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16 Feb
0

Author Sharing Event

Date: Feb 11, 2017

Venue: SKH Fung Kei Primary School (4 Tak Ting St, Hung Hom)

Activity:

A Taiwanese children books’ author shared with over 100 parents and children on how reading empowered us, while a local bibliophile Uncle Monster recommended a few children books.

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Fathers Day 2018_Yuan Zhaoming_low
07 Jun
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Heifer Father Giving All for His Family

Fathers Day 2018_Yuan Zhaoming_low

Yuan Zhaoming from Guanmenshi Village in Sichuan’s Longqiao Township is the breadwinner of a family of five.  Having lost his father at the age of nine, Yuan was brought up solely by his mother, who covered his tuition by selling eggs.  To ease her burden, Yuan began working as a dishwasher and later a pig farmer after finishing primary school.

Growing up in a single-parent family made Yuan attach strong value to family, to the degree that when his son was born, he did not hesitate to quit his job and move back to his hometown so the whole family could live together.

Down the Rocky Road of Raising Cattle

Yuan started working as a dump truck driver, which was a demanding job, but he persevered just for the money.  Later, he noticed a growing demand for beef and quickly decided to join the industry by spending all his savings and even borrowing from relatives.  Unfortunately, that was an unsuccessful attempt due to his lack of skills: nine of his cattle died within one month, resulting in a loss of over 60,000 yuan.  Everyone advised him to give up, for the production cost of cattle is 10 times more than pig’s, but the man was reluctant to do so.  Yuan believed that the situation would improve as he accumulated experience, but sadly his business showed no improvement.

Becoming a Cattle Expert with Heifer’s Help

2016 was a turning point for Yuan as he became a Heifer recipient.  Under the instruction of experts, he realized that mixing heifer and beef cattle production was too costly and worked on specializing in the former.  He also learned to adjust the feed composition such as offering fewer distillers’ grains and more forage to pregnant cows.  Additionally, Yuan participated in Heifer-organized visits to Yunnan and Guizhou, where he learned valuable experiences of other farmers.  As his raising skills impoved drastically, the man was finally able to expand his farm’s scale.  Now, he owns a herd of 50 cattle and earns an annual income of over 80,000 yuan, allowing him to gradually repay his debts.

Yuan is grateful for the new opportunities brought by Heifer’s project, “Cattle has become my family’s major source of income.  It has profoundly changed our life: my mother no longer needs to exhaust herself and I can afford to send my kids to schools.”  What is even more important, he says, is Heifer’s promotion of cooperation among villagers, which is crucial to the community’s long-term development, something that is beneficial to everyone.  In line with this spirit, not only has Yuan become a Self-help Group instructor to share his cattle knowledge to 56 farmers, but he also actively supports young people who work away from home like he once did to return for family reunion.

Setting an Example for His Children

His father’s early absence has made Yuan work hard to become a good one himself.  As he treats his two sons like friends, these high-schoolers are still very close to their father.  Yuan’s love for his mother and comradeship with neighbours have further won him their respect.  But he is a humble man, “I received little education and can’t help much with my kids’ studies, but I hope my actions can encourage them to develop a positive attitude.”

Yuan strives to create a better environment for his children. He hopes that they can attend good universities and break out of poverty by their own hands, and even more that they can “Pass on the Gift” by helping others in need.

Donate to Rural Daddies on Father’s Day

All fathers want nothing but the best possible future for their children. This Father’s Day, would you show your support by sending the best gift to these rural fathers by offering them animals, skills and hope?

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Yuan’s family of five

Yuan shares his cattle rearing knowledge to other farmers in a Self-help Group training

Yuan shares his cattle rearing knowledge to other farmers in a Self-help Group training

Striving to create a good learning environment for his children and spends much time with his sons on study and homework

Striving to create a good learning environment for his children, Yuan spends much time with his sons on study and homework

Yuan sons help feed the heifers with their father

Yuan’s sons help feed the heifers with their father

Yuan hard work has paid off with Heifer assistance

Yuan’s hard work has paid off with Heifer’s assiatance, turning himself from a learner who lost nine cows within one month, to a cattle expert owning a herd of 50 cattle

Yuan sons help clean the cattle barn

Yuan’s sons help clean the cattle barn

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motherday18_leftbehind_woman_Lichaozhen_ family
08 May
0

【Sichuan Earthquake 10th Anniversary & Mother’s Day】The Love Goes On

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As a Chinese saying goes, “being a mother makes one stronger,” and even more so in the face of natural disasters.  The home of Li Zhaozhen, a woman from San Fang village, Shangsi Township in Sichuan Province, was heavily damaged by the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake.  Having never experienced such a catastrophe before, Li almost broke down.  Luckily enough, the earthquake took only her house but none of her family.  With her daughter weak from childbirth and a newborn granddaughter, Li decided to pull herself together and take care of them…

The Nightmarish Earthquake

Li’s family of four used to rely on her husband’s job at a coal mine.  With an annual per capita income of roughly 2,000 yuan, they struggled to make ends meet and often had to borrow from relatives.

When the earthquake stroke, Li was harvesting some rapeseed in the field.  Suddenly, there were terrifying noises accompanied by intense ground-shaking.  The chaotic scene drove her to tears at first, but when she remembered that someone was at home, she immediately rushed home.

With her house razed, and the constant fear of aftershocks, Li almost gave up hope. “But when I saw my daughter and granddaughter, I told myself: I have to take care of them no matter what!” she said.  The first thing she did was to set up a stove with her husband so the family could have proper meals.  Then, she contacted relatives to borrow money so as to rebuild their home as quickly as possible.

Heifer Assistance Brings Hope

Following emergency rescue efforts, Heifer began to launch rehabilitation projects in areas affected by the earthquake, including Jian’ge County where Li lived.  Li and her family received some day-old chicks, but they had no prior experience in poultry farming and had to start from scratch.  She actively joined trainings to improve her poultry production skills, and now the family owns a flock of over 1,000 chickens.  Poultry sales alone earn the family an annual net income of 10,000 yuan which is over half of their total earnings.  Li’s two grandchildren often help with farm work.

Li is an active member of her self-help group.  She often shares her experience, participates in community sanitation campaigns, and is always ready to offer a hand when someone needs help.  Thanks to the cooperative’s regular purchase and centralized sales of their chicken, the recipients have seen improvement in both the level and the stability of their income.

Having been through the worst, Li has just one simple wish now: “There’s nothing more valuable than the well-being of my family.”  As their life gradually returns to normal, she and her husband aim to further expand their production, in hopes that one day their daughter and son-in-law will no longer need to work away from the village and leave their children behind.  Before the wish comes true, Li will strive to give her two grandchildren a happy and healthy childhood so that her daughter will not have to worry.  That is the best Li, as a mother, can do for her daughter.

This Mother’s Day, would you show your support to these unsung heroines by making a donation to Heifer?

In support of their children’s attempt to seek better jobs in cities, many mothers in rural China have willingly taken on the responsibility of caring for grandchildren, even if that means becoming one of the “left-behind elderly”.  Heifer helps these women lead a life of self-reliance with their grandchildren.

Destructiveness of the Earthquake

Jian’ge County, located in the northeast of Sichuan Province, is one of the 41 areas severely affected by the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake which caused 16 deaths, 5,775 injuries, and 555,000 people were affected in some ways.  Houses, farmland, and infrastructures including roads and bridges were heavily damaged, and many became deeply indebted after taking loans to rebuild homes.  91% of the county’s population worked in agriculture.  Destruction of their farms made it a big challenge for them to resume normal life after the earthquake.

Heifer Rehabilitation Efforts

Whilst conducting emergency relief, Heifer made preliminary plans for subsequent rehabilitation efforts in the region.  In early 2009, Heifer launched three five-year rehabilitation projects in collaboration with local agricultural authorities, with the ultimate goals of restoring livelihood, rebuilding confidence, and enhancing community solidarity.  In total, the projects covered 9,782 households, distributed 418,143 livestock, and offered 3,118 training sessions on various topics including livestock management and disaster awareness.

Aiming to promote local poultry production, Heifer distributed a total of 56,000 day-old chicks to 213 families.  Heifer also trained them on free-range production techniques, helped form self-help groups and cooperatives, organized field trips, set production standards, and also centralized raw material purchase and product sales in order to share market risk.  After the project, the average family income of recipients in Jian’ge had increased to 20,000 yuan.  Farmers became more proactive.  Not only were they united in community development, but they also become more sympathetic to the underprivileged, and social harmony has been enhanced.

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Li and her family lived in an emergency tent for several years until their house is rebuilt

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Working away from the village, Li’s daughter calls home every day

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Li’s grandson loves to hug his granny

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Li’s granddaughter is gentle and quiet, just like her mother

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Li’s two grandchildren help feed chicken after school

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Li’s two grandchildren help feed chicken after school

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Eggs that Li has set aside for her grandchildren

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EmpowerWomen_Feb2018
01 Mar
0

Empowering Left-Behind Mothers to Overcome Poverty

EmpowerWomen_Feb2018

Left-behind mothers taking a tree-planting course together

September last year, Haihui, Heifer Hong Kong’s working partner in Mainland China started the “Left-Behind Mothers’ Choice” project in support of Tencent’s “9/9 Charity Day”. Aiming to raise money for left-behind mothers in Sichuan’s Xide County, the project received 173,000 yuan of donation from 2,890 donors.

These left-behind mothers mostly live in the Daliang Mountains, where frequent natural disasters such as earthquakes and mudslides have largely limited the amount of arable land and also led to poor harvests. To equip these women with more skills, the donations will be used as a “training fund” to provide 3 years of training on pig farming and tree planting, as well as subsidies in the purchase of tree seedlings and other agricultural supplies. The objective is to promote both the value and the practice of cooperation among villagers, which are crucial in tackling poverty.

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