Feb/Mar 2006

31st March 2006

Microcredit

During February and March DORS disbursed microcredit loans in Huodi Village and Sanshihu Village for the expansion of butter beans production. The price for butter beans this year was quite high and many villagers had requested assistance in buying production inputs for the next year's crop. In Huodi Village 50 households borrowed a total of 58,100 RMB. In Sanshihu Village 38 households borrowed a total of 37,500 RMB.

During March DORS also disbursed microcredit loans to women in Chenhe Village Hamlet 5 and Maping Village. In Chenhe 11 households borrowed a total of 15,600, and in Maping 10 households borrowed a total of 13,000.

Community Development Projects

Distribution of SaplingsDuring March DORS purchased and transported saplings to two of our project villages. DORS had recently held a training session in Shiquan Villagers to help villagers increase their knowledge and skills in orchard management. DORS then provided villagers with 5000 saplings of a local thin shelled walnut. Shiquan villagers will use their new skills to care for these saplings an in several years will have a higher value produce to further supplement their income from established orchards of local variety walnuts. DORS also transported a number of saplings to Maping Village. 2170 walnut, 410 loquat, 150 peach, and 100 plum saplings were distributed to Maping villagers. DORS had provided saplings to Maping Village last year and these four varieties had done particularly well and so villagers were interested in further expanding their orchards.

Education

Recently the Hanyuan Education Bureau has started to take steps to implement a free 9 year compulsory education for youth. This term they reduced the primary school fees by half and have expanded the numbers of students and areas receiving full subsidies. Within another year or two the entire county's student population should have access to free primary education.

In the meantime, DORS has continued to implement its school fee support project. DORS has paid school fees for the poorest households in 8 villages. In total DORS has paid school fee subsidies for 115 students totaling 11,410 RMB. This number is substantially lower than in the past due to increased government support.

Integrated Rural Development Projects

Wenzeluo Village Electricity Project

During February DORS signed a contract with the Nierjue Township leader and disbursed the first half of the funds for the Wenzeluo electricity project. The installation had already begun with funds provided by the Ganluo County Poverty Alleviation Office. The second disbursement will be made upon completion of the project and inspection by DORS.

Lamudai Village Path Project

Lamudai villagers in Ganluo County have signed a contract with DORS and begun work on building cement pathways through their village. Due to poor drainage walkways throughout the village were covered in thick mud and livestock feces contributing to poor sanitary conditions for villages. As part of an integrated development project in the village DORS agreed to help support the construction of cement pathways within the village to improve the living environment. Villager created a very detailed map of the village with measured distances and held numerous meetings to develop a management system for the maintenance of the pathways, a plan to set standards for construction, and a management system for organizing village labor. DORS provided a total of 12,760 RMB towards purchase and transportation of materials and villagers themselves provided 3630 RMB. Villagers were required to pay an additional 2500 RMB guarantee which will be returned upon successful completion of the project according to the terms of the contract. Construction will be finished by June 2006.

Sanshihu Village School Project

In late February DORS signed a contract with Sanshihu villagers to begin construction of a village primary school. The school building will consist of three rooms, large and small classrooms and a bedroom for the teacher, as well as a paved 40 square meter playground. DORS agreed to provide a majority of the funds for the project, 14,700 RMB, and the Ganluo Education Bureau and Pingba Township government each contributed significant amounts. Though villagers will not be making a monetary contribution towards the project, they will be preparing locally available gravel, making cinder blocks, and providing all necessary labor for construction. DORS has given to 12,000 RMB to the Party Secretary of Sanshihu to get started and will disburse the remaining 2700 RMB upon scheduled completion in August.

Shuangmacao Livestock Project

During March DORS signed a contract with Shuangmacao Village for the purchase of 100 ewes. DORS had previously assisted villagers in building household livestock pens and provided training in care for sheep. DORS pledged to provide 25,000 RMB and disbursed 15,000 RMB. The remaining 10,000 RMB will be disbursed after villagers have fulfilled the terms of the contract which include giving the ewes vaccinations, planting grass for winter fodder, and constructing a demonstration two level pen for the ewes.

DORS News and Information

Volunteers:
DORS volunteer Zhang Zhenfang recently left DORS after completing her one year traineeship.

Chen Ning, a native of Beijing who has spent the last several years abroad in Australia and Africa, has joined DORS as the new Administration Officer / Project Assistant.

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