Woman Entrepreneur Lifts up Dreams of Children with Cerebral Palsy

March 3, 2020
Editor: Wei Xuanyi

Jia Xiufang is President of Harbin Boneng Automobile Sales Group and founder of Heilongjiang Boneng Rehabilitation Center for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Since 1999, Jia has persisted in donating 10-15 percent of her business revenue per year to help underprivileged people, including veterans, elderly people of no family, sanitation workers, impoverished families and left-behind children. She has donated money and materials worthy more than 35 million yuan (nearly US $5 million) to help thousands of impoverished mothers and children with cerebral palsy. She spent nearly 15 million yuan (roughly US $2.1 million) on the establishment of two rehabilitation centers for children with cerebral palsy in 2016 and 2017. She has assisted more than 160 children with cerebral palsy for free. 

Helping Children with Cerebral Palsy

Jia migrated to Harbin, capital city of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, from her hometown in East China's Shandong Province, in 1989. She established Harbin Boneng Automobile Sales Group in 1999.

She has since set up over 30 branches across the entire province, employed more than 3,000 employees, and established a female-oriented entrepreneurship demonstration base covering 150,000 square meters. She has become a local heavyweight in the sector of vehicle sales up till now.

In fact, Jia had become passionate about extending a helping hand to children with cerebral palsy even before she founded her own firm. She first came up with the idea when she attended a performance exclusively acted by children with cerebral palsy many years ago. She learned that the children with cerebral palsy experienced many hardships during rehabilitation and their families fell into poverty because of the illness. So, she has donated money to help 60-plus children with cerebral palsy receive treatment since 2012. The conditions of 56 children have improved.

However, Jia found that donating money to families of the children with cerebral palsy was not enough for them. She spent a total of nearly 15 million yuan (roughly U.S.$ 2.1 million) in 2016 and 2017 to establish a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinic and a treatment and assistance center for children with cerebral palsy respectively. She has invited professionals to offer free medical rehabilitation services to teenage recipients.

Jia always sticks to the doctrine that children must feel loved and cared for at all times whenever they stay in the rehabilitation center.

As a matter of fact, Jia is a person of her word. She often finds time from her busy schedule to visit children in the rehabilitation center personally and communicate with them about their progress. Every positive change in them makes her happy.

Zhang Yan, a mother of an 11-year-old child with cerebral palsy, became frustrated when her husband died of illness and the young child's disease got worse. It was Jia who helped her raise hope again and sent the child back to school after half a year of rehabilitation training and tutoring in academic studies.

Till now, the TCM clinic and medical treatment and assistance center have housed over 160 children with cerebral palsy in total. Nearly 30 children have gained the ability to walk without a wheelchair and 11 beneficiaries have already returned to society and studied at schools.

Bringing Hope to Affected Families

Jia found out many families of children with cerebral palsy fell into poverty because of helping the children receive treatment. So, Jia has tried her utmost to offer job opportunities to parents of the children with cerebral palsy, to help them shake off poverty.

Some students in the center had grown up. To help them earn their own living, Jia opened a supermarket for those in their twenties whose conditions had improved a lot. They can get salary every month. Qi Yue, 22, burst into tears of happiness when she received her first salary. In the past, she never thought she could have earned a living by herself and done something to relieve the economic burden of her family.

Meanwhile, Jia has helped parents of the children with cerebral palsy get jobs. "Some parents can make tofu, and some can make cakes. So, I purchased relevant equipment and help them open small shops nearby. Some parents master the skills of welding, and I help them get jobs at nearby maintenance shops," sayd Jia.

Moreover, Jia established a public-benefit base in October 2017. She also established a food company. About 60 percent of its employees are parents whose children have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Expanding Charity Affairs

Jia established Tianjin Binhai Vocational Institute of Automotive Engineering at the beginning of 2017. Every year, the institute reserved quotas for 200 students from impoverished families to be included in the recruitment plan. Customized curriculum program will be provided to them to empower young beneficiaries with vocational skills and allow them to earn a living independently.

Right now, more and more people around Jia have joined in with her charity affairs. Nevertheless, Jia often says she owes a great deal to the assistance of other people and that there is still much more for her to do in helping others.

When talking about her future plan, Jia says that she wishes to open another rehabilitation center for children with cerebral palsy and would like to continue to assist them in parallel with the growth of her business.

The decade-long involvement in charity affairs has earned Jia many high-level awards and titles, including National March 8th Red-banner Pacesetter, National Outstanding Individual for Assisting the Disabled, May 4th Medal for Youth, China Children's Charity Award, and she has featured on the National List of Good Samaritans.


(Women of China)

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