A parcel full of warmth

By Katrin Buchenbacher Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/8 18:58:39

Wen Laohuan and her husband holding the parcel donated to them by the charity.Photo: Courtesy of PepsiCo

The mothers of Dade village, Dongchuan district, Yunnan Province live in the remote mountains where living conditions are harsh.Photo: Katrin Buchenbacher/GT


All mothers of Dade village have gathered to receive a parcel full of warm clothes and daily necessities.Photo: Courtesy of PepsiCo


Yunnan province is one of the major battlegrounds for poverty alleviation in China according to the latest national-level poverty-stricken county list. Photo: Katrin Buchenbacher/GT


Wen Laohuan is a 56-year-old woman who stands out among all the other women in Dade village, Dongchuan district, in southwest China's Yunnan Province - she does not cover her head with a scarf. That way, everyone can see her long, braided hair that cascades down her right shoulder. Her husband, Meng Tianyang, on the other hand, wears a hand-knitted beanie and three shirts under a sweater and jacket to protect himself from the cold and gloomy weather. The couple's wooden home where they raised their two daughters has no heating. There is a small courtyard where they hang their meat out to dry, and from the backyard, you can hear their geese gobble and there is a faint smell of damp hay in the air.

"I am happy and thankful today," Wen said. She just received a big parcel full of warm clothing and daily necessities.

Wen is just one of the many recipients of the charity program for impoverished women launched by China Women's Development Foundation (CWDF) and made possible by PepsiCo, who was involved in the "Postal Parcels for Mothers" for seven years, according to a press release on February 7, 2018. So far, over 30,000 mothers in 12 provinces across China have benefited from the program so far, the release said further. The charity event, timed before Spring Festival, is a part of the PepsiCo campaign ''Bring Happiness Home.''

For seven years, "Bring Happiness Home" tackles the meanings of "happiness" and "home" from different angles, featuring movie stars in the production of a web series to attract a young audience. The campaign aims to invite consumers to share and bring happiness to others while raising awareness for societal issues and encourage young people to support and contribute to charity programs.

"Whatever we can provide is still fairly little,'' Senior Vice President and General Manager of PepsiCo Beverages Yao Weiwei told the Metropolitan. ''However, the importance lies in using the brand influence that we have to encourage young people to also participate in these types of activities.'' Yao herself was at the charity event in the remote Yunnan countryside and delivered parcels to the mothers while chatting with them about their living conditions. According to the latest national-level poverty-stricken county list, Yunnan province, having many poor counties, is one of the major battlegrounds for poverty alleviation in China. By 2020, China is determined to take 40 million people out of poverty through "targeted poverty alleviation."

Zhu Baoming, Director of the CWDF, said that they would like to partner with PepsiCo continuously to help poor mothers across the country and make their due contribution to China's poverty alleviation endeavor together.

''Looking at the women's faces, I think they are cold and still not wearing enough clothes. I feel happy that we could help a little bit, but we need to make sure to raise more awareness in society.'' Yao said. ''Having lived in the big cities of China for a long time, I think it is good to remind us that there are still places like the Dade village where people are still living in poverty,'' she added.

In the meantime, Wen and her husband, who have been living off a small field of sweet potatoes since their rheumatic and gout diseases keep them from doing more manual labor, now have a new stack of warm clothes and blankets. ''Despite difficulties and fatigue, I will keep holding on,'' Wen said. ''I wish my children are fine and that they come home for Spring Festival.''

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