Da Yang village is located in a valley in Guanxi province. Mountains encircle the village and the sound of rushing water can be heard from each of the 52 homes. The river is the central part of the community – the people bath in it and the children play in it. The soil is lush and most of the land is blanketed with rice fields. Although the river is a benefit to the society of Da Yang, it can also become a major threat during the rainy season – when the river is prone to flooding. The average annual income for an individual in Da Yang is 1,890 RMB a year which is about $250. All of the 226 people that live here are Miao, which is an ethnic minority in China. The Miao people have a distinct culture and language. Many of the people here are uneducated and can therefore not speak the national language of Han. This is a major economic disadvantage for the people of Da Yang because they are unable to communicate in the marketplace to sell their goods. The government officials overseeing Da Yang recognized this problem years ago and contacted China Care International for assistance in building a primary school. Han Chinese would be taught to the children which would enable them effectively communicate in the marketplace in the future. Since the school has been built a few years ago, CCI has had the privilege of seeing the living standards of the village improve dramatically. However, there are still needs that are pressing for Da Yang.
Da Yang needs a stable footbridge that is structurally sound. During the rainy season between March and August, the village is highly vulnerable to flooding. All of the water from
the surrounding hills fills the rivers and flows right through the center of Da Yang. There is currently unsuitable infrastructure to handle the force of these floods. In fact, one can see the remains of bridge on a riverbank that was helpless against the river. Currently there is a small concrete bridge that is built over the river, however, the bridge is not structurally sound and will undoubtedly be washed away during the next major flood. This specific bridge is connected to 3 main administrative villages and 6 other natural villages. When the bridge is washed over, there are 1,600 people that are unable to get their goods to the marketplace and entire villages suffer.
CCI can help through providing the materials for a more firmly established bridge that can support the influx of water during the rainy season. Widening the bridge and placing larger culvers underneath it, will allow for water to flow through freely without causing flooding or damage to the bridge. The estimated cost for this 14 meter bridge is $17,400. The people of Da Yang have raised $1,250 for the construction of this project. CCI would need to cover the remaining $16,150 to put this plan into action. This bridge will promote economic development – as the people will be able to sell their goods in the marketplace anytime of the year. This project is not a difficult one, and the simplest structure can make a lasting impact to a large number of people in Da Yang and the surrounding villages.
He Cun Village, or “River” Village, is a fitting name for this community that backs up to a large river. A massive canopy tree lies at the center of the village. This tree is aged and weathered, like much of the people that gather under it, including the elderly men that love to play cards and checkers in the shade. Many of the adult farmers have vacated the village in hopes of making more money at a factory job in Guangdong. The annual income for an individual is 2,250 RMB a year which is less than a dollar a day. He Cun is the central village and there are four natural villages that are attached to it comprising of 508 people. Two of these natural villages are located across the river that is 24 meters wide. The current bridge that connects these villages is constructed of pine logs and rope and is loosely supported by piles of rocks and concrete. Over 42% of the people that dwell in Rongshui autonomous county are Miao including the village of He Cun. The Miao people are a minority group in a Han-dominated China. They have their own appearance, culture and language. They build their homes with timber, they make homemade whisky out of sticky rice, and they love to dance!
He Cun Village is fortunate to have access to clean water, unlike many of the other villages in the region. However, another devastating problem that threatens the livelihood of He Cun is the lack of a stable bridge. Fragments of rebar stick out of a concrete block on each side of the river, showing signs of a bridge that used to be. The unstable platforms of pine and rope that are currently in place will certainly be washed away by the next flood. Without a bridge the
two natural villages on the other side of the river will be unable to sell their goods in the market and their livelihoods are at risk. Living on a budget of a dollar a day does not leave any room for risk.
A larger and more firmly established bridge needs to be constructed. This bridge would need to be 24 meters in length and wide enough for the villagers to haul carts of goods across it. The total cost of this project is $15,500. The He Cun people have pooled their resources together to contribute $1,100. China Care International would need to provide the remaining $14,400 to meet the practical need of this village. This region will certainly experience economic development as they will be able to sell their goods in the marketplace anytime of the year. With a structurally sound bridge in place, the 508 Miao people that reside in He Cun will be benefitted, as well as hundreds more in the future.
After driving for four-and-a-half hours from Rongshui on unpaved mountain roads, one might find themselves in Liangsong Village. Dogs and chickens roam freely on the dirt roads. The women wear traditional Miao clothing – with bright colorful leggings and patterned blouses. The elderly men smoke tobacco out of a long wooden pipe. It is a different world entirely than the economic booming cities like Shenzhen and Guangzhou. The modern economic success of China has yet to reach the 78 families of Liangsong. This village, like many in this area, is made up of farmers. When looking at the vast valley that lies beneath Liangsong there are rice fields as far as the eye can see. However, nowadays the available farmland is quite limited. It is estimated that there is only 320 square meters per person, which yields very low profits. The lack of available land, as well as the isolated geographical location of Liangsong makes it one of the 13 poorest villages in Rongshui autonomous county. The average annual income per individual is between $250 and $300 which is significantly below the poverty line. The ethnicity of Liangsong is Miao which is a minority group in China. The Miao have a distinct appearance, culture and language that is considerably different than that of the Han Chinese.
The problems that the people of Liangsong face are many. One is the immense number of Miao adults that have vacated the village to seek more profitable factory jobs in Guangdong province. Because of this, the majority of the village is made up of children and the elderly. Another major need is education. Many of the families are unable to afford to send their children to school. The government of China actually offers free schooling and three meals a day for
children, however the government does not provide money for transportation. In isolated regions, such as Liangsong village, the nearest school can be up to an hour away by car and three hours by foot and so many children stay at home.
However, the greatest threat to the livelihood of the people is the lack of clean water. The people draw water from a ravine that is 1.2 kilometers away. This water source is clean enough for drinking except during the rainy season where landslides cause the water source to become dirty and discolored. Between the rainy months of March and August, Liangsong is extremely vulnerable to sickness and disease.
The piping system that is currently being used for water is an equivalent health risk as the contaminated ravine. Because of the cold climate during the winter, much of the polyethylene (PE) piping freezes over which causes cracks. In order to reduce the waste of leaking water the people replaced the PE pipes with rubber tubing. These rubber tubes were formerly used for irrigation in the rice fields and are filled with pesticides and cancerous agents. This problem needs to be addressed promptly in order to avoid further harm for the people of Liangsong.
A mountain that is 3.4 kilometers away from Liangsong has a fresh water spring that could be the answer to the water crisis. A reservoir is needed to collect the clean water, along with 3,400 meters of new PE piping. The total cost of this project is $14,600. The people of Liangsong have pooled $3,300 of their own finances together to contribute to the construction of this project. China Care International would need to pay for $11,300 to make clean water a reality. Something as simple as pure water can instantly improve the livelihood and productivity of Liangsong. This project would not only give the people fresh water but also benefit the livelihood, productivity and economic development for generations to come.
The scene in Shang Luoyou Village is quite different than that of the large metropolitan cities in China. Small, single bedroom homes seem to be one step shy of toppling over. Men haul their crop using wooden planks that are balanced on their shoulders. Much of the wealth and modern economic success of China has yet to reach Shang Luoyou due to the village’s isolated location and dangerous unpaved roads. These roads are hard to navigate on a good day, and on a rainy day it is nearly impossible. The loose soil on the steep hillside can quickly turn into landslide and completely block the road. This leaves Shang Luoyou in economic isolation as the people are unable to sell their goods in the marketplace. There are just 33 families, amounting to 137 people in this village. Miao is their ethnicity which is a minority group in China. The average annual income of the people is approximately $330 a year which makes Shang Luoyou one of the 13 poorest villages in Rongshui autonomous county. The primary trade of Shang Luoyou people is farming rice which can be labor intensive and yields low profits.
There are several needs that the Shang Luoyou people possess. The most pressing however is their need for clean water. Currently they are drawing water from a nearby creek that is 1 kilometer away. This creek remains clean and clear for much of the year. During the rainy season, however, the river changes color to a dark yellow color as the mud from the hillside slides into the creek. Without clean water the village is in grave danger of sickness, and with their remote location, they are not near any hospital or clinic for treatment.
A fresh water spring that is 2,400 meters away from Shang Luoyou has been located on a nearby mountain. By building a reservoir and providing 2,400 meters of piping this village can have a safe and secure source for clean water. The total cost of this project is $15,800. The people have pooled their resources together to raise $2,100 – which is a significant amount for this village who lives far below the poverty line. China Care International would need to provide the remaining funds which are $13,700 to put these plans into effect. CCI has been able to assist many villages in the Rongshui autonomous county with clean water projects and it is our desire to do the same for Shang Luoyou. This water project will not only provide a source for clean water but also a source of hope for the Miao people of Shang Luoyou.
The collective culture of the Miao people can be clearly seen in the village of Xiao Xi. Back porches and front doors of small homes are scarcely divided, the farmers work together on shared rice fields, wooden chairs line the public walkway. There are 36 homes and 146 people in Xiao Xi. It is located in a cold mountainous district and the road leading to the village is unpaved and can be very dangerous. These factors have contributed to the delayed economic development of Xiao Xi. The annual average income for an individual here is 2,200 RMB which is about $350. Xiao Xi is entirely made up of the Miao ethnic group. The Miao people are considered a minority group in China and have a unique culture that is distinct from the Han Chinese. The primary occupation of Xiao Xi people is farming and during the day the village is emptied as farmers tend to their rice fields.
Xiao Xi needs roads to be paved and their food supply is quite low. However, their water source is often contaminated and this is by far the most urgent need. Considering how there has been very few water projects in the area, the people do not have a water source nearby and they have to draw their water from a ravine that is 500 meters away. Even worse, this ravine is subject to contamination. During the rainy season, between the months of March and August, heavy rain causes the soil to loosen on the hillsides and large amounts of dirt slides into the ravine. This causes impurities and discoloration. There is no sanitation system in place in Xiao Xi, so the
people have no other choice but to cook, clean and drink with this water. In doing so, they are in great risk of sickness and their immune systems are weakened. Without any kind of hospital or clinic nearby, it is of utmost importance to keep good health in Xiao Xi.
CCI has been a part of several clean water projects in Guanxi province and is prepared to answer the water crisis in Xiao Xi. About two and a half kilometers from the village is a spring that has the clean water that Xiao Xi desperately needs. The plan is to build a reservoir that is 30 meters cubed that will collect the water. Polyethylene piping will carry this clean water for 2,600 meters to Xiao XI. The total cost of this project is about $15,400. The people of Xiao Xi have contributed $1,500 – which is a significant amount living off of less than a dollar a day. CCI would need to cover the remaining $13,900 to put this plan into effect. Clean water is a human necessity and CCI is honored to assist in providing this need for the people of Xiao Xi. Access to clean water will instantly improve the quality of life for this small mountain village.
Guangxi is a beautiful provence full of beautiful people. Unfortunately, it is also one of the poorest areas in China. In 2011, CCI committed to work together to build a water sanitation project and a road in Guangxi Province.
According to a 2010 Guangxi Government survey, Rongshui County currently has a total population of half a million people, 71% are from minority groups, and 39.14% of all the population are made up of the Miao Minority group. 860 villages are not accessible by road and 123,300 people still do not have clean water! There are 320 villages out of the 860 villages that make up Rongshui County that do not have electricity or adequate electricity!
The primary income for the area is farming. The average farmer in 2010 in Rongshui County made less than 400 USD per year. That is just over $1 USD per day. The average income per adult is only $120 USD per year. 46% of the population in Rongshui country fall into the income level of less than $120 USD per year.
119 Kilometers from the town of Rongshui (going north) is a town called Yaoliang Tun. There are 205 families that live in this village with a total population of 981. The farmers of this village are not able to get their goods to and from the market because they do not have adequate roads for vehicles. The difficulties with the roads contributes to the increased cost of their products and often prices them on the high side of the competition. In order to connect to the main road, they needed to build a small road of 2km. CCI worked together with them to build the roads that they needed.
Just down the road there is a small village called Toudaogou. This village is made up of the Man Minority (pronounced “mon”). This is the first time that CCI has ever worked in this minority group in China.
According to a 2009 study in Rongshui county, it was found that more than 60% of the population does not have access to clean water. A survey team was sent out by the government to explore why this was the case and they found that many of the sources that was used in the past had dried up and it takes considerable resources to find and access new ones; resources that the people of Rongshui just dont have.
There are currently 46 families of 216 people living in Toudaogou Village and they do not have access to clean water. The nearest area that the villagers currently have to get water is more than 2 miles away.
With your support, China Care International completed both of these projects this year. The road will help increase the villagers standard of living by increasing their ability to earn a living. The water project will help alleviate their poverty in several ways. It will decrease the amount of waterborne illnesses, decreasing the drain on finances and man power caused by them. It will also increase productivity by decreasing the time and energy used to get daily water needs.
From the people of both villages and from CCI, thank you for your help in these areas.
Although China is more at a rocket like speed in economic growth, the truth is many areas are still existing in third world conditions. Areas in eastern China, with sea ports in close proximity, have benefited from Special Economic Zones and global trading. Jobs in these areas are plentiful and 300 million people, the size of the USA, have access to basic education. In the western areas of China, especially in remote, rural areas, this global trade has not reached the local people. Of the 1 billion plus people still living in poverty, hundreds of millions still have no access to basic health and sanitation, education, or good jobs. China Care International has been helping in these areas for many years, and continues to see the need for schools to be built, or improved for the childrens safety. Some need to be made accessible for local children without school who have no way to reach the classroom.
Guizhou is one of the poorest provinces in China. Many children still dont have access to schooling past the third grade, and some have no access at all. One school that was available was operating in unsafe conditions. Because this school is in an agrarian area, there were constantly animals and livestock roaming around. There was no wall or fence to protect the children and they were being attacked by cattle. This has been an extremely dangerous situation, but the village has no way to do this by themselves. They have asked the CCI for help. China Care went in and help fund a wall that now separates the school area from the cattle being herded or walking free range. The children can now go to school safely and focus on their studies.
Not too far away, in the township of She Qi, there is a much smaller school of 117 students. CCI joined hands with a local charity group to build this school. All of the students are Yi and Miao minority. They grow up speaking their local languages at home. Without this school, they would not have an opportunity to learn Mandarin, the language of trade in China. This handicap would keep them from earning money and through them affect there communities. Going to school for the first three years allows them to learn the language that will help them and their community rise from generations of poverty.
Even after the school was built, there were still no restroom facilities for the students. This presented an unsanitary situation for the children. CCI helped build a restroom for the school, many of the diseases that kept the children from learning and caused their parents to spend precious resources on healthcare are now controllable.
China Care has also been able to conduct a Christmas program where every child received a free backpack with several necessities inside like hygiene, stationary, etc. The children have never received any sort of present, to receive this is so exciting for them. Even learning they will get their own pencil causes them to squeal with excitement. The hygiene supplies, together with the school supplies and the backpack, are all made in Chinese factories, and so for a fraction of the cost elsewhere, CCI is able to give these children more then just a present they adore, we are able to give them a jumpstart in their education.
Thank you to all of our supporters for helping these children have a brighter future.
While most people have already pulled out of Japan and have psychologically moved on, China Care International has continued to partner with grassroots groups in Japan to build on the progress that was made since the tragedy that took place there. The magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake, and the subsequent tsunami, destroyed everything in the local area. Houses, roads, utilities, schools, shops, and left no foundations to be built on. The Japanese National Police Agency report confirmed 15,867 deaths, 6,109 injured, and 2,909 people missing, as well as 129,225 buildings totally collapsed, with a further 254,204 buildings half collapsed, and another 691,766 buildings partially damaged. Major damage was done to and caused the shutting down of local nuclear power plants, leading to evacuations affecting several hundred thousand Japanese. The Japanese Prime minister referred to the disaster as the toughest, and most difficult crisis for Japan since World War Two.
On the one year anniversary, CCI representatives traveled to Japan to attend the one year memorial ceremony held in Sendai and handed out free calenders, books, and materials to help the people who are grieving from their loss. People who had lost everything, loved ones, homes, businesses, schools, received free of charge materials aimed at helping them cope with what has happened and to help them move on to a normal life again.
CCI has been providing a coffee house with coffee from South America to continue helping the people in the disaster zone. Currently CCI is still sending coffee to a coffee shop in Sendai. The coffee is given to a coffee truck that patrols the disaster area where people are working every day to rebuild their lives. The coffee truck drives into the working zones, parks, and sets up a small social corner where workers can come and drink warm coffee for free. The workers are dealing with this loss on a daily basis, and everything that they do stands as a reminder to what their country has suffered.
This small act of kindness has touched the hearts of so many of the people in the disaster zone. Knowing that people are still caring and supporting them, and a free cup of coffee that can relax their minds for a few minutes, helps them deal with all they see.
We were also able to provide outdoor cabinets to many of the survivors who are rebuilding their lives. These cabinets allow them some semblance of privacy and a place to put what things they now have. It is a place of comfort and safety when they have lost so much.
At the end of last year, CCI was also able sent the funds to provide several hundred outdoor storage units for Japanese who are still living in emergency housing provided by the Japanese government. These storage units were weather proof to protect the precious few items that many of the survivors own. 1,000 units were delivered in the Aeon Temporary Housing area. Although they have a place to stay, it is temporary and necessarily quite small. The outdoor storage units allow for room inside their dwellings, and provide them with a place more comfortable then without them.
CCI, working together with the coffee shop, was also asked to provide sewing machines at the coffee shop where classes were given for locals as well as workshops to make blankets and cold weather gear for the victims of the tsunami. CCI was able to provide ten sewing machines for Sendai. Several locals are now attending classes to use the sewing machines and others are using them to provide themselves and others with necessities. This gives a great feeling of self fulfillment and independence for people who have been living for more then a year at the mercy of those around them.
China Care would like to extend a thank you to all those who have partnered with us, making these things possible. The items we have worked on have been used after consulting with locals and people working on the ground, and determining that these things are the most necessary and effective at normalizing the lives of those affected by the natural disaster.
It has been several months since the devestating combination of a powerful earthquake and huge tsunami hit the eastern coast of Japan in March of 2011. It is believed to be the strongest earthquake to hit Japan and is one of the top 5 strongest to have occured world wide since modern measurements were put into use in 1900. 15,822 people are known to have died, with another 3,926 people still missing. More then 125,000 buildings were destroyed, including entire villages that were washed into the sea. The tsunami measured up to 40.5 meters high and traveled up to 10 KM inland, washing away everything in its path. Three nuclear reactors suffered partial meltdowns and small explosions. Millions of Japanese were left without electricity and water.
The rebuilding has begun, and is projected to take years. Insurers estimate losses between 14 and 37 billion US Dollars. The survivors have been left with nothing. No homes, clothes, furniture, not even neighbors, friends, and family. Working with the locals, CCI was able to send and distribute bikes, hygiene products, baby and adult diapers, and other products to the affected areas. All of this was received with great joy and thanks. We want to extend our heart felt appreciation to those who contibuted to this effort.
And, thanks to continued giving, CCI is now able to start a new round of projects. We are in the process of purchasing small furniture kits to be distributed to survivors who have nothing to sit on, no table to eat at, and no bed to sleep in. Through contacts, we are able to purchase the furniture at very low rates and in close proximity to the areas it will be distributed in. In addition, CCI has been able to partner with some experienced counselors, who we will support while they travel to those in need and give much needed comfort.
We know that all of our efforts pale in comparison to what these people have gone through, we are thankful to be able to extend this hand of help and friendship.
In July, 2011, China Care International was able to deliver and install three 1.5 kilowatt solar generators along with new computers in 3 different rural schools in western China. Two were installed in primary schools in Guangxi province and one was installed in Hubei province.
Three other systems were purchased and shipped to poor rural areas, one to Tibet, one to northeast China, and one to a relief organization in the Philippines. The two in China will be set up later this year, and the one in the Philippines will be used to train local officials and students in the use of solar power and how to set up a solar power system. It will also be used in response to disasters on a temporary basis.
The children in these schools will now be able to use computers to learn language, math, and other subjects, and will also learn basic computer skills. The electricity in these areas is sporadic at best. With a stable power supply and basic computer skills, the world has become a lot bigger for these children.