Error converting data type nvarchar to bigint. Rabbits help women in China’s Dayi County - Bóthar

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Rabbits help women in China’s Dayi County

Report from the field by Pu Yan, one of Bóthar’s China Representatives.

Prior to the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008, Bóthar had been providing relief aid to struggling families in affected regions. The following field report highlights the Women’s’ rabbit projects in Dayi County.

ChinaIn Dayi County, Sichuan Province, China’s farmland is so limited that it is very difficult to earn a living from the land. For extra income, most men in this area would work for the privately-owned coal mines, while their wives would stay on the farm working and taking care of the children.

But in 2008, the government closed all the small-scale private-owned coalmines. Unemployment rose in the area and families were struggling.

That same year, Bóthar with its project partners, Heifer China, started to develop rabbit projects in the region to help women earn a sustainable livelihood at home by raising rabbits. As time went by, the chairperson of the group Li Yumei gathered seventeen women, setting up a rabbit raising Self-Help Group where they learned from and helped each other.

But in the same year, an unexpected disaster happened on May 12th - the Wenchuan Earthquake hit and the damage was severe. Bad news came one after another. Most of Li Yumen’s breeding rabbits died from the disaster as another member Yang Chaoqiong lost her rabbits as all the rabbit cages collapsed and were crushed due to the force of the tremors.

Devastated at the great loss, which destroyed their hope to start their new life with their own initiatives, the women started to re-build their damaged livelihoods.

They were determined to keep the project alive. One member, Wan Bonian gave another member Wu Shuqiong 10 of her breeding rabbits that survived the quake. Wu Shuqiong shared her construction materials with Yang Chaoqiong to help her build new rabbit cages. All the people in the village came to help Li Yumei repair her rabbit cages.

In the following months, the group established a network for selling the rabbits and building hutches.

In China people say, there is a flower in every woman’s heart and in this instance the flower is pure determination.

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