A time to be honest

A Captivating Kaili Village Development Update – Guizhou Province.

Duoji, a small village near Panghai town, Kaili City, consists of more than 100 households. The average farmland is less than 0.08 acre (0.5 mu) per capita and water supplies are quite unstable that people always have trouble drinking or farming, especially in summer and autumn. Because of the difficult farming environment, the economic development of the village is quite depressed. To date, they have largely survived by non-farming related activity such as making bird cages. In 2012, Captivating Village Development in partnership with Heifer China set up two Self Help Groups in Duoji village. 29 households were the first to receive small business loans as part of the program totalling RMB 159,000 (USD 25,645). In most cases, these loans were used by the farmers for agriculture and animal breeding.

Moving forward to today, these same families life situation has changed significantly. Many are grazing cows, fattening black pigs, or cultivating much higher yielding vegetables – all thanks to the training provided by Heifer China following their 12 cornerstone technical training and coaching.

Local farmers are very appreciative of the Captivating and Heifer partnership which has brought to them new hopes of a better future for themselves and, especially, their children – all of whom should be able to remain in school and even consider university possibilities – something quite impossible just a few years ago. As an important side benefit, local farmer spirits are now much more confident and they are full of a new respect for the importance of growing as a community together.

So, why the title of “A time to be honest“? Critical to the program is the requirement that a farmer repays the gift. In this program, this is called “passing on the gift” and their repayment of their loan money enables Captivating & Heifer to pass on a new loan to a new family. We were moved by the story of Yang Ha Kai’s family. Yang Ha Kai’s husband was injured in the construction work several years ago. The family ran out of the savings and owed a huge amount of money for his medical treatment. They have been experiencing a very difficult life and, even as a recipient of the Captivating program, they were only just managing to survive by the income made by Yang Ha Kai from the sale of produce being yielded. Time came for her to pay back her loan. She was not able to do it. Because repayments are controlled by the “Self Help Groups” established in the village (like a village banking group – run by the villagers themselves) they gave her an extension of 3 months to repay her RMB 2000 loan. Two months later, she repaid her loan by selling the only pig which was left for Chinese New Year celebration. This was a big sacrifice for her to make, as eating pig with family over this important time of year is cultural significant. However, even more important to Yang Ha Kai was ensuring she fulfilled her promise. She said, “Being rich in spirit while being poor in things is best. Honesty pays”.

We are so thankful to the 80 families who have stood behind the Captivating Kaili Village Development Program. Due for completion in 2017, this project will see 450 families on their way to a poverty-free future. For more details about this program, and to become involved with new projects focused on bringing hope to families and entire villages, please contact andrewc@captivating.org

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