Chen Jianqing (2nd, R) grants a certificate of honor to a villager who has shaken off poverty. [China Women's News]
"Never stop struggling until life ends," Chen Jianqing, Secretary of the Party Branch of Sanqinggou Village in Nanchong City, Southwest China' s Sichuan Province, once wrote in her diary.
She has a firm belief that poverty will never take root in her village and has devoted more than 30 years to helping its residents prove the truth of her belief.
Over the past three decades, Chen led the fellow villagers to access power supply, dig wells and pave roads. She was also a substitute teacher for the village, village official and doctor before becoming the Secretary of the Party Branch in the village.
Chen's life is not easy. Her son suffers with congenital epilepsy and her husband lost his ability to work. Chen herself, who has fainted at work many times, was diagnosed with lupus erythematosus in 2009.
She called that period the darkest days of her life and said she had even an impulse to commit suicide at the time.
The concern from her fellow villagers and her daughter's support inspired her and restored her courage. She conquered the hopelessness and shouldered her responsibility in her family and her job.
"In my days of trouble I always encouraged myself with the oath of the Communist Party of China. As long as you work for the masses with your true feelings, integrity and fairness, the masses will treat you as family. " — An excerpt from Chen's notes.
Her deeds are guided by what she thinks.
Chen, just a high school graduate, was the only teacher in the village from 1986 to 2010. Thanks to her dedication to local education, the village has its first college graduate.
Deng Zhanggao, former Secretary of the Party Branch of the village, said Chen cares for the whole village most, not her own family.
According to Deng, Chen donated her 1,000 yuan (US $141.73) prize money for her filial piety to the senior residents of the village.
In 2015, the village began to develop the black goat breeding industry after water and power supply became available and transportation was improved.
Yang Ming, manager of the breeding base, recalled Chen's brave deed — the skinny woman climbed a mountain to move a breeding goat weighing some 20 kilograms to safety on a stormy night in June 2014.
In 2016, the village got rid of poverty. The average annual net income of the villagers exceeded 10,000 yuan (US $1,417.31) per capita in 2018.
"Although I am ill, I will devote my limited life to serving the people forever." In those words from her diary Chen reminded herself to uphold her original aspiration.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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