It’s necessary to teach people to fish. Geely’s “Timely Rain” targeted poverty alleviation program not only donates to impoverished areas, it also gives locals the ability to sustainably lift themselves out of poverty. Out on the Loess Plateau, Geely has helped one such community lift itself out of poverty. Giving a man a fish may be a blessing but teaching a man to fish is love.
Outside Gujiao city, Shanxi, there’s a small village far out of the way, Majiashan Village. Due to the remoteness of this village deep in the Loess Plateau, homes were essentially caves carved into the face of the valley. Today only a few families are left, all of whom were living hand to mouth not long ago.
Zhang Xuping, a wire-frame 20 year old with a shock of black hair is from one those families. Life on the plateau was tough, his whole family were supported by his father’s subsistence farming with the land only growing enough to barely fill their stomachs. After his father was injured, his two sisters gave up their studies to work and support the family as well as support Zhang’s education up to middle school.
Although they were poor in those days, the family was still full of love and hope.
Looking to learn a skill and start working, Zhang attended the Shanxi Taiyuan Vocational Technical School. In 2016, Geely cooperated with the school to offer skill training and set up a “Geely Talents Class” which allows underprivileged students to get on-the-job training and an offer of employment upon graduating.
Zhang was one the students that came out of the “Geely Talents Class” as well as one of the people helped by Geely “Timely Rain” Poverty Alleviation Project. Geely not only paid for Zhang’s education, they also provided his family with 4,000 RMB per year in supplemental funds. After graduating from the “Geely Talents Class,” Zhang was offered a position in the Geely’s Shanxi Jinzhong factory.
In the beginning, Zhang started as just a spot welder doing a single but important job on the production line. But with a hardworking attitude and eagerness to learn, Zhang took every opportunity to improve himself. Learning from his seniors, in less than a year, Zhang had mastered most of the welding skills in the welding shop, quickly becoming a model employee.
Zhang recalls receiving his first monthly salary after working, 4,500 RMB in take home pay including free meals and accommodations. “I felt like I finally found my way and was earning my keep. I was so happy that day, now I can improve the lives of my family who have sacrificed so much for me.”
Today, Zhang has mastered the essentials of the various welding positions on the production line, becoming one of the most well-rounded technicians in the factory. No matter the job, Zhang can do it. He has become a model employee and inspiration for his peers.
Geely’s “Timely Rain” Targeted Poverty Alleviation Project has helped more than 10,000 people to date. At least 2,500 families have been lifted out of poverty through Geely’s training programs done in collaboration with local schools and through Geely’s assistance in obtaining employment. In the future, Geely will continue teaching people to fish and spreading love to society.