The value of money – Perline

How much has changed in Shimenkan since Pollard’s arrival?

How much has changed in Shimenkan since the Chinese government started their reconstruction work?

The answer to the first question is A LOT, but the answer to the second question can be both a lot and very little.

When Pollard first arrived at Shimenkan, he had no money. As a religious missionary, he had hope and a plan to do his work in the village. Without money, he couldn’t buy land from the villagers or the local government. However, he made a deal with the landlord. He asked for “some land that is only worth one whole piece of calfskin”. The landlord was confused, but he thought a full piece of calfskin is barely anything, so he said yes to Pollard’s request. That night, he cut up a whole piece of calfskin into thin strips and sewed them together into a long line. The next day, when he met with the landlord to take the land, he rounded up enough land to build a church with the strip of calfskin. With some villagers’ help, a church was built. In the beginning, the church served both as a school and a church. As time went, the first school and the first hospital was built at Shimenkan.

Three years ago, the Chinese government started to reform areas that are in poverty. Shimenkan was listed under one of the targeted rural villages in the “help the poor” project in China. In the whole process, the government invested over 10 BILLION Yuan on this small village. New apartment-style houses were built, and the village is physically connected with roads. However, even with the new houses and the roads, villagers here are still trapped in poverty. The government doesn’t seem to understand that the real way to improve these people’s lives is to teach them how to fish, not just give them the fish. From the physical appearance, Shimenkan has changed much more than what Pollard had done. However, what the village really needs is education that will provide them a chance and the ability to connect with the outside world.

With little money and resource, Pollard built a church, a school and a hospital that really improved people’s quality of life. With more than enough money, the government only helped the village on the most basic level. I hope that the government can see that it is the education system that needs to be improved so the villagers can build more wealth on their own.

IMG_8793

This picture was taken in the early days of Pollard’s arrival. I found this picture in the Shimenkan gallery.

3 thoughts on “The value of money – Perline

  1. Summer Cai

    Thank you for your post! I agree that education is a much more influential and meaningful way of charity than grant for physical structure. Yet, at the same time, I believe fulfilling physical needs and having sufficient infrastructure like school buildings and safe roads to school are prerequisites to education. I’d like to think the government’s investment is laying the foundation for more influential educational improvements in the near future.

    Reply
    1. perlinefeng Post author

      I absolutely agree with you that the physical needs should be fulfilled, but I will go into more details about how the physical structure can be improved while culture is still preserved. In my opinion, the people who live in this village don’t have the financial ability to leave their village and pursue their education in a bigger city. So I just think that what needs to be done in the most recent future is to improve the education system within the village.

      Reply
  2. qiaochuchen

    Glad to hear more about Pollard’s arrival and the impact. I wonder how did he find out the village and why did he choose Shimenkan? Hoping to hear more in your future posts!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s