Across China: Housekeeping helps women dust off poverty

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-04 17:20:48|Editor: Yurou
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GUIYANG, March 4 (Xinhua) -- A government campaign to train impoverished women in the housekeeping business has helped them dust off poverty in southwest China's Guizhou Province.

Wu Limei, a resident of Guizhou's Yuelianghe Township, used to make ends meet in the mountainous area. After graduating from a secondary school, she went to the eastern province of Zhejiang to work as a migrant worker, but her pay was "just so so." Last year, she returned to her hometown and participated in a government-initiated training program specializing in housekeeping.

"I have two kids, and I'm quite interested in taking care of babies," Wu said. In September, she was employed by a government-sponsored housekeeping company, "The Qianlingnyu Housekeeping," where she obtained a certificate as a senior babysitter.

The province launched a campaign in 2010 to help local women find jobs. The Qianlingnyu Housekeeping brand was subsequently launched, with the government and entrepreneurs sharing joint management.

So far, the project covers nine cities and prefectures in Guizhou, with 50 housekeeping stores and two senior-care facilities established. Currently, the project has trained 58,000 people and helped 35,000 women find jobs.

Huang Jun, a manager with Qianlingnyu Housekeeping, said the company has more than 3,000 employees, 65.3 percent of whom are females from rural areas, while 33.6 percent are laid-off female workers.

"We exempted most of the training fees for the workers," Huang said. "So far, we have helped more than 6,000 women find jobs."

"As your experience grows, you can learn to be a senior maternity matron," said Wu Limei. "You can make at least 8,800 yuan (1,315 U.S. dollars) a month, and the highest payment can fetch 16,800 yuan a month."

Wu rakes in 4,000 yuan a month as a babysitter in Guiyang, the provincial capital, well enough to push her above the poverty line. Wu plans to accumulate experience in the Qianlingnyu company, and return to her hometown to become a housekeeping boss herself.

Demand for housekeepers is quite high in Guizhou, according to Wang Dan, with the Women's Federation of Guizhou.

"By 2020, Guizhou will have about 1 million senior citizens above the age of 65, who will need senior care services, and there will also be at least 220,000 job positions for babysitters," Wang said. "By then, we will need more than 1 million housekeepers."

China has set 2020 as the target to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and completely eradicate poverty. Guizhou, a relatively poor province, is at the forefront of the country's anti-poverty campaign. Guizhou lifted 1.2 million people out of poverty in 2017.