Helping those in need is a priority in Chinese social work, particularly in remote rural areas. In Yingjiang county in Southwest China’s Yunnan province, efforts are being made, to help people move from inhospitable places to better surroundings, while also protecting the environment.
More than 1,000 locals from remote mountain areas are welcoming their new life closer to the town of Yingjiang this week. Among them are Cai Wu and his fellow villagers from Dagudi village, a remote mountainous area.
Cai said that from now on, his parents can access better healthcare, and it’s easy for the kids to reach their school.
Cui is thankful for the 160,000 yuan (around $23,000) aid that he received from the government, “Local government paid for more than half of the cost for my new home,” said Cai.
Many of his neighbors have started cleaning up and they are ready for a new life.
Cai and his fellow villagers used to live in a very different environment, a deep forest where natural resources are limited and natural disasters are frequent.
Some 70 kilometers away in the rugged mountains, is their old habitat, beautiful ecosystem, though rather fragile.
In the past, Cai and nearly 200 other villagers, barely made a living, working with natural resources.
They cut down trees and mowed lemongrass, and even killed and sold rare birds.
“Back then, we lived in shabby shacks with livestock … usually, I only earned some 5,000 yuan (around $721) per year,” Cai said.
Now with the help from the government and charity groups, changes are happening.
Cai said that they have abandoned their old ways of living, and are growing more trees, protecting rare birds to help protect the environment.
“I believe our life will get better,” he said.
For Cai Wu and his family, they can either work as forest rangers or seek jobs in town.
Their annual income per person has increased from some 5,000 (around $721) to 20,000 yuan (around $2,800) per year.
A new life also means passing on new hopes to the next generation.