Migrant workers club together to build a better future for impoverished home village

Savings pool allows community to build new library and other facilities

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 September, 2017, 7:15pm
UPDATED : Friday, 15 September, 2017, 7:57pm

One community in central China has proved it really does take a village to raise the next generation.

A group of 56 migrant workers from Gaozhuang village near the city of Luohe, Henan province pooled their savings over the course of a year to convert an old house into a library and study centre and build a new cultural and entertainment square, the Henan Business News reported.

Their savings also went into repairing the village’s fish pond.

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The newspaper described their efforts as working for “the next generation of villagers”.

The group – who called themselves “gaofushui,” a term meaning “tall, rich, and handsome” – worked various jobs outside the village, and were able to save around 30,000 yuan (US$4,500) in the space of one year.

“Although we had to work very hard away from home, our roots are in our hometown and if each of us donates some money, the entire village can improve,” the group’s leader Guo Tuozhu told reporters. “If we can make the villagers happier, why not do that?”

Guo and the other workers took on various jobs outside their poverty-stricken village, but he said they were able to scrape together their savings by reminding themselves that if everyone smoked one less pack of cigarettes, they would be able to contribute to their village.

The villagers kept in touch via the social media app WeChat, and decided to voluntarily pool their savings to contribute to the improvement of the village.

“We experienced a lot of hardship working away from home, so we wanted to help the development of our hometown,” another villager Guo Yonghui, who works at a foot massage business, was quoted as saying.

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Guo said his monthly income was only around 3,000 yuan, but he was happy to help contribute.

The group has detailed accounting of all their donations to ensure every 10 or 20 yuan donation is responsibly managed.

“Our wages are not high, and each of our donations are not very much, but our enthusiasm is high,” another villager Guo Zhaojie told reporters. “Even if we donate one yuan, it will be put into the books.”