Moms Back Home Through Poverty-Alleviation Scheme

May 8, 2018
Editor: Wushanshan

A Miao-style ethnic embroidery project in central China's Hunan Province has attracted many migrant women workers to return to their hometown.

One such participant Long Shunjin, a 37-year-old mother of two children, lives in the village of Paiwu in the local county of Huayuan.

For a long time, Long's two-year old little daughter did not even know her because she had to earn a living as a maternity matron in a city far away.

Huayuan is the most poverty-stricken area in Hunan, say officials.

"My daughter is very small, and I really spent a short time to take care of her. She even avoided to hug me whenever I come back home," Long sobbed. "I miss my daughters every day, but there was nothing I could do,"

Last July, she heard about the implementation of a poverty alleviation project Let Mother Return Home involving Miao embroidery in her hometown and signed up immediately.

Local women can freely get the professional guidance of Miao embroidery inheritors and technicians in the town once they sign up. The project will provide embroidery and other manual product orders for those who are qualified after training.

Long earned 1,200 yuan in her first month.

"If there are more orders, wages will also increase. If I like, I can bring my child to the base and have lunch for free at noon," she said with a smile.

"What I have earned in this project is less than working outside, but nothing is more important than staying together with my family," she added. 

Ma Zhengbing is the sponsor of the project, and the master of the culture station in the town.

In recent years, as more and more young people migrated for work, the traditional skills of Miao embroidery were gradually declining.

Ma recommended that a woman in the town take part in the Miao embroidery contest in 2012. Eventually, her embroidery was sold for 18,000 yuan (nearly US$ 2860) on the spot after winning the prize.

He realized that the market was full of opportunities to combine Miao embroidery with poverty alleviation. Thus Ma organized the women in the town to set up a cooperative.

Now, the monthly income of each embroiderer can reach 2,000-3,000 yuan or more and the project has become one of the benchmark of cultural poverty alleviation schemes, copied in many places elsewhere in Hunan.

There are about 700,000 so-called "left-behind" children in the Province according to Hunan Civil Affairs Bureau.

"The Department will provide funding and policy support to allow more families to be reunited with their families in 2018," said Yu Xinrong, Chief of Hunan Provincial Department of Culture.

(Source: Xinhua/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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