Introduction to Xinzhai Community

Guan Yuhong    June 10 2006

There are 80 families in Xinzhai Community with a total population of 351. There are 26 Han families, 30 Yi, 14 Miao and 1 Buyi nationality families. The community is comprised of cultivated land which covers 807.3 mu (translator¡¯s note:15 mu=1 acre), of which each family is allotted  2.3 mu. Staple foods here include corn and potatoes.  Tobacco is grown for trade.  The average food allotted per family from the community-grown crop is 370 kg and the average economic income is RMB500 or USD70.  The Oxfam Project entered Xinzhai Community and Xinhe Village in 1995 to promote the raising of sows to supplement family income. With a lot of encouragement, families started to apply for a sow-raising loan ranging from RMB200 to 400 with an annual interest rate of 8%, which was to be paid once a year and paid off completely within two years. The project focused on training in regards to epidemic-prevention skills and provided free epidemic-prevention twice a year. However, the families did not gain enough awareness and the project failed. Some families were even unable to repay the loan.

    Agricultural technology, focused on plastic mulching, was promoted between 1996 and 1998. At that time, due to narrow mindedness and poor awareness, farmers believed in traditional planting methods alone, instead of scientific ones. The promotion of the project was hard to push forward and was full of difficulties. After calling for household conferences many times and training by the agricultural technology department, the project issued a mulching film loan to the farmers through a real object loan. The loan amount was more than RMB 400, and it aimed at training the farmers in plastic mulching planting and technology and obtaining profit from it. The loan was paid off within half a year. After only after two years of practicing mulching planting the farmers attained increased productivity and enjoyed the benefits, thus gaining respect for the new technology and adopting more scientific methods.

    In the course of the project¡¯s research, it was found that Xinzai suffered from a lack of water; eventually a fresh-water well project was approved. Twelve families built wells, which resolved the difficulties of carrying water from the closest pre-existing water source, 3 Km away.

        In 1999, Oxfam project initiated a micro-loan project in Xinzai.  In the beginning, it imitated GB mode. A local office was set up and a local officer was appointed. Families formed a five-family joint-guarantee group voluntarily and a group leader was elected. The project would only approve the loan after evaluation by staff from the project center and a written application by the farm families. The loan was for RMB1000 per family. The duration was one year and repayment was made every half month at a monthly rate of 6.67¡ë. Every six months, the group leader collected the money and handed it in to the local project center; the local officer then transferred the money to Oxfam.

Xinzai Community was founded in October 2000, and the initial Community Development Management Committee members were elected, including a director, cashier, and accountant.  After much discussion, the loan use and management system plan was established.  Local families continued to form 5-family joint-guarantee groups, and each of them elected a group leader. If the group qualified, the community management committee submitted an application in writing and the resulting fund was allocated by the project. Each group was allocated RMB5000.  

There was also small loan of several hundred RMB annually, with a repayment made once a month at an annual interest rate of 8%.  

Xinzai is a hybrid habitation area comprised of several ethnicities. Community development was extremely difficult. A massive project cannot work when the leaders are unable to work well together. Unexpectedly, some families applied for loan under a fake name of a 5-family joint-guarantee and repaid the loan at the due time. However, fights broke out at over this among the leaders and farmers. So, the loan was terminated for 8 months, which affected the operation of the farmers¡¯ loan and the community fund, reducing the economic income for the masses.

    The Oxfam project helped women leaders to organize female capacity training in 2001. There was no activity office then. Through discussion by the management committee, Xinzai villager Ma Guirong¡¯s family was willing to share her home as training room for the women who joined the course. Many women in Xinzai are illiterate. Many women joined enthusiastically, including a 70-year-old grandmother who attends the study course regularly.

    A community meeting was held in May 2002 in Xinzai Community and members of the management committee were re-elected. One male director and three women were elected. The committee staff¡¯s responsibility was set up according to discussions by farmers¡¯ conference. If any committee member was not qualified, the farmers were entitled to remove him or her from his or her position and a new election will be made. After this resolution by the farmers¡¯ conference, progress was able to be made through community work, loan issuance, loan collection and voluntary work. Farmers were able to speak out actively and more and more farmers began to attend meetings.

    With care and assistance from Oxfam, a public activity center, a bungalow of 80 square meters was constructed in the Xinzhai community, which created a good study environment for women. Character development class was started in August 2003. Happily, women entered the beautiful activity room holding their cherished textbooks and reading aloud.

    There are four trainings every month, covering topics including learning characters, female medical care, a general introduction to hygiene, general laws and regulations, and singing and dancing.  The course also includes a focus on reading, including material on technology, poultry breeding, and husbandry.

    In February 2003, the director of the committee, for farmers¡¯ convenience, bought fertilizer worth RMB 20,000 and delivered it to the farmers as a loan. However, the farmers dared not to use it as this was a new product. As a result, only half of the fertilizer was delivered and principal around RMB10,000 was lost. This director resigned from his post in 2004.

    Another election was held on February 16, and a director over 60 was elected.  Han Wenjun and Wang Shiguang were elected as the members of the fund supervision team. Ma Rongfang (female) assisted the work of the director Li Shaohua, who is honest, practical, and fair. He can speak well but cannot write.

    With support and care from the Party, the people¡¯s government, and the village leaders, and guidance and help from Oxfam, women were cared for and they now dare to speak out, share their opinions, and do things boldly.  Women¡¯s Day has been celebrated on March 8th ever since 2004. Celebrations were even held for the Dragon Boat Festival.

    From 2003 to 2004, the project, through the provision of steel and cement, continued to help farmers to build 51 more small water cellars.  Now Xinzhai Community families enjoy 63 small cellars which resolved the 80 families¡¯ problem of difficult access to water.  Prior to 1998, every family had to have one person carrying water from day to night. Water was as precious as gold. Now, those people can assist with the field work, since the labor of carrying water and production has been reduced by half.


    The collective properties in Xinzai Community that were sponsored include: generator, rock breaker, agricultural technology books as well as books on husbandry, poultry, fruit trees, fungi, and general law books. One TV set and one DVD player were provided for the women¡¯s training course.

    In 2006, Oxfam project helped to repair endangered houses for 7 families and a 2-km-long road for the villages as well as grant a budget of RMB40050 for endangered houses and RMB5395 for village roads. In addition, pumps for small water-wells, pipes and water taps are distributed to each family.

    From October 2000 to 2003, Oxfam project injected principal of RMB32, 000; according to the actual demand for agricultural foundation and husbandry, another principal of RMB7000 was added on February 22 20006after project evaluation; another RMB20, 000 was added again on March 29, RMB7000 on April 22, totaling RMB66, 000.A medical fund of RMB5000 was injected by the project on August 22 2004; RMB8000 on February 22 2005, another RMB9240 was added on January 19 2006, totaling RMB22,240. The project returned a risk fund of RMB4489.52 to the community on May 22 2006. Oxfam project invested RMB2240 as educational fund and the farmers¡¯ households decided to add the risk fund to educational fund, totaling RMB6729.52. The project invested RMB1320 for raising sows in 2004. The total amount invested by Oxfam project into various funds of Xinzhai Community is RMB96289.52.

    The community fund is RMB5821.67; medical fund interests reach RMB863.90 and educational fund interest is RMB126.40, totaling RMB6811.97.

    Now, there are 73 community families investing in the shares with each investing RMB50, totaling RMB3650.  

                                   Xinzhai Community

June 10 2006



Comprehensive Management System of Micro Loan in Xinzhai Community 

A farmer¡¯s conference was held on January 16th 2004 in Xinzhai Community to re-discuss and modify the management system of the micro loan for the community and the conference was held again on February 25 2006 to make amendments according to farmers¡¯ opinions.

The principle for new members of the committee after reelection is: good morals, active thinking, and unselfish.  The members can be reelected and serve another three-year term.

Members of the Committee: Director Li Shaohua, Vice Director Han Wenjun, Accountant Chen Ying, Teller Ma Guirong.

Female members: Liao Wencui

Fund supervision team: Zhou Zaixue

Through democratic repetitive discussions, this system was established for all families to abide by and supervise over each other.

    I. Loan principles:

1. The loan duration is one year and repayment is made once a month. If any group wants to make repayment in advance within one year, the group members shall discuss with each other.

2. Qualified women joint-guarantee groups shall be given loan preference.

3. Loans under a false name is forbidden as well as usury. If discovered, the loan and other beneficial project shall be terminated.

    4. The account is open and is announced by the supervision team every season.

    5. A farmer¡¯s conference shall be held for decisions on the use of community funds under special situations.

    6. The joint-guarantee group shall submit an application in writing to the committee half a month in advance. The loan can be obtained with approval of 80% from the community evaluation team (committee, fund supervision team and joint-guarantee, and group leader

    7. The time for monthly payments is 12 o¡¯clock on 22nd.  Payments after 12:10 are regarded as late. Each late payment is fined RMB 5. Those who do not attend the community conference three times will not be issued any loan and are regarded as voluntarily giving up their loan. Payments made from 1 pm 22nd to 10 pm 23rd will be fined RMB 10, which is handed in to the cashier for account entry by the committee, fund supervision team and loan group leader; the late fees are used for community activity expenses and are published to the families openly. If payments cannot be made on time, groups should ask for leave prior to the due date, except for extreme cases (such as death, serious illness and business trip).

II. Responsibilities of the Committee members:

1.      Responsibilities of the director and the vice director

a.        To be aware of the community status all the time, to represent the community management requirement, to lead the farmers in discussing various management plan, to train managerial staff¡¯s thinking ability and farmers¡¯ intelligence, to be unified and work toward the combination of economy and agriculture for the development of the community.

b.       To guide the community families in completing the project and make development guidelines together.

c.       To supervise the accountant and the teller with bookkeeping and urge them to settle an account upon receipt of the amount.

d.      To hold farmers conference and organize community activities.

e.       The vice director shall assist the director in keeping meeting record, studying record, making summaries and adopting good experiences.

f.        To discuss any existing problems in time to fix them.

g.       Collect and sort out community materials and keep them complete and intact.

2.      Accountant¡¯s responsibilities

a.       To be in the activity room on time for loan issuance and collection, to make subsidiary ledger, collect all the receipts and notes and make seasonal statement.

b.       Account shall be made on site at the time of loan collection and be crosschecked with the teller. To accept work inspection by the supervision team, to publish financial account and material account.

c.       To make clear entry of account and accept relevant staff¡¯s guidance patiently.

d.      To assist the director, the vice director, the teller, etc in doing community work.

3.      Teller¡¯s responsibilities

a.       To count the money and keep record on site when collecting money.

b.      Check for counterfeit bills and make careful verification.

c.       The account entries shall be cross-checked by both the accountant and the teller; funds that are not circulated are deposited in the credit cooperatives. Reports shall be made to the director, the vice director and the fund supervision team on time on groups that fail to make repayment.

4.      Women members¡¯ responsibilities

a.       To take part in discussion of public affairs within the community.

b.      To lead women in learning Chinese and Miao characters and about traditional costumes, singing and dancing.

c.       To represent and promote the actual needs and demands of the community women.

d.      To encourage those who have never attended any of the women¡¯s education courses and communicate with them.

5.      Responsibilities of fund supervision sub-committee

a.       To supervise the accountant and the teller for due loan issuance and collection and urge them to make account entries on site the 22nd of each month.

b.      To announce all community fund and material accounts seasonally.

c.       To co-operate the committee staffs in managing community projects.

d.      To participate in the loan evaluations together with the committee members.

e.        The fund supervision team shall supervise and urge concerned families when the community receivable amount and materials are not in place. System shall be applied to those failing to make repayment on time

III. Common responsibilities of the committee staff

1.To motivate and promote community families to take part in various activities within the community.

2.The loan can only be issued if approved by 80% of the committee members; fund supervision team and the original jointly guarantee group leaders.

3.The principle of the deal with the loan group is that the group leader must collect the loan on time to guarantee normal operation of loan issuance every time.

4.Members of the committee and the supervision team shall be present at loan issuance and collection. Money shall be counted with their presence to guarantee fund be kept and be operated safely within the community.

5.To listen to farmers for actual situation report and to adopt good path to development.

6.The farmers¡¯ families are entitled to reelect if any committee member is not qualified; anyone that quits out of his own will shall submit application one month in advance and reelection be made by the families.

7.To bring up new people and train backup staffs within the community.


IV.  Responsibilities of the group leader

1.      To organize the group members to take part in all affairs and activities of the community.

2.      To join the committee for guarding community public properties.

3.      To reflect problems existing within the group and solve them by himself as much as possible.

V. Farmer families¡¯ responsibilities

1.    Setting up their own jointly guarantee and mutual help group, elect group leader and apply for actual loan needed in writing.

2.    Being qualified for competing for the committee leader.

3.    Going all out for rights and obligations of all community affairs.

4.    Assisting and supervising over the committee.

 The above rules will be implemented from the date that the loan is applied for. 

Xinzhai Community Management Committee

Xinzhai Community Project Household

    Established on January 16 2004

    Revised by the farmers¡¯ conference on February 25 2006 


Fund Use and Management System 

    According to two community conferences, one on December 22 2005 (attendance: male 17, female 31, totaling 48) and the other on January 2 2006 (attendance: male 26, female 37, totaling 63) the final decision on use and management system of Xinzhai Community fund is as follows: 

    1. It is targeted for use by community farmers.

    2. Farmers who have never applied for loan from the community must invest 1% of fund for community fund use.

    3. Independent family use (A warrantor is needed who warrants by properties).

    4. The borrower and the warrantor shall sign and stamp their seals.

    5. The loan amount shall not exceed RMB 500.

    6. The monthly interest is 8¡ë.

    7. The loan cycle is 6 months (payments made every 3 months and payoff within twice).

    8. For those failing to make due repayment, the warrantor¡¯s properties will be depreciated for mortgage. And the borrowers will not enjoy the use of the community fund any more.

    9. Interests of the fund enlarge the fund.  

Xinzhai Community Management Committee

Xinzhai Community Project Household

January 6 2006 

Medical Fund Use and Management System of Xinzhai Community

    Upon demand by the farmer families and by the support by Oxfam, the fifth article is revised on April 30 2005 through discussions by the farm household and the medical fun use plan is thus established.

    1. Community farmers who suffer serious illness and need to be sent to other hospital according to the doctor (with diagnosis report) can apply for medical funds to the community management committee with preference given to women and children.

    2. Bachelors shall have a deputy for supervising loan and repayment; if an elder aged over 50 who lives separately from his or her children falls ill, the loan shall be applied in writing by his or her children, who also shall be held responsible for repay the loan.

    3. The borrower submits written application to the management committee, which is approved by 2/3 members of the management committee and the fun supervision team. Should anyone make an approval by himself, he shall bear the responsibility. If the borrower fails to make repayment on time, he shall be responsible for repayment.

    4. The loan can only be issued under the condition that the borrower holds loan contract signed by both Party A and Party B.

    5. The loan amount is limited to RMB1000 and shall not be exceeded. The monthly loan is 6¡ë from the date of loan issuance. The principal and the interests shall be paid off twice within 10 months with payment every 5 months.

    6. The medical fund is under unified management of the management committee and account is recorded for loan issuance and collection by the committee teller and the accountant. It cannot be divided up nor used up. Publication will be made to the community farmers every three months.

    7. If the payment is not made on time, the management committee and the fund supervision team will make the collection; for those who fail to make repayment without any reason, no more loans will be issued.

    8. Loan applications by a farm family can only be approved on the basis of special fund for special purpose.

    9. Any family that is unwilling to participate in voluntary construction (including farmers¡¯ conference) within 3 times a year will not be issued any loan.

    10. Special case of illness shall be investigated by the management committee and the fund supervision team and be handled in special method.

    11. Interests from the medical fund enlarge the medical fund itself.

The system was settled through discussion by farmer¡¯s conferences and shall be implemented from the date of loan and shall not be violated.  

Xinzhai Community Project Household

    Established as provisional on August 22nd 2004

    Revised by the farmers¡¯ conference on April 30th 2005


Use and Management Plan of Returned Risk Fund 

    According to two farmers¡¯ conferences, one on February 25 2006 (attendance: male 28, female 29, totaling 57) and the other on March 16 2006 (attendance¡± male 27, female 33, totaling 60) it is decided that project interests be used as educational fund according to the original educational fund management plan.

    Based on the actual situation of the community, under the sponsorship of Oxfam, the use and management plan of educational fund is decided as follows:

    1. Privilege is given to poverty-stricken drop-outs within the community, especial to female students.

    2. To sponsor students of different grades and to issue loan to the family at 100% of tuition fee of the term.

    3. The monthly interest of the loan is 6¡ë of the loan amount and the loan period is lump sum repayment of principal and interests in three months.

    4. The loan after recollection is made into the account by the accountant and the teller and published to the community farmers by the supervision group.

    5. The risk fund is added to the educational fund. RMB 3000 is used as educational fund and the rest is issued to the farmers¡¯ family for other usage who participate community activities most actively.

    6. The maximum loan amount is RMB 1000 with the loan period being 6 months, which is to be paid off within twice. The repayment is made once every 3 months and the interest rate is 6¡ë.

    7. Loan method: a warrantor who warrants with properties is needed for single family loan.

    8. For those who fail to return on time, the management committee and the fund supervision tea will collect the principal and the interests once and no loan will be issued for next time.

    9. At the end of each term, the top 5 students in the class will be awarded.

    10. If any community student enters college or other school of the same level, a loan of RMB 2000 can be used without any interest, which shall be repaid every half year and be paid off within one year.  

Xinzhai Community Management Committee

Xinzhai Community Project Household

                              February 28 2005 


Share Use and Management Plan of Xinzhai Community

    According to two mass conferences, one on December 22nd 2005, male 17, female 31, totaling 48 and the other on January 2nd 2006, male 26, female 37, totaling 63, the final decision on management system of Xinzhai Community privatization is as follows: 

    1. According to the mass discussion, the share investment is decided to be RMB50 each family.

    2. The shares invested is put into principal loan invested by Oxfam project.

    3. The borrowing families are limited to Xinzhai community only.

    4. Families not investing will be issued certificate of shareholder and loan whenever they make investment. If they are not willing to invest, their Oxfam right offering will be retained in the community.

    5. Loan is issued as per the original principal management system.

    6. The loan amount shall not exceed RMB2000. The loan can be issued only after the previous loan is paid off.

    7. The loan shall be applied for under authentic name and be issued according to real need. Loan under a fake name is forbidden. Anyone that is not willing to join the community organization can be returned the investment of RMB50 while the right offerings by Oxfam project cannot be returned, which belongs to the collective ownership forever.

    8. For any family that a makes share investment but without heir, the investment of RMB50 and accumulated fund will be calculated and used for his funeral.

    9. Any new family that is willing to join the investment but not apply for loan is welcome. Dividend will be enjoyed as average for forever. Loan can be applied for if money is needed in the future. A new family invests RMB 50 for participation and the rest will be offered by the community, which shall not exceed the original offering by Oxfam. The only child in the family is not regarded as independent family. Instead, he or she shall enjoy the same share as the parents.

    10. No person other than those from Xinzhai community is permitted loan access of our community.

    11. The account is published every season on the finance announcement column in the community activity center.

    12. The dividend is distributed every two years.  

Xinzhai Community Management Committee

Xinzhai Community Project Household

    January 6 2006  

Prevaricated Dividend Distribution of Xinzhai Community 

    1. According to discussion by farmers¡¯ conference, every family invests RMB50 Yuan of principal share.

    2. 20% for developing the principal shares.

    3. 35% as work allowance for management committee.

    4. 10% for public welfare.

    5. 10% for community activity.

    6. 35% for dividend. 

                                           January 6 2006 


Dear Honored Leaders and Teachers:

Welcome to Xinzhai.

I, on behalf of 80 families in Xinzhai Community, show my sincerest gratitude to you! Thank you for coming to Xinzhai out of care.

Ever since 1995 Xinzhai Community has been supported and sponsored by Hong Kong Oxfam Project and implemented various projects such as husbandry, breeding, planting, micro loan, building community activity center, small water cellar, including woman training(education, technology, laws and regulations, medical care, entertainment, and ethnic costumes), repairing village road and endangered houses.

    Honored leaders and teachers, mentioning Xinzhai Community, even we ourselves are ashamed. As a member of community management committee, I felt ashamed and regretful. The once paralyzed Xinzhai Community stands up quivering under the care and support from the Party and the people¡¯s government and the guidance and assistance of Hong Kong Oxfam Project. Is not this help in our hour of need? We suffered from so many difficulties, so much sorrow and sadness all the way to today. Husbandry, breeding, film-covering planting, micro loan, which provides small amount of loan to Xinzhai people, resists usury loan, resolves the difficult of poor people¡¯s access to loan, lead Xinzhai Community people to the road of development and happiness. Now, on average, each family can butcher 1 to 2 pigs each year and sell many grains. Women used to cry for the difficulties of carrying water. Now there are water cellars and water is no long a headache. Women are smiling and singing. With the community activity center, women worry about training site no more. The activity center brings us delightful songs and water cellar brings to us happiness, benefiting the farmers greatly. After the establishment of community management committee, under the project staff¡¯s assistance, different people from the community went out for training focused on different projects, which helps us to understand that the community development needs participation in management and use, mutual supervision and sharing and communication of various experiences. From 2004 the Xinzhai Community strode to the road to development step by step. The old dying Xinzhai took on a new look. Every Woman¡¯s Festival becomes more and more joyful. The grass-roofed houses are turning to bungalow little by little. There are 5 motorcycles and 2 farm vehicles.

   We are grateful to all levels of governmental leasers and various Oxfam units for bringing so many adapted projects to Xinzhai Community, grateful to project personnel for their support and guidance, grateful for improvement of our thinking, awareness, which promotes development. We believe that Xinzhai Community will use wisely this sum of donation by Oxfam to make it bring us more benefits and better development. In all, I, hereby on behalf of Xinzhai Community families, show my gratitude to Hong Kong Oxfam and all caring people.

    Thank you. 

    Xinzhai Community

    June 22  2006