Feb/Mar 2005

1st March 2005

Hanyuan

Forestry Project

In March, DORS provided 60,000RMB for forestry planting and training in Maping, Daying and other villages.DORS held a training session for villagers to learn how to graft walnut, chestnut and several varieties of fruit tree branches. We also examined their water tanks, preparations for tree planting this spring, and surveyed the in-village training for 9 villages.

Women's credit

During February and March DORS began a new round of women's microcredit loans in three villages loaning a total of 119,670RMB. In Moduo village Hamlet 8, 13 women borrowed a total of over 35,000RMB, and in Hamlet 3, 29 women borrowed a total of over 35,000RMB. In Daying village 10 women took their first DORS microcredit loan for a total of 11,000RMB. Maping village women 43 borrowed a total of over 38,000RMB.

Chalin Dabaidou Loans

Chalin village Hamlet 5 for the purpose of expanding the cultivation of Butter Beans, a large source of income for residents of Chalin. 13 households were loaned 1000RMB each.

Education

In February and March 2005, DORS provided school fees assistance enabling 170 children from poor families in 12 villages to attend school. DORS covered full fees for 78 children and partial fees for 92 children; other education activities supported by DORS during early 2005 also include liaising with the Education Bureau to provide chairs and desks to Chalin village school.

Ganluo

Baseline study in Pingba Township

Sanshihu village

In March, DORS volunteers conducted a baseline study in Sanshihi village, a remote village of Pingba township, Ganluo County. At an altitude of 2500 metres, living condition are very harsh. Many villagers live in thatched rooved homes with little or no furniture. Villagers have an inadequate electricity supply and cannot use electric machinery. Though there is a road, it is impassable for most of the year and it takes 2 or more hours to walk to the county town. The baseline study involved group and individual discussions with most villagers. As villagers were busy planting potatoes at the time of our visit, we conducted the majority of household interviews in the fields. We conducted a large village meeting to explain more about DORS and to give villagers a chance to voice their ideas on problems and opportunities in their community. We conducted participatory activities such as drawing up a calendar, with villagers indicating weather conditions, agricultural activities and economic patterns throughout the year.

Shishi'er village

DORS also conducted a baseline study in Shishi'er village, also located in Pingba Township. Living conditions are very harsh for Shishi'er villagers. Many households lack weatherproof housing, kitchens or toilet facilities. At an altitude of over 2000 metres, there are limited options for crop or forestry development, however there is much potential for livestock development. Villagers must walk to the township seat to grind their grain.Grain grinder and fodder grinder for Shishi'er villageThe first project to be carried out in Shishi'er village is a grain grinder and fodder grinder supply project. Villagers have requested that one large scale grain grinder and one large scale fodder grinder be provided for use by all villagers. We are cooperating with the Ganluo Bureau of Agricultural Technology to plan and implement this project. The Bureau has been outstandingly supportive, offering much time and effort to provide suitable technical training and guidance. The bureau leader and technical staff visited Shishi'er village in May to contact villagers and DORS and discuss the project plans.

DORS news and information

In March 2005, DORS volunteers Katie Maher and Zhang Zhenfang set up a new DORS worksite in Ganluo County. This will greatly assist the development of our work in Ganluo as we are much more accessible to local village and government partners. The Ganluo Poverty Alleviation Office has provided us with a very warm welcome and sincerely expressed their wish to cooperate in achieving the aims of poverty alleviation in the county.

Zhang Zhenfang has gone to Beijing for participatory method training; she has also visited Save the Children (UK).

Conservation International has invited DORS to attend a conference which will be held on 2-3 April, and DORS will make a speech to introduce DORS' volunteering.

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