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Supporting sustainable development in China

A Village Adoption Project in Yunnan, China

In November 2006, Deloitte jointly launched with Lingnan University of Hong Kong a pilot sustainable development model for rural communities in China, by adopting a village, Gezhangla in Yunnan Province. The project is the first public-private sector collaboration involving a Hong Kong academic institution and a commercial enterprise for as long as three years and with such a comprehensive approach to assisting the sustainable development of a whole village community.

 

Signing ceremony of the 2nd phase Yunnan Village Adoption Project with Lingnan University of Hong Kong on 17 March 2011

Signing ceremony of the 2nd phase Yunnan Village Adoption Project with Lingnan University of Hong Kong on 17 March 2011

As a collaborative project, we worked together with Lingnan University, the Yunnan village leaders, the village community, the local authority of Wu Ding and Mainland academics specializing in service learning, to achieve the joint goals of developing the education, healthcare and economic systems of the village, sustaining the unique ethnicity of the village, and encouraging a culture of community service and learning through service among our own people and the universities’ students.

The original three-year project has just recently been completed and the decision was made to set up a second phase for the project from 2011 to 2013 with a focus on the community's micro-economy and to expand the geographical scope with Gezhangla village as the physical hub to create a sustainable self-help network for this rural area.

A significant and lasting contribution to a community in China
The previous three-year project included the construction of a much needed dormitory and canteen to make primary schooling logistically possible for the children there and to support for facilitating villagers' self-help to achieve better livelihood and sustainable environmental management.

In line with village needs, our priority in the first year was to provide better schooling facilities to students from the village and the surrounding area, including the addition of expanded and enhanced school dormitory facilities to accommodate more students for whom travel to school could be as much as a daily commute of four hours on foot. 

 

Deloitte Volunteers conducted English teaching programme to students in Gezhangla Primary School, Yunnan

Deloitte Volunteers conducted English teaching programme to students in Gezhangla Primary School, Yunnan

In 2008, we celebrated the completed construction and official opening of the "Deloitte Home", a complex including a dormitory, canteen and recreation facilities.

The second year, we focused on public healthcare including education on hygiene and healthcare as well as related infrastructure. The safe water network was established, co-funded by the villagers and the program budget of Deloitte and Lingnan University. In 2009, we celebrated the completed installation of a clean water supply to every household. During the visit, our delegation also appointed and trained villagers as public hygiene and healthcare ambassadors who took up important roles in promoting hygiene and healthcare best practices throughout the village community.

For the third year, the program focused on research and consultation on the micro-economy to help villagers develop a model for enhanced livelihood in the long run.

A unique personal, professional and team development opportunity
We believe that Deloitte participants also gain valuable insight into a part of China and aspects of rural life in China less known but not less important to many of us, while developing their project and people management skills and making a unique and meaningful contribution to society.

Deloitte and Lingnan University have drawn on our experiences to conduct research and develop thought leadership on the sustainable development of rural communities in China, as well as the role of corporate social responsibility and service learning.

 

Press release

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