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To help the poor, motivate them first: poverty alleviation stories in south China's Hainan (2)

By Liu Ning, Sheng Chuyi, Li Yan, Jeffrey Moeller (People's Daily Online)    16:56, June 06, 2019

Small supermarket boosts motivation

Stepping into the "Poverty Alleviation Supermarket", you can't find cigarettes, wine, high-end products, or even snacks. On offer are only daily necessities, such as cooking oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, and tea.

Located in Sangong Village, Sandao Town, Baoting County, Hainan Province, this supermarket offers local farmers donated goods for their everyday life. Local people are not buying them with cash but with credits that they can earn based on their production or efforts in community work.

There is a wide range of ways to earn credits - actively increase production output, focus on personal and family health, clean up rivers and farmlands, participate in TV evening classes and proactively answer questions in the class, to name a few.

Wang Mei, a woman who left poverty behind at the end of 2018, shows her rewards card and a bag of flour she redeemed using credits. (People's Daily Online/Ji Zihui)

When we arrived at the supermarket, Wang Mei, a woman who left poverty behind at the end of 2018, was buying goods. Wearing a folk costume of the Li ethnic group, Wang was a little embarrassed to talk in front of a camera, so she laughed from time to time. "Almost everything I need at home can be redeemed using credits here. It is convenient and saves money. Everyone gets 50 to 60 credits on average per month, worth about the same amount of RMB goods. Every time I attend an evening class, I can get 3 extra points," Wang Mei told us happily.

A local farmer picks a bottle of cooking sauce in the "Poverty Alleviation Supermarket". (People's Daily Online/Ji Zihui)

"In the past, companies and individuals who donated supplies to poor households would deliver to their homes. However, in the long term, the poor would become lazy, with a lack of hard work and gratitude. Since we adopted the credits system in the supermarket, everyone is willing to work more to get more points, and actively participate in various community activities in our villages," said Yang Lin, the deputy executive mayor of Sandao Town.

"The majority of the goods here are donated by enterprises. 'Poverty Alleviation Supermarket' is government-led, with business donations, the entire society participates, and the public shares its fruitful outcomes. Everyone actively responds to the policies and together resolves the problem of the insufficient motivation within these poor households. The supermarket played a significant role in our poverty alleviation work," Yang said.


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(Web editor: Sheng Chuyi, Bianji)

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