Work in Mainland China
"Red Pomelos" Bring Sichuan Back to Life After the Quake

We still remember the devastating earthquake in the afternoon of 12 May 2008. Countless lives and buildings were swallowed in an instant. The victims lost their families and properties. Sorrow reigned over the quakestricken areas. Many villagers of the affected Wujialing Village, Luojiang County, Deyang City lost their homes and livelihoods. With the generous donation from various sectors, The Salvation Army has been able to help the villagers regain their living from the land by planting “Chinese red pomelos”. Six years have passed. The pomelo trees have finally born fruit. Fields of the quake-hit areas have been revitalised and the victims wear smiles on their faces.

Situated in the northwest of Deyang City, Sichuan, 50 per cent of the houses in Wujialing Village were damaged during the 512 Wenchuan Earthquake. The rest were not suitable for residence. Production facilities we re also severely damaged. Villagers who had led a simple agricultural life were living in dire conditions after the earthquake.

Dependence on the Land
Since 2008 The Salvation Army has been striving to support the economic development of the village, to help the victims restore their livelihoods. The villagers having always sustained life by farming and planting will never abandon their way of land, even after the calamitous earthquake. Their hope is that with the help of The Salvation Army, and the planting of the “Chinese red pomelos” their chosen lifestyle may continue.

With stable profits, the Wujialing villagers had regained control. The local climate and soil conditions are favourable for growing and the fruit is easy to store. Among all types of pomelos in the nation, the “Chinese red pomelos” is one of the better quality and the price over the recent years has been high. With the support from The Salvation Army, a total of 1,454 villagers from 448 households began planting “Chinese red pomelos” from October 2009.

During the following three years, The Salvation Army assisted with plating technology, training classes and free fertilizer. The entire village witnessed the growth of the saplings. By 2012, this once devastated land was finally produced their first pomelo harvest.

Save Elder Couple from Misery
Uncle Zeng and his wife had been taking care of their mentally-ill son and their young grandson. Uncle Zeng was almost 70 years old when the earthquake struck. Watching their damaged house, Zeng knew that he would be unable to support the family any longer. Out of despair he contemplated suicide. Fortunately the commercial forest plantation project of The Salvation Army brought Uncle Zeng hope. Uncle Zeng said, “After the quake, the villagers went to work in other places but I was too old to go. The Salvation Army project has given me a sustainable business. Seeing the trees grow day after day makes me feel more secure. My son starts taking up some of the farming duties. ‘Red pomelos’ have changed the life of our family!”

During the first harvest in 2012, fruit thinning was carried out so that future harvests would not be affected by tree aging process. The average profit of each peasant household was about RMB 1,000 only. As with the second harvest in 2013, the peasant households had a bumper harvest and each earned an average of RMB 6,000 plus.

Stay with Their Own Family
Pomelo farming has not only helped Zeng’s family turn around in their difficulties. It has also brought changes to the family life of the villagers. Now, many of them no longer need to work in other cities. They can choose to stay home to manage the tree-planting and develop their own fruit planting business. On their own piece of land which is both respected and feared, they share every important moment in their life with their children and parents.


You Help The Salvation Army Rebuild Sichuan
Apart from the fruit plantation project, The Salvation Army has launched reconstruction works in Shifang City, Mianzhu City, Guanghan City and Luojiang County. A total of 358 village clinics have been built. The outpatient building of the Tiemenkan Hospital in Shifang City, Sichuan Province completely collapsed during the earthquake. The Salvation Army rebuilt the inpatient and outpatient buildings of the Hospital, repaired and reinforced the original wards with the provision of medical equipment and training funds.

Moreover, as a relief effort for the lack of water after the quake, The Salvation Army rebuilt irrigation channels and launched the drinking water project in Zhongxin Village, Guangji Town and Penghua Village, Zundao Town in Mianzhu City; and Daya Village and Wanan Village, Yanjia Town in Luojiang County.

To help schools resume classes, The Salvation Army also provided facilities for 33 schools in Jingyang District of Deyang City and 7 schools in Mao County respectively.

With a bumper harvest of th...
The plantation project has ...
The earthquake turns Uncle ...
Each and every household of...