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Youths make a difference through ActionAid program

Friday, April 1, 2011 - 15:06

A youth program, to develop the leadership of rural and urban young people has been implemented by ActionAid China during the last five years - in 2010, young people were included in training and small projects, which focused on rural development issues such as sustainable agriculture, rural governance and farmers cooperatives.

After the training, fellows are mentored and supported through monthly report feedback, mobile newsletter, and Skype forums.

The young people identified problems in their community with villagers, and took action to solve it or address these through coordination, reflection and action.

With small funds, the fellows are mainly taking action on setting up a farmers’ cooperative, practicing a new model of producing to improve women’s organizing and capacity building.

  • 28 urban fellows and 33 rural fellows were trained through intensive training, field work and a mini project.
  • 30 mentors and 12 partners were involved in cultivating potential leaders.
  • At least 179 communities have benefited from the potential leaders’ growth and 34 mini projects.

In Shaanxi DA14 Ningqiang, Li Cuiping proposed a rolling fund mini-project to respond to the situation that the villagers lacked cash to scale-up their planting and cultivation in the beginning of the year.  This would also address the issue of emergencies such as sudden illness and school charges.

Together with Wuyun, a potential youth leader, both of them helped villagers run a 5000 yuan rolling fund by themselves, which benefited eight families - all of them paid back the money after loan period so that the fund could assist others.

Beneficiary Zhao Xiuying said, “This program helped me a lot. I was granted a loan of 500 yuan to buy seeds and fertilizer, since all my cash had been spent on my son so he could attend school at the beginning of the semester.

Thanks to the rolling fund, I gained a good harvest and I paid it back to help others.

In Hebei DA10 Zhangbei, Guo Dianliang set up a library in village and organized reading and discussing activities as his mini-project.

 “I thought it is very hard to do something before, and prefer the heads tell me what to do and how to do,” he said.

 “Now I learned that if I wanted to do something and be active and positive, I can do something and make change.”