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Wanda helps lift ethnic villagers out of poverty

By Yang Jun in Guiyang ( China Daily )

Updated: 2018-01-18

Donations spur locals in Guizhou's Danzhai county to set up businesses

Chinese property development giant Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co Ltd allocated its second 50 million yuan ($7.7 million) poverty-alleviation fund to the poverty-stricken population in Danzhai county, Southwest China's Guizhou province on Jan 12.

The fund is part of Wanda's poverty-alleviation project designed to meet the short-term poverty-alleviation needs of the county, which is famous for its rich Miao ethnic cultural heritage and stunning landscapes.

With Spring Festival coming up, Mo Tingping plans to sell her 300 chickens at market for at least 130 yuan each, from which she can earn a profit of 20,000 yuan for half a year's hard work.

 Wanda helps lift ethnic villagers out of poverty

1. A Miao ethnic woman embroiders a design on a cloth at her shop in the Danzhai Wanda Village in Guizhou province. 2. Consumers saunter down the main thoroughfare of the Danzhai Wanda Village. 3. A man hangs red lanterns to decorate the Danzhai Wanda Village for the upcoming Spring Festival. Yang Jun / China Daily

In January 2017, Mo's family received 3,672 yuan in financial support from the Wanda Special Poverty Alleviation Fund, which gave her the capital to start her business by purchasing the chicks.

"My husband and I used to do odd jobs in Danzhai, from which we could earn about 2,000 yuan per month. Sometimes we had no income because there were no jobs," Mo said.

To make things worse, Mo couldn't work for almost a year after she underwent surgery to remove kidney stones in 2016.

"When I got the first support payment, I decided to buy and raise baby chickens. Now I can see my reward."

Wanda will continue to support Mo's business with a second round of funding, to help her expand her business scale.

In addition, her husband Chen Liwen received 50,000 yuan via a special loan guaranteed by the local government. He bought a second-hand truck to transport building materials for the Danzhai Wanda Village and other construction sites, earning him 4,000 yuan per month.

In 2014, Wanda decided to help lift Danzhai out of poverty through its support, following a model of "one enterprise responsible for an entire county's poverty alleviation". The benefit of such a model is that the company will be responsible for the overall research and design behind the county's poverty alleviation plan, as well as for the operation of the plan. When selecting which industrial sector to invest in and develop to boost the local economy, Wanda conducted thorough research, and decided on tourism as its pillar industry. As a result, Wanda has helped to build a vocational college, a tourism village and a poverty-lifting fund.

The long-term aspect of the project is the Guizhou Wanda Vocational College. With 300 million yuan donated by Wanda, the college is designed to improve the quality of life in Danzhai through education, eliminating the possibility of poverty arising again.

The college is able to accommodate 2,000 students, with its facilities meeting national top-tier vocational college standards.

Wanda has also guaranteed that 50 percent of the graduates will be hired, based on merit, and will work at Wanda each year.

The medium-term part of the project is the 800 million yuan Danzhai Wanda Village. Constructed and designed with the Miao ethnic style of architecture, the village portrays Danzhai's unique intangible cultural heritage, handicrafts with Miao ethnic characteristics, Miao delicacies, and Miao medical treatment and medicines.

Statistics show that over 3 million tourists visited the Danzhai Wanda Village since its opening in July 3, 2017, bringing in revenue exceeding 2 billion yuan. The tourism village and college have created significant local employment opportunities, increasing the incomes of 26,637 poverty-stricken people, or 75 percent of local people who have lived in poverty.

According to Li Bai, deputy chief of the county, Danzhai is expected to rid itself of poverty by 2018, two years earlier than originally planned.

Dong Xianwu contributed to the story.


(China Daily 01/18/2018 page18)

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