From POVERTY to PROSPERITY – Wu Chaowen’s story

Story by Francine Zhang (Project Manager, Captivating Village Development Project, Guizhou Province)

Daxi villager Wu Chaowen and his wife have two lovely children, one son and one daughter.  This is considered a great blessing in a Chinese family. But, this great blessing was in actual fact a great burden for Wu Chaowen – a father who felt he was failing to provide for them.  When we met them, the couple would work really hard morning till night to earn what money they could to keep their son and daughter in school. It was never enough. Planting 1.5 mu (0.3 acres) of rice land and doing odd jobs could not come close to funding the combined schooling fee of 10000 rmb per year (US$1,600) as well as general living expenses. Something was going to break – and usually this means the end of schooling for middle school rural poor children.

That all changed three years ago.  In August 2012, when the Captivating and Heifer China Village Development Program came to Daxi village, Wu Chaowen immediately signed up for it. He bought 2 pigs and quality feed by taking out a repayable project loan of 4500 rmb (US$750). Through a variety of training programs provided by project officers, Wu learned how to raise good quality pigs to get the maximum benefit. Just two years later, Wu Chaowen was running an efficient breeding business. Today he is selling two pigs each year and has also expanded into raising cows. In June 2014, Wu Chaowen and his family celebrated the full repayment of his loan, and experienced the joy of knowing that his repayment enabled Captivating and Heifer to help fund a loan for another poor rural family – the gift that keeps on giving.  

The project implementation team still remember when Wu Chaowen first joined the project. He was not confident due to his poor education background, and rarely spoke. He is now more open and bright, generous and talkative with people, and loves to share his experiences of breeding with others in the village. We are excited by his story and feel so pleased to see how this project can positively impact the lives of impoverished remote farmers and their families. Ultimately, we are thrilled that the two children in this family have a more secure future and little chance of dropping out of school. Thank you to over 80 families around the world who have supported, and continue to support, this Guizhou based project. 450 families and close to 1,000 children are benefiting from your generosity.

For more information on this project, please email



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