|People working in Saihanba [Women of China / Fan Wenjun]|
Saihanba is a word that combines Mandarin and Mongolian, and the word means "beautiful highlands." In ancient history, it was a royal hunting ground with a dense forest and various species of birds and animals. During the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the land was opened for farming and logging to make profits. It later became sterile land that was on the verge of becoming a desert. In 1962, some 369 people from across China answered the CPC (Communist Party of China) and the government's call, and they gathered in Saihanba, in the border area of the Inner Mongolian Plateau and the mountains in northern Hebei Province, in North China. They were the pioneers who established a forest farm on the once-deserted land. For the past 55 years, people over three generations have worked diligently on Saihanba to turn the deserted land into a dense forest again. Reporters from Women of China recently interviewed some of the women and couples who have established their "roots" in Saihanba, and who have participated in the creation of what many people call a "green miracle."