Zhao Yaqin: 'My power may be small, but I will not claim credit and will always contribute to the success of poverty alleviation'
Zhao Yaqin, 36, has been the first secretary in a deeply impoverished village of Tantu, Longnan City, northwest China's Gansu Province since 2018. She bid farewell to her husband and son, and is working on poverty alleviation projects in the remote area. Due to her being away, she is unable to take care of her son and family. On a sleepless night, Zhao once planned to give up her work in the village. But when she saw the expectation and recognition of the villagers, Zhao couldn't bear to leave like that.
In February 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic, Zhao Yaqin stayed in the village for more than 20 days. She then brought her son to live with her in the village after discussing it with her husband. With the company of her son during visits to poor households, Zhao said she became more aware of the urgent need for help for left behind rural children.
She also pays special attention to the female villagers who can't go out to work and earn money, showing them that women can hold up half of the sky with their practical actions.
"A house is not always a home, but a house with a warm atmosphere is a home," said Zhao. So she not only contributes to the industrial development of Tantu Village, but also notices the invisible aspects, like people's emotional and spiritual state of life. "Mental loneliness is the biggest problem. The biggest fear is that your body is moving forward, but your soul is not keeping up," she said. Zhao and her poverty alleviation team members often go to households to provide mental guidance, resolve disputes and promote policies to the villagers.
In November last year, Xihe County, where Tantu Village is located, was officially removed from the poverty list along with seven counties in Gansu Province. All 75 poor counties in Gansu Province have been lifted out of poverty.