Hope never got lost here!

Xu Xikui turns 70 years old this year. He and his wife have a son who is married with two children.

His two grandsons are studying in the City of Kaili an hours drive from their village. They are in Grade 3 and Grade 8. Their son and his wife have part time jobs near the school in order to earn more money for sons’ education. It is such a huge expense for them to live in the city. Paying for the house rent, meal fees, and children’s tuition fees, there is not much money left and this makes their lives quite difficult.

Xu Xikui and his wife make a living growing rice and corn back at the village. They have 1.5 acres of cropland distributed in different areas and it takes them nearly half an hour to travel from the cropland to their home. They work day and night, however, they only get about 3,000 yuan a year (US$480). They get nothing for a whole year if there is a long drought period. Last year, there was no harvest from one of their crop locations close to the road. At the same time his wife was hospitalized for more than a month which cost nearly 2,000 yuan (almost a years earnings). They had to borrow this from others, so now they have a debt.

To support his family, Xu Xi Kui has in addition tried to raise three piglets and a sow. However, he has always struggled to advance this small business because the pigs would never grow up healthy and fast due to the lack of advanced feeding techniques, and disease was always a problem. His business was only just managing to turn a small profit.

In 2014, the Captivating funded village program came to their home village of Censer Mountain. This was great news for the Xu Xikui and his wife. They have now joined the program and are looking forward to seeing their pig business improve and prosper, as well as learning some new farming techniques to maximise their crop yields. Says Xu Xikui with a big smile on his face, “if there is any problem about raising pigs, I can now just ask for help from these experts to achieve scientific breeding and bring a greater profit”. The old couple are now hopeful that next years profits will more than double with the pigs selling at a more satisfactory price.

Xu Xikui summarized his life well when he said, “Although times have always be tough for us, hope has never got lost here“. It looks like he is right.  He and his wife live in hope that one day his son and family may return to the village after seeing that reasonable money can now be made if things are done well. We hope his dreams come true.

Xu Xikui is one of what will eventually be 450 families benefiting from our Kaili Village Program – a program jointly implemented by Captivating and Heifer China, in partnership with Chinese agricultural and animal husbandry departments. For more information, contact andrewc@captivating.org 

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