March 2001

31st March 2001

Spring Planting in Community Forestry Projects Completed

Pianma Township
Earlier this year, DORS implemented a number of new social and community forestry projects in Pianma Township. After consulting with township and village leaders, we selected two registered particularly poor villages, Wanping and Chalin. In Wanping, the four poorest hamlets, all Yi minority, and all 6 hamlets of Chalin, were selected as project sites. Both are inaccessible by road and located on steep terrain nearly 1500-2000 meters above sea level.

After discussing with the villagers which trees would be most suitable to their conditions, they decided on a variety of species, including walnuts and sweet chestnuts, as these were the most convenient to transport. In addition, they also planted duzhong and huangbai, both medicinal trees, and shamu, a type of timber. Chalin Village is also experimenting with a new species of loquat as a demonstration project. Before the planting began, selected villagers underwent a 3-day training course at a nearby nursery in Jiuxiang with Mr. Bai, the forestry trainer. During the course, villagers were taken on field visits to nurseries to see how to plant and manage the saplings. All accommodation and travel expenses, as well as supplemental training materials, were provided by DORS.

In total, 39,930 saplings were ordered for 153 households in both villages. This project, totalling 59,240 RMB (4936 GBP), was funded by the British Embassy Small Grants Scheme. The second part of the project will be completed in the Autumn

Banyang Hamlet 9

DORS recently completed its forestry project in Banyang 9, bringing an end to the spring planting season. The villagers of the hamlet had expressed interest in experimenting with new species of fruit trees. These new species include plums, peaches, grapes, kiwi fruit and loquat. Mr. Bai, a forestry trainer, went up to the village for an informal training session with the villagers. The saplings have all been delivered and planted. The total costs for this project was 4,471 RMB (372 GBP).

Na'er VillageMicro Project in Na'er

Na'er Village requested our assistance in setting up a demonstration electric generator in Hamlet 1 for connecting to electricity and generating a grain grinder to produce feed for raising animals. DORS contributed 4,500 RMB (375 GBP) towards the purchase of the machinery. One out of the five hamlets is now connected to the generator, and we have contributed 900 RMB towards electric wiring to connect a further two hamlets.

School Fees Paid for the Spring Term

We have completed our support for school children's education fees for the spring term. This term DORS supported a total of 203 students, 127 of which were girls. Our targets are supporting girls in primary school who would otherwise be unable to attend. The total costs for spring was 39,044 RMB (3253 GBP). Thanks to Kinderzorg and Scott Bader for their contributions.

Volunteer News

Rose Acock has returned from her the UK, and will be completing her courses at the end of April. Her studies were made possible by a generous grant from the Sino-British Fellowship Trust of 3,000 GBP for tuition, expenses, and exams fees.

Our new volunteer, Caroline Legros, has recently arrived to join our team of women here in Sichuan. Caroline, a Canadian citizen, is currently completing her thesis for her Master's of Development Studies from Melbourne University.

Women's Micro-Credit Begins a New Season

Last year we reported that Na'er Village had completed their final payments of women's micro-credit for the year. We are happy to add to that list Banyang 1 and Banyang 9.

We have reloaned in Na'er to a total of 22 women. Most of the loans were for 1000 RMB and are repaid over a one year period in two instalments. This is the third micro-credit loan in this village. In Banyang 9 all loans have been re-paid in full. A total of 18 new loans were made, most of which will be used towards animal husbandry. This is also the third round of loans for Banyang 9.

In Banyang 1 we had previously experimented with larger loans of up to 3000 RMB, which have been re-paid successfully. Some of the women used their loans towards setting up limestone kilns which generated enough income for them to expand their business into a collective endeavour. This time DORS allowed loans up to 3000 RMB for the women, most of which was used towards setting up small businesses. Repayments will be made twice a year, with half the loan amount due every 6 months. This is the third time DORS has made micro-credit loans in Banyang 1.

We have also begun a new micro-credit scheme in Hamlets 1, 8 and 9 of Moduo Village, where we had previously implemented water supply projects. After introducing the scheme to the women, many expressed interest in using the loans towards animal husbandry. Loans were up to 1000 RMB, and repayments are paid over a one year period in two instalments. A total of 64 loans were made.

of this amount, 250 RMB, would be given as a loan, which is to be repaid at the end of harvest, and reinvested towards more canes the following year.

Grants for the New Year

DORS recently received a grant for an Integrated Community Development Programme from Kadoorie Charitable Foundations in Hong Kong, a total of 1,085,000 RMB (90,000 GBP). This programme is to be spread over a three year period implementing a combination of poverty alleviation projects in three townships. This is an exciting new direction for DORS, namely in moving beyond Hanyuan County into the nearby Ganluo County, an Yi Minority area. The projects will be operating in 2 villages in Pianma Township, and 4 villages in 2 of the townships in Ganluo County.

Earlier this year DORS received a grant from Kinderzorg, a Dutch organisation, for 16,918.92 RMB (1409.91 GBP) towards our education project. This grant supported primary school fees for students this spring term.

More forestry and water supply projects are being planned for this coming year, after receiving two separate grants from MRDF. The contribution towards forestry totals 78,476.70 RMB (6540 GBP), which will be used during the Autumn planting season. The water supply project is being prepared for two separate locations. The total grant towards the project is 4,230 GBP.

DORS Receives Praise

Rose Acock, Director of DORS, has recently become a local celebrity in Sichuan. After returning from the UK, she was personally invited by the Governor of Sichuan Province, Zhou Yongkang, to participate in the celebration of International Women's Day in Chengdu. Governor Zhou also issued a statement praising Rose and her colleagues for their dedication to poverty alleviation and DORS' participatory approach. He advocated to government departments the integration of these methods into their work. Shortly after, DORS was personally escorted to Ya'an city to meet with the newly appointed Party Secretary, Wei Hong, and given a chance to meet and discuss DORS' work with other officials.

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