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Poverty alleviation gives rural families more time together

Updated: Jun 4, 2020 XINHUA Print

Niu Lijuan, a rural resident in Gangu county, Gansu province, looks at her family album with her son on May 26. [Photo/Xinhua]

LANZHOU-On a chilly winter's night in 2008, Niu Lijuan left her home. After kissing her four-month-old baby, the 24-year-old mother with tears running down her cheeks, set out on a journey to a city about 2,400 kilometers away to look for a decent job.

"I of course preferred to stay at home with my child, but there were few factories and moneymaking opportunities in my hometown," recalls Niu, a rural resident in Gangu county, Northwest China's Gansu province. "To live a better life, I had to leave home."

Following in her footsteps one year later, Niu's husband also headed for Shenzhen, a coastal economic powerhouse in southern China. The couple were among the millions of parents who live in a poverty-stricken part of China and choose to leave their children behind and to find better paying jobs in larger cities.

In recent years, as part of China's efforts to eliminate poverty, a large number of programs have been launched in impoverished regions across the country. Many poverty alleviation programs have become new power engines for local economic growth, created jobs for the local labor force and brought parental love to the children whose parents return to take up jobs in their hometown.

In 2018, Niu became a benefactor of those poverty relief programs as she sought a job at a garment factory within a 10-minute drive from home. She can now work in her hometown while looking after her children.

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