June/July 2007

31st July 2007

Shiquan Village Comprehensive Project

Mr. Xiong Darun comes to visit
At the end of July, Xiong Darun, member of the China Central Government People’s Congress, China Science Academy academician, and primary researcher at Zijinshan Observatory, along with his student—China Science Academy National Observatory primary researcher, Professor Deng Licai, came a second time to pay an official visit to DORS.  Nearly 70 years old, but health seemingly robust, Mr. Xiong rode a jeep and trekked uneven mountain paths for over three hours, in order to inspect the implementation of Shiquan Village’s projects which he financed through personal contributions. 
In 2004, after receiving the 2003 Heliangheli prize, academician Xiong Darun had continuously been thinking of repaying society in some way.  He happened to hear about DORS through the news media, about how DORS was initiating poverty relief in Sichuan’s Hanyuan.  He said DORS director Rose Acock’s simple words receiving the visiting media people moved him, and he decided to come to Hanyuan to have a look.  After reaching Hanyuan, Mr. Xiong went to the village with DORS staff, personally inspected and came to understand DORS’ projects in Hanyuan’s remote, high mountain villages.  DORS’ participatory method of poverty relief very much interested Mr. Xiong, so he decided to contribute the 200,000 yuan (about 15,000 GBP) from the Heliangheli prize entirely to Development Organization of Rural Sichuan, for use on supporting the comprehensive projects implemented in two villages in Hanyuan County.
Up to now Shiquan Village’s projects are mostly completed.  Right now we are just preparing to do a few small income-generation projects.  During this inspection Mr. Xiong once again complimented Shiquan’s projects, and also discussed with us the plans for the new project village.  Mr. Xiong decided to support DORS publishing a book to be used to introduce and publicize DORS’ work ideas and methods, and we discussed this book’s contents.  We hope through this book to help more people understand DORS’ work.  Aside from this, Mr. Xiong brought up some valuable suggestions about our upcoming ten-year celebration.
Hanyuan County’s county government attached a lot of value to Mr. Xiong’s visit, sending cars and drivers to receive and send off both him and Pr. Deng, with government leaders from related departments going along to visit the project village.
Shiquan Village’s party secretary Li Liangxue accompanied Mr. Xiong at the village inspecting projects.  Li Liangxue also represented all of Shiquan presenting Mr. Xiong with an award.  The down-to-earth villagers usually aren’t fond of words—apart from receiving guests by feeding them their house’s best pork and roast chicken, they find this way to express the thankfulness in their hearts.

Boar Project
Shiquan Village used to have no boar pigs—in order to breed the sows in the village, the only way was to take the sows to a neighboring village, for which coming and going required at least a day altogether.  According to the requests of the villagers, DORS decided to buy a boar to help develop Shiquan Village’s pig- raising industry.  In June, DORS requested Ganluo County Animal Husbandry Bureau to come and help Shiquan Village’s purchase a Yuekexia boar.  Because it took a long time to bring the pig from a large distance away, and because of the hot weather and the change of environment, our small pig got sick.  The villagers in charge of raising the pigs took care of the sick pig as if it were their own child, immediately calling the vet in the village to help heal him.  DORS workers in addition to calling on the phone every day to see how it was doing, also brought some medicine to the village, but what made people worry was that the pig’s health didn’t seem to improve any.  Because it hadn’t eaten anything in a long time, to all appearances it was very weak, and critically ill.  The good thing was we have a staffmember who has a background in veterinary studies, Ms. Wang Zhifang, who went to the village and gave the pig an infusion (plus taught the village vet how to do it), after which the pig seemed to be in better spirits.  Its temperature also gradually went down, but the appearance of the illness was erratic, though its appearance in the afternoon was better than in the morning.  The household raising the pig, no matter how busy, would go to faraway places to buy medicine, even feeding the pig the house’s eggs.  Through the hard work of DORS and the household raising the pig, the pig is already recovered.  Along with accompanying Mr. Xiong to Shiquan, we saw that the little pig’s spirits are back.  Its recovery and the villagers’ careful raising of it are interrelated.

Village school toilets project
This project requires 4532 yuan, and has been repaired through China Science Institute National Observatory Pr. Deng Licai and his colleagues and friends’ collective donations.  DORS’ Mr. Bai Shihai completed the blueprints for the toilets, and signed a contract with village Party Secretary Li Liangxue    guaranteeing the quality of the project and determining its construction time.  Villagers will provide free labor; presently the project is in its planning stage.  Because this is the rainy season and Dadu River water is high, (so ferries transporting trucks can’t take them anymore and they must go on the roads), mountain roads are muddy and hard to pass, so a part of the materials cannot be brought quickly to Shiquan.  When the weather clears and a part of the materials have been brought, construction of the toilets will start.

DORS Forestry Projects

In June and July, DORS implemented a follow-up survey of 14 villages’ forestry projects in Hanyuan County.  These villages’ forestry projects include economic-benefit trees, fuelwood trees, timber trees, and others, altogether planting about 4000 mu of fruit tree saplings (of which nut trees made up about 2000 mu), for a cost of over 500,000 yuan. It was implemented by MRDF, Misereor, SGS (British Embassy Small Grants Scheme), etc. foundations starting from 1999.  Of all the forestry projects, walnuts, Chinese chestnuts, loquat, and plums are being grown on a large scale.  Their growth is good and so are the varieties.  Villagers believe the market for nuts will be especially good in the coming period, so they are willing to spend the effort to manage them.  Of all these projects, the timber trees and fuelwood trees’ growth isn’t very promising.
Because villagers’ experience managing the trees and interest in it are different from person to person, some trees already produce fruit (and income), while others’ growth is not good.  The villages in which we are implementing forestry projects have done five forestry technique training sessions before or after planting, plus we continually do follow-up surveys to see how the trees are being managed.   Our aim in doing this particular survey was to see how the fruit trees were doing, to see which were being managed well, where there were problems, and afterwards to discuss things with the villagers and solve the problems.  At the same time we hope to find some villagers more or less experienced in sapling management, to again raise their tree-management techniques level, and then to make them be able to earn more money to make other villagers interested and able to manage the trees, through them.  Among these people are some villagers and technical people we already trained in the past, so they are interested in developing fruit trees.  This is an important period, we believe if we and the villagers both put in effort, there will definitely be a great income gain from the trees.  Below is a description of some project villages’ forestry project conditions:
Pianma Township’s Daying Village mainly planted walnuts, Sichuan pepper, and grafted Chinese chestnuts.  90% of the trees grew well, and more or less all have begun to produce fruit.  Village accountant Li Wengao’s mulberry and walnut trees planted together grew well. The average growth condition of the trees in Daying were just like his.  Walnut trees is one of the projects DORS implemented in 2005, and from this year they have partially started to produce fruit.  We believe the walnuts’ fruit-production period will come very quickly.  This is a new kind of Yunnan walnuts; this variety of walnut tastes very good. According to villagers, both the appearance and the taste of their particular walnuts is good. 
The Sichuan pepper planted in autumn 2004 has already come to the bearing pepper period.  All of the villagers who planted Sichuan pepper already have economic benefit.  Villager Hei Ga Mu Nai’s  pepper trees’ survival rate is high, and his walnuts’ growth trend is not bad.  He is a very industrious person.  Although this year the sun was very strong, making other people’s families’ tree growth rates look comparatively puny, other people’s trees are nevertheless very healthy.  Villager Li Yude is also a quick study at raising trees.  His house’s 300 or more walnuts have grown very well, he says in the future he needs to concentrate on developing walnuts, because walnuts are easy to manage, and the coming market will be very good.
Huangmu Township, Fuyou Village in autumn of 2001 planted walnuts, Heibaoshi plums, You peaches, Sichuan pepper, cork trees, etc.  The Sichuan pepper’s survival rate was low, but the survival rate of the walnuts was high—they’ve already started to produce fruit.  This year’s production rate of Heibaoshi plums is expected to reach over 10 tons; after autumn (the eighth day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar), they should be ripe.  Now we are looking, along with the villagers, for places to sell them.  These are pollution-free organic fruit, so if you are interested, you can contact us by phone or email.  DORS positions itself as the request-receiver/contact person for villagers, and is wholeheartedly at your service.  The price can be discussed with villagers according to the market price.
At Shunhe Township Banyang Village Hamlet 9 DORS implemented a social and community forestry project which was completed both in fall 2000 and with different plants in spring 2001.  This project’s general aim is to raise villagers’ income through forestry projects, and at the same time to prevent the wind blowing over crops, and mud- and rock slides.  We planted Heibaoshi plums, You peaches, large loquat, Mihou peaches, grapes, Chinese chestnuts, etc.  This year Hamlet Nine’s hamlet leader brought his hamlet’s loquat produce to DORS’ office for us to try, and the flavor was good.  But the fruit’s appearance was not very good, the fruit had scars, from this you could see that the villager’s management of them was poor.  Chinese chestnuts had been planted the most, and had already started to produce fruit earlier, we expect soon they will enter their producing season.  The hamlet leader told us now the amount of produce isn’t great, and transportation is inconvenient, so the produce still hasn’t gone to market.  Because of constructing the road around the soon-to-be-created lake created by the dam for the Pubugou hydropower plant, they have already started to repair the road into the village.  Once the road is repaired it will be convenient to get to market.  All they need is to be able to be sold, and villagers will start to manage the trees well of their own accord.
Yongli Township’s Maping Village and Moduo Village are the villages planting the most varieties of fruit trees.  As of the beginning of 2004, what is grown the most is walnuts and loquat.  Large cherries’ survival rate achieved over 90%, other trees for example plums, peaches, grapes and Sichuan pepper were planted in very small quantities, but their survival rates were not high.  Maping Village’s crops suffered a lot from wild pigs.  Although local county government and security department took some preventative and protective measures, nevertheless it’s impossible to completely prevent wild pigs’ harm to the crops. Plus, seeing that the coming market for walnuts is rather good, besides those being easy to transport, people still want to develop nuts.  Maping Village formerly invited a person from out of town to help buy Chinese chestnut saplings, but another person took the money and was never seen from again.  Villagers continually suffer from lacking a place to buy the saplings, and fear being cheated again, so the villagers are asking for DORS’ help procuring walnut and loquat saplings.

Maping Village

Demonstration Income-Generation project—planting mulberries, raising silkwormsBecause the most recent years’ silkworm price is good, Hanyuan Xinshengtai Company and government contacts are vigorously pushing villagers to raise silkworms.  The company provides villagers with free mulberry tree seeds and technical direction, and also takes care of buying back the silkworms.  But if villagers want to construct standard silkworm houses, they need about 5000 yuan.  Usually villagers can’t afford this kind of expense.  After considering this reason, DORS decided to provide a part of the funds, choosing three households of villagers who were interested in raising silkworms to help construct standard silkworm houses.  The demonstration households’ planted mulberry seeds already have sprouted, next year in the spring they can be transplanted.  The houses’ construction work has already started.  We plan to be able to raise the first batch of silkworms next summer.  If the experiment with the demonstration houses succeeds, then this project will be able to be expanded.

Huodi Village

Demonstration Income-generation project—moyu, Chinese angelica, honeybeesThe moyu (a plant that can make a dark-colored tofu) planted by demonstration households had about average growth—now is the period for saving seeds instead of selling produce, in order to expand the area of planting.  We estimate next year at the end of the year they will be able to sell their produced moyu.
Because the weather was very dry during the planting period, and because the Chinese angelica seedlings suffered some loss on the way being transported to Huodi, two of the demonstration households’ Chinese angelica has already completely died.  The Chinese angelica project finally failed.
The honeybee project is going very well, as every household increased from the original amount to 4-13 hives, the household with the most already has 17 hives of bees.  Because the bees have just been split up, every hive’s honey resources are small, and every year there’s only a small amount of honey that can be sold.  Next year there will be a lot of honey, it’s estimated that one hive of bees’ honey at least can sell for 100 yuan.  This kind of method for raising honeybees, though it is villagers’ traditional rough method, nevertheless the skill required is great, so these few households need to expend some effort in order to raise the honeybees well.  DORS provided a part of the funds for buying the hives, which are 45 yuan apiece.  At the present time it appears that the honey market is quite good, so the development potential is great.  Villagers bought handmade old-style hives at another village.  Every hive’s price varies between 60 and 80 yuan.

Sanshihu Village

Stoves Project
In June, we evaluated Sanshihu Village’s stoves project.  Because this project’s implementation was influenced by weather, geography and limited transportation ability, and because the cement villagers asked people to buy for them was not good, of 31 stoves, 9’s tiles require reapplying. Whether you consider villagers themselves or the project, it’s a great loss of time for both.  At the time of our final evaluation, villagers bought the cement themselves, and laid the tiles again on the outside.  So the time for the stoves to be finished was delayed, but the outcome can’t be considered good.

DORS Donations News

In the beginning of July, DORS received Beijing National Observatory’s Pr. Deng and other persons’ contributions in the sum of 7000 yuan.  This contribution’s donors included Beijing National Observatory’s Xin Yu, Liang Yanchun, and Lu Ye, Hong Kong’s Science and Technology University Pr. Chen Jionglin, Qinghai Zhonghao Co. (Chengdu)’s Xiao Jun as well as his wife Tang Xiaoqin, individuals Xu Yao and Yan Jun.  These contributions will be used to repair Shiquan Village’s school washroom, with a part of the program funds being used to improve the conditions of the school classroom.
In July we received another contribution of 2500 yuan from the head of the Yongle Accounting Services company who continually does the auditing work for DORS, Mr. Liu Yu.  We are extremely grateful to them for spending large amounts of time and effort on DORS’ finances and auditing work, and also very grateful for their even making a donation along with their industrious work.
At the end of July, DORS once again received Pr. Deng Licai’s donation of 3800 yuan at a meeting in Ya’an.  Donors were the following:  Shanghai Observatory’s Shao Zhengyi, Hou Jinliang, Chen Li, Shen Shiyin, Jiang Peifang, National Observatory’s Hu Jingyao, Shi Huoming, Yunnan Observatory’s Han Zhanwen, Qian Shengbang, Xihua Normal University’s Yang Shuzheng, Luo Zhijin.   This money will be used on improving the conditions of Shiquan school.
Starting from the beginning of 2004, some friends of society from England very regularly donated about thirty English pounds to our British office. These funds in our English bank account will all be transferred to China to use on Hanyuan and Ganluo Counties’ rural development projects.  These people include:  Wormald N.J.CHarrison V.CM. WillcoxCElliot C.CLang Marion RoseCGregory J. A.CMr. Virgoe and Mrs. Su.

Because we are lucky enough to be able to do this work, we are able to meet a large number of kind and impressive villagers and donors.  Because of their care and support, we are able to have more confidence and endurance to do our work, and can attack our tasks more firmly with peace of mind.  Here, we wish all those who care about charity work a lifetime of health, happiness & fulfilment.

DORS News and Information

In June, vice-director Guo Yumei, project manager Wang Zhifang and translator Katherine Miller went to Chengdu to meet with Hong Kong Partnerships for Community Development (PCD)’s and Germany’s Misereor Foundation’s representatives.  They talked with PCD about the possibility of working together, and with Misereor about DORS’ finances.  Misereor came to understand more about our finances, and appeared satisfied with DORS’ financial situation.
DORS’ Li Maohui and Yand Fangyuan attended the minority handicrafts promotion conference held by American KHAM Aid Foundation from July 13-15.  The study sessions introduced “Traditional handicrafts development, design, creation, marketing, and income-creation.”  Both staff learned a lot in the course of studying.
In order to prepare for our ten-year celebration, DORS is once again recruiting a new volunteer.  If you are interested in charity work, and have professional experience videorecording, and are willing to serve DORS in this capacity for from three to six months free of charge, we welcome your application.  We are prepared to provide food and lodging while going to the countryside for a volunteer from Hanyuan, as well as travel costs there, and for a volunteer from out of town, to provide lodging.

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