Dec 2013/ Jan 2014No. 119

31st January 2014

Infrastructure Projects:

Draying Drinking Water  Project was completed and awaits evaluation

With efforts from Pianma Township government, village cadres, management team, villagers and DORS, the Daying drinking water project was completed with one year’ construction time. Clean drinking water reaches every household easily through pipeline. Villagers are satisfied with this project as the need to carry water from miles away no longer exists. We will assess this project in March.

Hengshan Yi Cultural Activity CourtYards Project Evaluation

Three courtyards for Yi cultural activities in Hengshan Village were completed in last October, DORS conducted the evaluation in December when they were put in use for 2 months. The evaluation focused on two aspects: quality and effects.  All courtyards are well constructed and functioning according to the standard during our field check. According to our semi-structured interviews with villagers, they all benefit from this project as they now have an open place with cement surface to hold all kinds of important events. Children and women also like it very much, because they can play and dance in the courtyard. Intensified cooperation with local government is very important in DORS project design. The purpose is to empower local governments and communities to develop their own homes. This project is one of the successful outcomes that is implemented under local government and village support. DORS provided funding and project planning, and implementation was carried out by local authority and villagers.

Hengshan Yi Cultural Activity CourtYards Project Evaluation

Three courtyards for Yi cultural activities in Hengshan Village were completed in last October, DORS conducted the evaluation in December when they were put in use for 2 months. The evaluation focused on two aspects: quality and effects.  All courtyards are well constructed and functioning according to the standard during our field check. According to our semi-structured interviews with villagers, they all benefit from this project as they now have an open place with cement surface to hold all kinds of important events. Children and women also like it very much, because they can play and dance in the courtyard. Intensified cooperation with local government is very important in DORS project design. The purpose is to empower local governments and communities to develop their own homes. This project is one of the successful outcomes that is implemented under local government and village support. DORS provided funding and project planning, and implementation was carried out by local authority and villagers.

Sustainable  Income Generation Projects:

“Loan for People to Set Up Business” Project

We received numbers of applications to apply for the loan. After assessing all applied project feasibility, its market potential and candidates’ skills, three candidates were selected according to our assessment, which included interviews and questionnaires.

For those who want to receive the loan, a guarantor with good credit reporting is required. The 3 candidates have submitted all information, and signed agreement with DORS respectively. The loan of RMB100,000 for each one were released in January, they will pay back the loan by January 2015 according to the agreement. We will assess this project in due course.

Villager Representatives from 4 Project Villages of Pianma Township visited Agricultural Cooperative

Cooperatives as a form of business organization are distinct from the more common investor-owned firms. They strive to maximize the benefits they generate for their members. An important strength of a cooperative for the farmer is that they retain the governance of the association, thereby ensuring they have ultimate ownership and control. This ensures that the profit reimbursement is shared only amongst the farmer members. Agricultural cooperatives are still new to villagers in our project sites while the other parts of China have witnessed their success. In our Cooperative Project action plan, we had designed to have a study visit to strengthen villagers’ awareness on this project. With the help from DORS consultant Mr. Liao, we contacted a vegetable cooperative and arranged the visit in mid December.

Due to limited resources, we couldn’t include all villagers. 20 village representatives were selected by villagers themselves. On 25th December, a group of 20 villagers and 2 people from the local township went to the Zhenxi Town of Weiyuan County in Neijiang City, Sichuan Province, to visit and learn how the agricultural cooperative operates and how to form a cooperative. A detailed discussion and field visit to the production assembly line and planting farm in the cooperative extended the villagers’ view and enhanced their confidence in the future of this of this project. After getting back to the villages, we arranged a meeting to share their learning with others. The tour was successful and it gave villagers an encouraging impression of the project.

Negotiation with Hualian Supermarkets

Cooperatives provide a method for farmers to join together in an 'association', through which a group of farmers can acquire a better outcome, typically financial, logistical and the ability to bargain which was difficult when going alone. A cooperative will act as an integrator, collecting the output from members, sometimes undertaking manufacturing, and delivering it in large aggregated quantities downstream through the marketing channels. With this idea and the knowledge from the field visit to the above agricultural cooperative, together with our cooperative leader Mr. Peng from Ranmo Village, we went to Hualian supermarket, which is one of the biggest supermarket chain in China, to talk about the cooperatives with them. We met with the manager of the supermarket, he was interested in  organic vegetables which are grown in mountainous areas. But our local cooperative faces big challenges with regard to  the transportation, logistic systems and all procedures needed to meet the market standards including certification and so on. 

Although our cooperative is not yet qualified to partner with Hualian supermarkets, at least it gives us the links of where and how to perceive the goal in the coming work. The visit is no doubt a milestone in the cooperative development.     

DORS internal development:

Human Resource (HR) and Project Management (PM) Training

Capacity building often refers to strengthening the skills, competencies and abilities of people and institutes so they can overcome the causes of their exclusion and suffering, therefore to guide their internal development and activities. Staff capacity building is one of the most significant issues in DORS strategy.

Mr. Han is a CEO of a company in Sichuan and he has rich experiences in HR and PM. As one of our long term volunteers, he gave DORS staff systematic training in HR and PM in  January. He shared his experiences and provided lots of case studies to build and enhance our existing knowledge and skills. The training covered lots of comprehensive cases and the theories of systematic institute development, which helped us to engage in the "process of learning and adapting to change“ and  supported us in forming sound policies, organizational structures, and effective methods of management.

After the training, each of us chose a topic related to HR and PM to research, and a small internal seminar will be held in July to share our learning.

DORS Team Building

DORS is a team and is also like a family. We realize the value of a stable team and know that such a team learns how to work most effectively together, optimize their processes and predict the rate of their progress. Therefore the team building is one of the processes that have been included in DORS 3-year strategic plan.

In order to increase the teams understanding of team dynamics and improve how the team works together, in mid December, DORS members went to a nearby township of Jiuxiang to participate in team building exercises, which included communication, problem-solving, planning and trust exercises. All members gained the  benefits of self-development, positive communication, leadership skills and the ability to work closely together as a team to solve problems.

This is the first time that we have the team building exercises. Thanks to our staff member, Ms. Sang Lingzhi, who prepared all the activities for us.

Learning/Exchanging/Visiting

On 11-13 January, 2014, DORS staff member Wang Jingmei attended a psychological workshop funded by Mercy Corps and organized by Xintu Organisation. The three-day workshop focused on how to provide psychological interventions for children, parents and teachers who had suffered in the earthquake hit areas of Ya’an City. Psychological experts and trainers from Xintu Organisation shared their knowledge and experiences with people from other organisations of Ya’an area.

News and Information

2014 is Chinese year of the Horse. By the time you receive our first newsletter of this year, we had celebrated the traditional festival - Chinese New Year, enjoyed the New Year holiday. Anyway, our traditional wishes are sent to all of you. We wish you all the best for a prosperous year.

  

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