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Charity Helps in the Booming of a Historic Chinese Township

By JAMES ALEXANDERXINYI LISHIHAN YANGYILING WANGWANG, XIAOYANICHONGQING|Apr 28,2022

Chongqing– Qijiang District in Southwestern China’s Chongqing Municipality is renowned for being the only district of Chongqing that was passed through by the Red Army during the Long March in 1935. As a result, Yangjiao Village nearby Guizhou Province enjoys a red legacy commonly referred to as the Yangjiao Spirit, embodied by the industrious village folk who lead otherwise simple lives.

Once upon a time, the local economy of Anwen Township in Qijing was driven by coal mining. When the industry closed down around a decade ago, the subsequent lack of employment threatened to impoverish the community, and many were left with no option but to seek work elsewhere.

However, charitable endeavors have aided the cause of rural revitalization in Qijiang based on red tourism, which has remodeled the local economy and brought newfound prosperity to this rural community.

Home refurbishments, the addition of street lighting, and ecological restoration have created the “1935 Red Army Street”, which now attracts visitors from urban areas in Chongqing and surrounding provinces. Many villagers have benefitted from this opportunity by opening red-themed restaurants and guesthouses catering to the influx of visitors.

One upstanding example of the Yangjiao spirit is the story of the five teachers of Yangjiao Primary School, who have selflessly dedicated thirty years of their professional careers to the education of local village children.

However, the school budget was only sufficient for regular operations, even for such a small institution. Consequently, the local village committee sought financial contributions through the charitable project named “Pearls of Southern Chongqing – One Village, One Dream.” The ability to remodel the school into a base for special education has allowed the school to produce more talented graduates.

He Zhiyong has taught at Yangjiao Primary School for thirty years and embodies the Yangjiao Spirit for his continued dedication to helping local children achieve their dreams. “I feel very honored to serve my fellow townsfolk and contribute to education in China. As educators, we are responsible for bringing up the next generation, and I feel duty-bound to put all my efforts into teaching from this important position I hold.”

In healthcare, the remote nature of Anwen Township has meant a large proportion of the local young workforce has sought employment outside their hometown. As a result, many elderly residents lack the care they need, including treatment for common ailments. Thankfully, the dedication of a team of volunteer health practitioners now runs a village clinic that was opened thanks to the support of charitable donations.

The Country Naturopath House was opened in December 2021 in Chonghe Village. Historically, the building was once a hiding place for the treatment of injured soldiers but has now been renovated into an open clinic and lecture hall run by a team of four volunteer health practitioners. Elderly villagers regularly visit so that volunteers can treat them for ailments such as back pain using the traditional methods of massage, acupuncture, and foot spas.

So far, the clinic has proven a great success and has received unanimous praise from the local people who use the services regularly. The generous donations and hard work of volunteers have brought health and happiness to the townfolk of Anwen and richly embody the Yangjiao spirit that has so long been aspired in this community.

This year, the Chongqing Charity Federation has been holding a series of public benefit activities with the support of Tencent Charity and Tencent Southwest Headquarters in Qijiang District, Nanchuan District, and Shizhu Tujia Autonomous County. Their cooperation dates back to 2017, when they began collecting donations to support local communities through endeavors such as opening new roads to prosperity, health services, and improvements to school facilities.

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