Meet XiaoQin and XiaoHu! These two young adults share their stories of transformation through an IDEAS project that meets long-term holistic needs of rural communities in China by providing clean water, hygiene training, improved agricultural techniques, and a sponsorship program that allows children to graduate school, find good jobs, and give back to their communities.
XiaoQin (ShiowChin) started the sponsorship program in 2006 and graduated just this past year with an engineering degree from Beijing University. She’s the middle child with an older sister and younger brother. Her parents were village farmers when she first entered the program, making education costs difficult to manage. Our small amount of support encouraged her family to keep her in school.
She excelled in school, which allowed her to enter a higher level university where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in engineering. There are very few science majors coming out of the villages, so XiaoQin is unusual in that way.
She now works at the prefectural electric power utility managing their control systems maintenance. She has a strong desire to begin helping other village students and other young people who also need help. XiaoQin sees how our help opened doors to a better life for her, and she’d like to provide that same kind of help to others.
XiaoHu (ShiowWho) started the sponsorship program in 2006 and graduated college 2 years ago with an environmental engineering degree from Chengdu University. His parents are village farmers, relying only on their farm income for a living. Their income is typically below the international poverty line of $2 per day, making education costs difficult to manage.
His parents also cared for his mom’s older brother’s children after her brother passed away at a young age. They ended up raising 6 children. Due to their very low income as farmers and the number of children they cared for, Xiaohu was the only child to attend college. Our small amount of support encouraged his parents to keep him in school. The other children work far from home in low paying jobs.
Xiaohu excelled in school and was offered a higher paying engineering job in the provincial capital far from home. He refused that job, wanting to be closer to his parents. He’s been working as a village poverty alleviation project coordinator these past 2 years and has recently tested into a higher level job closer to home. Now he’ll be able to be a greater support to his parents and visit more often. He sacrificed a good paying job to be close to his parents and has worked hard to see his wishes fulfilled.
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About the Author: Chris is an IDEAS Associate and has been working with rural communities in China since 2002. He uses his engineering background to demonstrate God's love through community transformation projects. His work involves helping rural Chinese communities rise out of poverty. Click here to read more about how hope is being restored in China.