Thirty years ago, she shocked the country with her "big eyes". How is it now?


This picture has been seen by most Chinese people and seen it countless times. Many people can't forget the sparkling, hopeful eyes in the photo.

In the black-and-white photo, the little girl is dressed in shabby clothes and disheveled hair. She is sitting at the table with a pencil in her small hand. She has a timid expression. Her big clear and innocent eyes seem to be staring at you, revealing a strong, longing light, which represents Countless children in poverty-stricken areas are shouting from the bottom of their hearts: "I want to go to school!"

In 1991, when this photo called "I want to go to school" came out, it touched the hearts of thousands of people, and the viewers were shocked by it, and even burst into tears. Since then, the Hope Project has received widespread attention and funding from the whole society, and countless children who have dropped out of school have been able to return to school and realize their dreams of studying. The protagonist in the photo, Su Mingjuan, who was only 8 years old at the time, unexpectedly became a "celebrity" after the photo was taken, and became the most influential "spokesperson" of Project Hope, and his life was rewritten as a result.

In a blink of an eye, thirty years have passed. What happened to the little girl in the photo who once attracted much attention? What kind of life will she lead?


Su Mingjuan was born in an ordinary farmhouse in Zhangwan Village, Taoling Township, Jinzhai County, Anhui Province in 1983. The parents make a living by fishing, raising silkworms, raising pigs, and farming and planting chestnuts. The family leads a hard-working village life. When the "big eyes" photo was taken, Su Mingjuan was still in the first grade at Zhangwan Primary School in Jinzhai, Anhui.The books and miscellaneous expenses of 60 or 70 yuan per semester have become the biggest burden for the family.

The teaching conditions in the mountainous areas are very poor, and the children are struggling to study. Su Mingjuan clearly recalled the Zhangwan Primary School where she was studying: the classroom was low and dilapidated. In winter, the windows had no money for glass, and they were covered with plastic sheeting and were afraid of bad light, so they had to let the cold wind roar into the classroom. They often shrink into a ball with the cold, and still insist on reading.

The predecessor of the Hope Primary School in Jinzhai County-Peng's Ancestral Hall (data photo)

One day in May 1991, Su Mingjuan, who was in the first grade of elementary school, was intently listening to the class. Her big knowledge-hungry eyes broke into the eyes of the reporter Xie Hailong who was interviewing at the school."The eyes are very penetrating and can enter people's hearts." So, when Su Mingjuan, holding a pencil, looked up at the blackboard again, Xie Hailong quickly pressed the shutter.

After this photo entitled "I Want to Read" was published, it touched the hearts of countless readers. This photo became the propaganda symbol of China's Project Hope and was reprinted by major domestic media. Su Mingjuan also became the image representative of Project Hope. Many people are helping poor rural children who are on the verge of dropping out of school.


The first donation to Su Mingjuan was Li Wan. He saved up his meager allowance and sent 100 yuan to Su Mingjuan every semester until he graduated from elementary school. "When I was in middle school, many kind people helped me. Some children sent in pocket money, and some college students sent me their spare time wages. A retired old man in Tianjin went from middle school to high school. , I send me candy and daily necessities every year during the holidays.” Thinking back to this, Su Mingjuan was full of gratitude.

Later, other donors tried to donate to Su Mingjuan. The kind-hearted and loyal father said to Su Mingjuan: "We can't ask for this money, because we already have other people's help. Your parents can still work and support you and your brother. "When the donor refused to withdraw the donation, Su Mingjuan donated all the money to Project Hope.

In 1998, Su Mingjuan went to Beijing to participate in the 14th National Congress of the Communist Youth League. In the entire hall, she is the smallest participant. Su Mingjuan greeted a lot of flowers, applause and attention, but she was always so simple and honest, neither humble nor overbearing.

In September 2002, Su Mingjuan was admitted to the Vocational and Technical College of Anhui University, majoring in finance. After graduating in 2005, she joined the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Anhui Branch.

Su Mingjuan and childhood photos after joining the Workers’ Commercial Bank


That photo changed Su Mingjuan's life, but she was not lost because of it. Receiving funding is only the beginning of the change in Su Mingjuan's life trajectory. With the help and inspiration of countless caring people, Su Mingjuan at a young age also embarked on the road of charity assistance, which has not been interrupted so far.

In 1997, Su Mingjuan, who had just entered the second year of junior high school, took the initiative to remit the 600 yuan she received to a little Hui girl in Ningxia, helping her to realize her dream of studying;

In 2002, after being admitted to Anhui University, she insisted on work-study, and transferred all the 900 yuan living allowance given to her every semester to other poor students;

After joining the work, Su Mingjuan donated all her first salary to Project Hope. After that, she will donate part of her income every month; every year, she will donate 1,000 yuan to support poor students without interruption...

In 2006, she and Xie Hailong auctioned off the photo copyright of the famous "Girl with Big Eyes", and the proceeds of more than 300,000 yuan were used to assist in the construction of a Hope Primary School in Qushui County, Lhasa City, Tibet. Hundreds of Tibetan children have been able to learn since then. superior.

In 2018, she used her savings of 30,000 yuan as a start-up fund to set up the "Su Mingjuan Student Aid Fund", dedicated to helping more impoverished students and continuing to pass on love and hope. The charity fund has participated in the construction of two Hope Primary Schools and supported 45 impoverished university freshmen.Su Mingjuan, who grew up under the attention of the whole people, has realized the transformation from beneficiary to donor。

Thirty years ago, she was in adversity; 30 years later, she was born again.

Now, Su Mingjuan has a happy family, is a mother, and has lovely children. She once took her children to sincerely thank Xie Hailong in the video, and told the audience her story affectionately, which caused countless audiences to cry.

"Because I have been in the rain, I want to hold an umbrella for others." This sentence can not be more appropriate for Su Mingjuan.

She had been a beneficiary.

Now, she is a helper.

Thirty years ago, Su Mingjuan might not have imagined that a photo brought a life change.

In the past 30 years, she took over the booster and worked hard to pass on her goodwill and hope.

In the future, this dream built with love and hope will continue forever.

Source: People's Daily


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