DouLijuan is a 49 year old woman living in the countryside of Qingshen County, Sichuan Province in China. She tells us: “I worked various jobs to earn a living. I had a wish for a long time: I wanted women around me to be driven to develop their careers and I hope they would be inspired by my efforts.”
In 1999, after 8-years of working experience outside the village, she came back to her home-town, equipped with the technology of planting bi-spore mushrooms in rice fields she acquired. “I set up a cooperative which helped obtain employment for over 500 women,” she explains. She started her own business again in 2012, opening the Dou’s Sewing Factory.
A new life for 155 Chinese women
This woman’s dream came true last year. Through an AEA supported project run by AI DA XUN and Rural Women and Children (RWC). She provided sewing skills training for 155 local women, to help them attain flexible home-based employment opportunities.
Ms. Dou’s own efforts are very rewarding. She said: “What I have done means a lot. It enables our unemployed sisters at home to increase their income, and in the end we become friends. I’ll keep doing this and inspire more of them in developing small businesses and income from home!”
In 2014, this AEA supported project targeted a total of 383 left-behind rural women in China in 2014 who are often uneducated and left with few opportunities to improve their lives and manage things by themselves effectively. Through the Homemakers project (the learning centre for women), women are empowered via qualified skills training to obtain everything they need in their lives to survive. In addition, the project assists women to build their social network with mutual-support group actions. AEA China is also active in influencing women’s education in collaboration with the government, universities and other NGO’s.