The P&G Hope School in Dapo Town, Qiongshan, Hainan Province, these days is drawing a lot of residents from nearby villages, who come to fetch water from its new well.
The well was completed only recently with the 60,000 yuan (US$7,399) donated by Procter & Gamble, the multi-national manufacturer of family, personal, and household care products, early last month.
Because of a drought that has been haunting the whole province since 2004, wells in the school dried up several months ago.
Teachers and students had to beg for or buy water in nearby villages, but recently they could get no water at all. For months, they had to sustain their lives by collecting the rainfall on the classroom roofs.
Built in a town where every resident earns an annual income of less than 1,000 yuan (US$123.3), the school has long been in financial difficulties. The drought made things much worse. At one time, only 56 of the 170 students stayed, with the rest leaving for schools in more water-rich areas.
In addition to drilling wells, the money has also been used to set up hand-washing facilities and buy water dispensers.
(China Daily August 11, 2005)