当年大别山地区7岁小女孩苏明娟饱含“我想读书"渴求的大眼睛，出现在希望工程的宣传海报上。苏明娟的老家在金寨县，偏僻、交通闭塞，曾是中国最贫穷的地区之一，很多孩子由于交不起学费而辍学。为了让每-一个适龄儿童都能接受义务教育，1989 年，共青团中央、中国青少年发展基金公( the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and China Youth Development Foundation)发起建立希望工程。这是我国第一个救助贫困地区失学儿童的基金。
Su Mingjuan, a seven-year-old girl in the Ta-pieh Mountains, appeared on the promotional poster of Project Hope with her big eyes full of longing for reading. Su's hometown, Jinzhai County, is remote and isolated. It used to be one of the most impoverished areas in China, where many children dropped out due to a lack of tuition. In order to make compulsory education accessible to every school-age child, The Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and the China Youth Development Foundation launched the Project Hope in 1989, the first foundation to help to aid the dropout children in poverty-stricken regions in China.
In early 1990, the Youth Development Foundation donated 40,000 yuan and the supporting funds of the province and the county to build the first Hope Primary School in China - Jinzhai County Hope Primary School. The establishment of this Hope Primary School was like a seed bursting out in the depths of Ta-pieh Mountains. Over the past 30 years, it has witnessed the children's departure from here to hope. It has changed the fate of many people and it up countless dreams and futures.
The action of building schools under the name of “Hope" has been lasting for three decades. The more impoverished a place is, the more brilliant the signboard looks. Project Hope regards it as a fundamental mission to help the dropout children in poor areas return to school. By means of initiating partner assistance and building Hope Primary Schools, it has solved the poverty-caused dropout problem of teenagers effectively. After entering the 21st century, the Project Hope included senior high school and university students as its funding targets, and upgraded the "aid" mode to “Aid Plus Development"
According to the official website of China Youth Development Foundation, national programs related to the Project Hope has received donations of 15. 229 billion yuan in total, aided 5.9942 million students in poverty-stricken families, and funded the construction of 20,195 Hope Primary Schools by September 2019. The Project Hope not only offers the recipients physical aids, but more importantly the spirit of unyieldingness and never giving up in face of difficulties.