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A county in Yunnan eradicates poverty through community innovation

Yunnan is a very important province in southwest China bordering Viet Nam, Laos, and Myanmar.The province is home to 25 diverse ethnic minority groups. In carrying out the government’s poverty eradication strategy, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched different projects in Malipo County in the province. Some of these projects are aimed at rebuilding the villages in the countythrough the provision of solar power, reconstruction of feeder roads, establishment of community resource centers, as well as investments in income generating activities like dairy farming to the tune of 212 million yuan ($31.04 million). These projects helped all of the 91 villages in the county with a total of 220,000 people get rid of poverty by the end of 2019. 

These projects are part of the government’s strategy to fight poverty that plagued minority groups living in these villages. Talking to ChinaAfrica, Liu Rongzhen,64, head of Xiajinchang Village, affirmed that the donation from the Foreign Ministry has improved the lives of his community members. In addition to the provision of livestock, the ministry has also donated a small library to improve the education level of the children and the community.   

Children living in the community use the facility for their education purposes while the villagers find the resources in the library vital to search for information that they need to improve their livelihood. Yang Yun, a 24-year-old resident in the village, said she took the opportunity to share her experience of preparing for the job market. She also mentioned that such a resource has given her a better chance to compete effectively with her peers. 

Furthermore, the county’s Yunling Village is blessed with the abundance of the dendrobe, a medicinal herb found in the hilly mountains nearby. Through establishing cooperatives to collect and process herbal leaves, local people can get an income of approximately 3 million yuan ($439,200) per year. Long Guangjian, head of a cooperative in the village, explained that the flowers and leaves of the dendrobe are beneficial in treating high blood pressure and other related diseases. The community gets income from picking the flowers during the season as well as receives 15 percent of the total revenue generated from the sale of the processed product, which enables them to live decently. 

The writer is a Kenyan studying in Communication University of China

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