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.