unity among different ethnic groups as well as work with one heart and one mind of different political parties are the premise of everything. Only if the country’s stability and development is achieved can its people enjoy a small family with enough safety, sense of gain, and happiness. The Chinese people are sincerely helping Afghanistan to achieve political reconciliation and economic reconstruction, and hoping to help children of our two countries to realize their dreams through the Belt and Road initiative, which can boost employment, knowledge, wealth and safety.
There is an old Chinese saying that “If there is anything to be impoverished, it's not education; if there is any person to suffer, it's not child”. During the past few decades, the Chinese government made great efforts in promoting education. The education funds have exceeded 4% in GDP and 15% in financial expenditure. Every year, there are about 8 million students graduate from universities, more than one fifths of the university students of the world are in China. China attaches great importance to the compulsory education in rural areas, and tries its best to promote pre-school education, special education and online education, and popularize high school education, in the hope of making sure every child could enjoy an equal and qualified education.
By far, China is still a developing country, and Chinese people are still not rich enough, witnessing many kindergartens and schools are still very shabby. However, as a responsible major country and friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, China has already offered a lot of help for Afghan youth within its capacity, such as aiding the construction of Kabul University, National Vocational Training Center in Kabul, primary schools and orphanages in remote provinces, donating textbooks, inviting Afghan children with CHD to China for free treatment and so on. The emergency aiding of rice and shelters from China have already made Afghan children feel the warmth of timely help as “offer charcoal in time of snow”.
Most importantly, according to the consensus reached by leaders of China and Afghanistan, China will train 3,000 Afghan professionals of various fields in five years from 2015 to 2019, with 2,300 people trained by 2017, and 1,073 Afghan professionals went to China for training last year alone. In the coming years, there will be 170 outstanding Afghan youths going to China for studying under the Chinese Governmental Scholarship for every year. They come from different ministries, provinces and ethnic groups, with the vast majority of them in their twenties. They are using “Chinese knowledge”, “Chinese science and technology” and “Chinese experience” to benefit the Afghan society. The "Chinese path" is proposed to adjust measures based on local conditions, and give the Afghan people more options to realize their dreams, other than impose wills on others.
I told the children in the kindergarten of the MFA of Afghanistan that the Chinese people are full of benevolence, and China and the Chinese Embassy are genuine friends of Afghan children. China and Afghanistan are just like good friends from childhood. We help each other, share weal and woe. We never quarrel, let alone fight with each other. The Chinese giant panda is familiar and loved by many Afghan children. While showing cute and smiling, she is a best friend of children! I wish all Afghan children safe, healthy and happy, and could realize the dream of embracing Pandas in China as soon as possible!