The "Postal Parcel for Mothers" is a well-known charity launched by the China Women's Development Foundation (CWDF) in May 2012. The charity's objective is to collect "one-on-one" donations from people, from all segments of society, and then send parcels, filled with various daily necessities, to disadvantaged women through a special delivery service offered by China Post Group. As of June 2022, the project had raised 207 million yuan (US $29.57 million), and it had distributed more than 1.1 million parcels to disadvantaged women and their families in 31 provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities across the country.
Love Transcends Time
The "Postal Parcel for Mothers" project is a carrier of hope. It has become a source of specific daily necessities for poor women in virtually every region of the country.
A group of CWDF employees conducted an inspection tour in poverty-stricken areas of northwestern and southwestern China in 2012, to learn about the urgent needs of disadvantaged rural women. Under the leadership of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), the CWDF launched its parcel project in May of that year.
Its recipients to date have been women whose per capita disposable income has been below the local minimum living standards, women from former revolutionary bases, remote and border areas, and in ethnic and underdeveloped areas, and women who have battled diseases, lost their only child, raised their children alone after divorce, or struggled to recover from various natural disasters.
Initially, there were two categories of postal parcels; one consisted of toothpaste, towels, laundry detergent, hand cream and medicines, while the other included carpets, vests, scarves and gloves. The parcels won high acclaim and wide recognition from beneficiaries.
The "one-on-one" delivery mechanism has ensured the full implementation of targeted assistance to impoverished women in rural areas. Women's federations, at all levels, have registered basic information about disadvantaged women, and then entrusted China Post Group with delivery of the parcels.
In recent years, the project has increased the categories of donated goods, and it has expanded its support to assist more disadvantaged women, in accordance with the progress made by the country in its poverty-alleviation campaign.
For instance, the project has added medical kits, electronic sphygmomanometers, waistbands, and bedding products, as well as publications on basic disease prevention and control, to help rural women and their families maintain a healthy and hygienic lifestyle.
Pooling Disadvantaged Women's Strength
In addition to providing underprivileged women in rural areas with daily necessities, the "Postal Parcel for Mothers" project has fundamentally enhanced their sense of gain, and their willingness to get involved in public affairs.
With the project's support, an elderly rural woman, surnamed Qin, in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, can now have her blood pressure checked at home. In the past, she had to walk to a local health institution, about 15 kilometers from her home, to receive health services.
In addition, donated cupping devices have played a vital role in helping Qin take care of her husband, who has been plagued with gout for many years.
Accessibility of the project has not only helped rural disadvantaged women appreciate the support and warmth of Party (Communist Party of China) committees and governments, at various levels, as well as society as a whole, but it has also aroused their enthusiasm for participation in public affairs.
A middle-aged rural woman, surnamed Su, from Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, still manages to help people around her, even though she is expected to take care of her husband, who was left physically disabled when he was injured as a migrant worker, and to earn a living to support her family.
Under Su's influence, her daughter, who is now a graduate student at Sichuan University, has volunteered to tutor rural children during her summer vacations.
The parcel project has helped disadvantaged women receive greater attention from society, and it has helped transform them into an important force that has helped make a difference to the world.
During the past decade, the project has supported various forms of disaster relief work in Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai, and many other regions in the country.
For example, CWDF sent health parcels to more than 60,000 underprivileged women and their families in 2020 amid the COVID-19 epidemic. Also, the foundation in 2021 collected nearly 30,000 items for postal parcels to assist flood-affected women in Central China's Henan Province.
Sowing Seeds of Love
Since 2012, the "Postal Parcel for Mothers" project has received financial support, and other forms of assistance, from various enterprises and social institutions, including China Post Group, Agricultural Bank of China, domestic sportswear brand Li-Ning, and Tencent Foundation.
Many renowned public figures have acted as ambassadors for the project, to promote its social popularity and influence.
Statistics indicate the project has collected donations worth about 75.63 million yuan (US $10.8 million) from Chinese netizens over the past 10 years.
Meanwhile, the project has sponsored diverse activities to share love and warmth, from society, with disadvantaged women across the country.
In November 2012, with the wide participation of Internet users, the project rolled out a series of activities to send warm clothes and other items to rural women.
The CWDF worked with PepsiCo Inc and leading domestic e-commerce platform Tmall, as well as individuals, in January 2014 to deliver New Year's gifts to poverty-stricken women, and to encourage young people to capture their joyful moments with family members at home via smart phones during the Spring Festival holiday.
Figures indicate, at the invitation of CWDF, more than 6,000 people have become volunteers, and have sent postal parcels to disadvantaged women around them over the past several years.
A charitable advertisement, by the parcel project, won an award for best creativity at the Creativity for Good public-welfare ads contest in 2020.
The project has also become a trending topic on Weibo, a leading microblogging platform in China.
To learn more about the life of underprivileged women in western China, many volunteers have been organized by CWDF to visit the women. Although it is difficult for the young visitors to understand the local dialects, the smiles on the local women and children's faces have helped them fully grasp the value and importance of their work.
The project has made the utmost effort to support the country's poverty-alleviation, rural-revitalization and common-prosperity endeavors over the past decade. It received the China Charity Award in 2013, and it was mentioned, by the State Council Information Office, in a white paper, entitled "Poverty Alleviation: China's Experience and Contribution," in 2021.
In the years ahead, the project will continue with its mission, and it will work hand-in-glove with women and their families to write a new chapter in the promotion of the country's rural-revitalization strategy.
Photos Supplied by CWDF
(Women of China English Monthly December 2022 issue)
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