With the support of the Ministry of Housing Urban-Rural Development in P.R.C., Foundation has mobilized over 2,800 volunteers to complete more than 44 projects in Anhui, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Gansu, Guizhou, Yunnan and Chongqing, including footbridges, village facilities, village center etc., benefiting numerous villages and over 52,000 villagers since its inauguration in 2007. In 2015, the Foundation looks forward to developing more Wu Zhi Qiao projects in Yunnan, Chongqing, Gansu and Guizhou.
Since 2013, in an attempt to better utilize its resources and promote project sustainability, the Foundation has tried to concentrate its efforts in a state-level poverty stricken county. The Pengshui Miao and Tujia autonomous county in Chongqing was identified as many of villages in the area are still located in remote corners in the mountains and lives of villagers in the area is difficult. In this connection, site exploration was launched in the Pengshui County.
Amongst the 39 villages/townships, as of 1 February 2015, the Foundation has explored project opportunities in 34 of them. In identifying potential projects, the economic level of the beneficiaries was our prime consideration. Volunteers were required to visit the beneficiaries to understand their situation and needs. As a reference, in 2014, the Foundation is looking for areas with an annual per capita net income of RMB4500 (half of the average annual per capital net income of rural villagers in the mainland in the previous year).
It was noted that apart from footbridges, some of the area experienced serious water shortage problem and public health hazards. Our teams will further investigate and explore the possibility to launch related projects to improve local livelihood. The Foundation would assess whether the needs can be met by the Foundation and the WZQ teams before launching the project.
As of 1 February 2015, amongst other community projects, our teams have completed four footbridge projects (two in Zhufo Village, one in Puzi Village and one in Baojia) in the region. Three projects are in progress (third phase of the project in Zhufo Village, one in Lutang Village and one in Tonglou Village).
Site Location – Shaodi Village, Hezuo City, Gannan State
Site Background – Shaodi Village locates at a valley of 2,875m above sea level. It is divided into 2 parts with 3 village groups (78 households) by a River Maixi. There is a primary school. Most of the villages are Tibetan people who believe Tibetan Buddhism. They speak primarily Tibetan language.
The Need – Currently, the villagers are using tree trunks as a temporary foot-bridge to cross the river. However, during every rainy season, the bridge would be washed away. During flooding season, water level can reach 1.5 meters high. Local villagers cannot go outside and the school kids at one side of the river cannot go to school as well. In winter, it is danger to cross the river as the bridge surface will freeze. School kids have to be escorted by the teacher while crossing the river everyday.
Villagers Benefited – 256 nos (27 students)
Teacher and student team from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Xian Jiaotong University (XJU)
More than 40 professionals and student volunteers mainly both Hong Kong and Mainland Universities built a 30 meters long gabion bridge in Shaodi Village, Hezuo City, Gannan State, Gansu during the period from 2 Aug to 9 Aug.
Project team conducted the 2nd survey trip in early Jun. The bridge design would be confirmed within the month. Also, they are planning to have bridge construction in Aug.
Quotes by WZQers
"In that village far away, in the green grassland, we built a bridge with the villagers. When we worked hand-in-hand, I realised how simple the relationship between us was. It was as if there would be no conflict in the little village......I truly found happiness there. Helping people is very fulfilling because you do not calculate how much you give."
Mr Lui Kwan Ho, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
"I was overwhelmed by the Wu Zhi Qiao in this 8-day trip.
It improved the village's living environment.
It connected us.
It founded our friendships.
It aroused our sense of unity.
It gave the volunteers precious memories.
I find the trip unforgettable and this is the best reward for me."
Mr Lam Wai Ming, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
"Everyone did their best to build the bridge to help the people. All of us were very responsible and never complained. It is such a wonderful thing that even though we had a different background, we still managed to cooperate smoothly with each other. I gave all I had to help to improve the environment in the village because the hospitality of the villagers motivated me to keep working. This very joyous trip was totally worth it."
Mr Matthew Lee, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University