Motivating Beijing – an Action Research Project on Rural-to-urban Residents’ Community Economy

Midterm Report

April 2015 to February 2016

After launching the Project for a year, it has been completed on schedule. The neighbourhood centre of Jingwang Garden near Beijing is a platform of the project. It developed different groups through education for disability services in the community as principal. It mainly includes three directions of researches: A) The necessary and feasibility of promoting community economy in rural-to-urban residents’ community; B) The process, method, difficulty and solution of promoting community economy; C) The influence and effect of community economy toward rural-to-urban residents’ community.

1. Progress of the Project

A. Basic survey on disabilities situation in Jingwang community

In the last year, according to the survey in Jingwan Garden, there were 304 disabilities, 6.3% of the population in the community. “Disabilities” mean the villagers, who lived in the original village before demolition, with disability cards. Jingwan Garden (the community was divided into two communities before July in the last year – 146 disabilities in community 1 and 158 disabilities in community 2. The two communities were unified as the Jingwang community with a neighbourhood committee. The following information is the basic information of disabilities in the Jingwang community.

Table 1. Basic information of disabilities in the Jingwang community

Number of disabilities



aged 60 or above

aged 80 or above

In a community






Community 1






Community 2








The following table indicates the number of different types of disabilities in a community and Community 1 and Community 2:

Table 2. number of different types of disabilities in a community and Community 1 and Community 2




Limbs and body




In a community








Community 1








Community 2










Based on the data from Table 1 and Table 2, disabilities in Jingwang community constituted 6.3% population of the whole community. There were more male disabilities than that of female. There were a number of elderlies with disabilities. It constituted more than 50% of the total population of disabilities in the community. There are 11 senile elderly with disabilities. The people with limbs and body disabilities were the largest group of disabilities followed by disabilities of intelligence, hearing, vision, psyche and multiple handicaps.

B. Activities toward disabilities and their family members

   The main achievement is the establishment of an activity centre for disabilities in Jingwang Garden community. It provides culture, entertainment and physical and psychological recovery services for disabilities. Currently, the service centre for disabilities supports the founding of Sun Herald Art Ensemble. The Art Ensemble is mainly constitutes by disabilities and their family members. The other charitable organisations include Organic Farming and Gardening Union, embroidery group which is constituted by disabilities and elderlies (Embroidering my Community), papercutting, green exchange, ocarina, talks on health, rehabilitation cases, health care groups, etc. A platform for encouraging disabilities to go away from homes to participate actively, to enhance self-acceptance and recognition and to help each other is established.

In the past year, we received over 100 disabilities and their family members. There were more than 100 of them participated different activities in the neighbourhood centre. Some of them were not inconvenient to go out. We visited at least 8 families directly. In the interviews, we acknowledged some carers of these families would like to integrate into the community and participate different activities. As a result, some courses in the neighbourhood centre were designed for disabilities and their family members. A platform for them was created and let them to participate in the society.

In the papercutting group, the works of disabilities are mainly be sent to friends. Some of them are set for charity bazaar. The papercutting works are also sold in stalls and other invited charity bazaars near Beijing. The arrangement of hand-made has not been launched because there is no suitable teacher and special works at this moment. This section aims to process package of local specialties in urban-rural fair trade.

Furthermore, charitable supermarket, seasonal charitable market and weekly environmental volunteering events enhance care, attention of the people to solve problems in the community. It is also a platform for disabilities to integrate in community. Meanwhile, volunteers are recognised and encouraged with the accumulation of experience of charitable services. We do not use currency for “trading”. Recognised things, papercutting works as gifts are exchanged for barter. In this process, resources are shared and recycled. It is not only allowing participants to receive different gifts, but also the organisation and encouragement to the disabilities and their family members.

In addition, the urban-rural fair trade connects different local specialties from outlying mountain areas. It allows community members to have healthy and safe food. A small packing factory is designed for the disabilities and their family members. It is not only plays a role of autarky in rural area, but also recognises the opportunities and platform for the disabilities.

    In summary, after launching the project for a year, the characteristics, demands of services are mastered. We are also learnt how to see and reflect the community with the perspective of disabilities. The importance of community economy is assured as well. During the events in the last year, we responded to the demands of the disabilities and their family members while cultivated the subjectivity of disabilities. It helps them to integrate in the community and develop mutual, and self-help network. Self-help service systems at different levels are established as well.

At the community policy level, joint-meeting, community party committees and other communication channels are the hubs for linking different sectors of resources. Coordinating closely, complementary advantages, resource sharing, building synergy, facilitating community services are founded for elderlies and disabilities.

     In regards to the ideas of works for disabilities, we can learn from the rich life experience of elderlies with disabilities and their family members. It allows them to discover their advantages in daily lives. We can also organise and conduct education works via working with disabilities and their family members. Mutual and self-help organisations are established for disabilities and their family members. The subjectivities of disabilities and their family members were cultivated. The above practices allow them to discover their own suitable lifestyles and solve problems. As a result, we may not necessary to assist them completely because they are disability group with mutual and self-help sprits and subjectivities. On the contrary, they are able to live in the community independently. Or, they can also find their senses of significance and survival. It is especially for the organisations and coordination of the disabilities and their families, instead of economic coordination, which is discovered during our research. The more important are awareness and education. Also, it includes disabilities, disabilities’ parents and community members’ positive understanding, tolerance and acceptance toward disabilities.

2. Learning outside

On 25th January 2016, we visited rural-urban mutual club. It allowed us to understand the production environment and farmers. We also had chances to listen the story of our products (local specialties). We were able to understand the significance of selling local specialties in the market. Furthermore, we hosted detailed interview, including the production of old tree tea and hand-made brown sugar. It benefited the communication and promotion in Jingwang community in Beijing.


Che Duo family’s tea

Jino Mountain - the native land of the Jino people in Xishuangbanna. It is also  the place where they have live for years. It is at the eastern side of the centre of Xishuangbanna. It is 622.9 square kilometres. It is a famous mountain region in the Jinghong city in Xishuangbanna. It is also one of the six tea mountains.

Che Duo is the owner of a tea garden. She is also the Director of Female affairs in the Village Committee of Xinsitu Village on the Jino Mountain. After graduating from junior high school, she went to Kunming for her studies in senior high school. In 2000, she went to the capital – Beijing to start her career. It was a time for her to look forward to a bright future, a misfortune befell her…

Her sister pruned rubber trees on the mountain. Unfortunately, she fell down and injured. A doctor diagnosed she has thoracic comminuted. During that time, the construction of their house in her hometown has not been finished. There was not enough money for her sister’s treatment. After staying in a hospital for a while, her sister had no choice but to go home with the support of medicine. After the completion of their home, Che Duo contacted a hospital in Beijing and sent her sister to there for a treatment. It was because of the delay for the best time of therapy, her sister could only use wheelchair in remaining time.

Che Duo could not abandon her sister. Their parents were old. Besides her sister, Che Duo was the only workforce in their family. Che Duo decided resolutely to give up everything that she struggled for years in the city.  She went back to the native land for looking after her sister. Che Duo has been visited different hospitals to seek treatment methods for her sister. However, no positive result was received.

The lower-body of her sister was unconscious. She also faced incontinence and could not take care of herself. Their parents could not prune the rubber trees because of their ages and vision disabilities. In that crucial time, Che Duo’s brother-in-law proposed to divorce. The elder daughter would be looked after by her sister while the younger sister would live with her father. The father agreed to pay for the alimony for her elder daughter. However, he has never pay for it. Che Duo had no choice but to wake up at 2 a.m. every day for pruning rubber trees. In the morning, she came back to home to prepare breakfast and looked after her sister. Afterwards, she pruned rubber trees again and returned to home for lunch. Then, she went out for picking tea after a little time for lunch.

Che Duo was a hard-working and righteous university student. Many villagers liked her and the villagers voted her as the Director of Female Affairs in the Village Committee of Xinsitu Village.

After taking the role of the director of female affairs, Che Duo worked hard for solving the problem of the lack of family labour force. She got married with a normal farmer. She woke up early for her family, which had 8 family members in total. Meanwhile, she also worked for female affairs in 6 villagers.

Che Duo’s family has 20 acres of hills of tea. It is a slightly better family income. With the careful care towards the hills of tea, germination starts in every March. Jino Mountain has dense forests, fresh and humid air. Tea is available to be picked from March to November. As posterity of Jino, an ethnic group that takes to heart on land, nature, water and families, and leader of female affairs, Che Duo initiates ecological farming to women actively. It is because Kino Mountain is a place for them to live forever; it is a garden for them for substantial development.

With the linkage of the Centre for Women and Children in Xishuangbanna and Neighborhood Community Service Centre, the channels for selling tea were established. It allows them to move out of poverty. Furthermore, there are more time, energy and method for help poor women and children.

Dai’s brown sugar

Dai’s brown sugar is processed by large wooden utensils. This is a traditional method for making sugar. It applies the principals of human, animal or water force as driven rotating stakes. Sugar canes are located in the middle. Once the stakes rotate, sugar canes are pressed and sugar cane juice is generated. The juice is filtrated and put into Dai’s traditional vat. After brewing for 6-8 hours without adding any lime plaster or chemical coagulant, the scent of sugar canes drifts in the Dai’s villages. During the process of brewing brown sugar, the control of heating and time is important. It is a challenge for producers. Even in the Dai’s villages, the number of  people who can handle native method of making brown sugar is limited. A small mistake may affect the quality of brown sugar. This is the reason why producers are pound of it.

The function of brown sugar

1. Tonic
Brown sugar constitutes monosaccharides glucose, fructose and other different types of monosaccharides and polysaccharides energy substances. It accelerates the metabolism of skin cells and provides energy to cells. Brown sugar has positive impact on the treatment of vascular sclerosis to a certain extent. It may not induce dental caries and other dental diseases.

2. Enriching blood and improving blood circulation
 Brown sugar constitutes folic acid, trace substances and other substances which accelerates blood circulation and increases blood volume. It also stimulates the body's hematopoietic function. It enhances the supply of nutrients, oxygen and water to skin partially. Women are able to drink brown sugar during dysmenorrhea or after giving birth for enriching blood and improving blood circulation. People can also drink brown sugar and ginger soup when they have cold abdominal pain.

3. Plan and reflection on follow-up works of the project

1. Continuing launching groups and team learning

Team members have already developed cohesion. But, it is needed to be improved with the support from members. The rural-urban mutual club will be optimised while groups reveal their special skills and interests. It will become a recognised platform.

2. Study tours

Core members, disabilities and their family members visit different institutions, such as Yongji, Shanxi, Liangdama Zhōushān Village in Henan, other service centres for disabilities near Beijing, etc.