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Peng Xiaying: helping villagers escape poverty

Updated: Sep 21, 2020 Women of China Print
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Peng Xiaying, a resident of Shenshan, a village in Jinggangshan, a city in east China's Jiangxi province, will never forget Feb. 2, 2016. That was the day when Chinese President Xi Jinping walked into her house. Xi visited her during his inspection tour to Shenshan, to monitor the village's efforts to alleviate poverty. Xi's words of encouragement kindled Peng's enthusiasm to help others escape poverty through hard work.

"As President Xi has said, 'Happiness comes out of arduous work.' I believe through my efforts ... I will live a better life," recalls Peng.

Soon after President Xi visited Shenshan, she used her savings, with her family's help, to open a restaurant that offered farm-fresh food. Peng and her family members have attached great importance to guaranteeing the quality of their foods. More importantly, they have adhered to the principle of being honest when providing services to customers. As a result, their business has generated considerable profits during the past few years.

Peng and her husband also set up a store (in the village), out of which they sell their home-made products (such as preserved fruits, bacon and dried bamboo shoots). Peng and Zhang Chengde, her husband, also sell their bamboo products and bonsai trees in their store. Their products are generally well received by visitors from different regions of the country.

In 2017, Peng told the village's leaders she and her husband (who is disabled) would like to give up his basic living allowance (from the local government). Peng told the leaders, "Since President Xi visited us, many visitors have had meals in our restaurant. Now that we are better off, we would like to leave the quota (of people) for the allowance to other villagers, who are poor."

Peng has been doing her best to help the villagers get rich. In addition to sharing information about her customers with other restaurants' owners (in the village), she has popularized information about local tourist attractions among visitors.

In 2017, Peng and several other villagers established Shenshan's Tourism Management Association, to help villagers improve their ability to receive visitors. During the past few years, Peng, and other members of the association, has persuaded nearly 100 villagers to join the association. As the association has attracted an increasing number of visitors to Shenshan, many members have attained wealth by providing agri-entertainment services, by offering a variety of "entertainment farming" options (such as crop patches, farm stores and agricultural festivals). As a result, almost all of the villagers had escaped poverty by 2019.

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