Zigen supports and encourages villagers to initiate projects which promote a spirit of cooperation, preserve local culture, weave a village network and build an infrastructure for communal benefit.
During recent years, Zigen has gradually increased funding in the area of community development, as our local partners are becoming more and more active in taking initiatives of innovative projects, as cohorts of young graduates from schools turning into contributing members in the villages.
Villagers in Lankao County, Henan have played a leading role in rural cooperation, community self-help and networking with other local organizations, and have been in national spotlight. Zigen have been involved in the grassroots development in Lankao formany years.
In 2008, Zigen gave support to ten old folk associations in Lankao County, helping to improve the quality of life of the rural elderly. Lankao was also the site that brought together Zigen pilot villagers and staff members to learn from Lankao’s successful community development experience, through an experience learning tour sponsored by Zigen. Based on skills learned from past projects, a new conference on rural development capacity building for villagers was held in Qinglong, Hebei. A smaller meeting of of “Feasibility survey on exchange of project experiences” was held in Gehetou Township, Hebei.
A new Zigen grant was offered in Leishan, Guizhou, to rebuild a chicken farm after the snow storm disaster early this year, because the chicken farm was part of a promising microlending project. Zigen also supported a women’s mutual-help association in Liupu Village, Majiang, Guizhou. Elsewhere, Zigen supported a variety of village cultural activities, such as village libraries, local music instruments, and preservation of ancient architectures.
Zigen regards health as one of few basic human needs that should be guaranteed. The provision of health care is many remote part of rural China is problematic due to many factors, such as economic hardship, lack of access to basic medical facilities, disadvantaged communication and transportation, and most importantly, the absence of a fair and affordable health care system. In order to meet the immediate and urgent needs of villagers, Zigen has supported the setting up of clinics, training of paramedics, and mobile volunteer medical teams. Zigen has also focused on preventive medicine and health education, and implemented projects that promote Chinese medicine and other low-cost health solution, raise consciousness for keeping fit, and educate villagers regarding health issues.
Environmentally sound technology
Supporting environmentally sound technology in rural China is one of major Zigen strategies for human centered sustainable development. Zigen made every effort to identify locally based, affordable low-tech solutions for everyday needs in rural consumption and production. In the past two decades, Zigen supported and promoted environmentally friendly and energy saving stoves, and biogas systems for both rural families and schools. Other projects include improved heating system for rural houses, and measures to reduce pollution by pesticides.
- Small loans to cooperative economic projects
- Village women groups
- Construction of women’s center
- Village culture groups
- Senior folks association