Li Jinxia was excited to follow her older sister from Xinping Village to Lanzhou, a large city in northwest China, in search of employment opportunities. With three children, Li needed to find work quickly to support her children and was delighted when she landed a job as waitress in a hotpot restaurant. However, what 24-year-old Li didn’t consider was the difficulty she would face when she wasn’t able to read or write any orders down.
“When two or three dishes were ordered, I could just remember them and I was fine, but if more dishes were ordered I was in trouble as it was too much to memorize” she explains. “I couldn’t write them down”. After just two days, Li was fired by the boss because of her illiteracy. It was only through working for those few days in the restaurant, far away from her village, that Li Jinxia really realized the importance of being able to read and write. After that, she ended up washing dishes for two months in another hotpot restaurant, but disheartened, returned home. Upon returning home, she couldn’t summon the courage to go out looking for another job.
However, when she heard that literacy classes were starting, supported by Aide et Action, she jumped at the chance, signing up immediately. Her husband was happy to take care of their three young girls in the evening which allowed Li the opportunity to go to classes every night. Li, a smart and studious young woman, soon made good progress in the literacy.
We are delighted to report that her progress has been so good that she is now able to help her daughter in 1st Grade with her studies. Today, Li tells us that she is feeling much happier than before and is working with her husband growing vegetables. While she’s not sure yet where exactly her literacy skills will take her, one thing is certain, things are looking a whole lot better now.