Chen Ping, a village cadre in Anhui province
Recently, I was woken very early in the morning by a resident who phoned to ask if I would mediate between some villagers who had come to blows over a minor issue.
When the issue was settled, I went to the village office and spent the entire day working on administrative matters, including writing testimonials to the Lyuzhai township government praising women for being good daughters-in-law. In rural areas, the relationship between mothers-and daughters-in-law is often fractious. We want to set the villagers a good example, but this is one example of how trivial village affairs can be.
I took the job in 2016. My predecessor retired the previous year, but several months passed without anyone being recommended as his replacement.
I was the village doctor and had a good reputation among the residents, so local officials persuaded me to take the job. I left the clinic in the care of my brother, who is also a doctor.
We have worked very hard to raise living standards. Chenxiaozhai was a key area for poverty-alleviation work in Linquan county until September, when the village was taken off a list of impoverished places.
All the poverty-stricken households were offered a lot of support. For example, villagers who were ill were given subsidies to pay for medical care, while those living in dilapidated houses were given money to help them build new homes.
Meanwhile, villagers who wanted to extend the area they had under cultivation or breed sheep were also offered government support.
To allow local residents to make good use of the policies, we village cadres must understand the relevant policies.
Most of the poorest villagers can barely read or write. Moreover, many are elderly, so they sometimes forget important things.
That means we cadres visit and talk with them regularly. Some people even joke that we see poverty-stricken villagers more frequently than our own families.
In some cases, that's indeed true.