Project Site @ Qiunatong Village, Gongshan County, Nujiang Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China
Gongshan County, Nujiang Prefecture, Northwest Yunnan, is located between 1170 m to 5128 m above sea level and features several mountains and valleys. Such terrain makes transportation inconvenient and impedes local livelihoods and the development.
Gongshan has mild climate. The day–night temperature difference in the county is high, but the annual temperature difference is low. The weather in the river valley areas is mild and humid.
The main religion in Gongshan is Catholicism. In the mid-19th century, French missionaries wanted to preach in Tibet through Nujiang but failed to do so for various reasons. Therefore, these preachers turned to missionary work in the Nujiang region instead. They built chapels in every village and provided villagers with agricultural technology and medical services. Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism now coexist in the area.
Qiunatong is a Catholic village in Gongshan County. Most Qiunatong villagers are Nu (怒族). A few Dulong (獨龍族) and Tibetans also live in Qiunatong.
Qiunatong is a poor village with an annual per capita income of 1,200 yuan. Most of the residential houses are traditional timber houses with schist roofs.
The Nu Minority is one of the oldest minorities in the Nujiang area, having a history of 1,600 years. The Nu live only in Yunnan, China, and have a population of less than 30,000. They have a unique ethnic culture with their own language, ethnic costumes, music, and oral literature.
Before the 1940s, the main social structure of Nujiang was one in which primitive communes, seigneurs, and a landlord economy coexisted. After years of development, local infrastructure improved, but the living standards of villagers remain poor. Villagers primarily grow corn, wheat, buckwheat, and highland barley and use Chinese medicinal herbs from forests in the area.
The villagers of Qiunatong are Catholic and are known for their kindness and gratitude. The villagers commonly raise crops and livestock instead of trying to earn money in urban areas as most rural residents in other areas.
Every weekend, all the villagers gather in chapel.
We found the following problems in the village:
a low-quality living environment
small and uncomfortable chapel
lack of public space and recreation facilities
unreliable water source and improper use of energy
The team participated in the workshops on “Community Conserved Areas and Endogenous Development” which was organized by Lijiang Health and Environment Research Center in November 2018 and April 2019. The workshop in April also allowed the villagers of Malo Village to join and learn the village community's ecological and social public interests which may help them to solve the problems in the village.
In addition, the team is planning to design and publish a picture book for children of folktales in Nu River Valley. The picture book itself serves as an exploration of the local identity as well as educational material.
Jun 2018 - 3rd early childhood education service
Collaborating with the Service-Learning Centre of Chung Chi College at CUHK, the 1U1V team conducted the 3rd Early Childhood Education Service this year. The 3-week (30 May to 21 Jun) early programme featured the theme of “Playing for Learning” and served children aged 3-8 years old in Qiunatong Village who are not attending school. Investigations in public health, disaster presention, ecotourism and cultural documentation were also carried out. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
May 2018 - project progress
In May, the team proposed to the villagers an improved packaging design for their home-made wine of corn or barley. It may help them to increase the cultural value of the product, enrich the local wine culture, and increase villagers' income and business opportunities. Please click here to see the details of the work report and here for investigation report (in Chinese version only).
Mar 2018 - project progress
Collaborating with Ms. Zheng Qinsi of 個體成長之旅 Studio, the team provided a three-day training for the teachers of Bingzhongluo township. The goal is to teach the teachers a set of complete system concepts and tools for "Positive Discipline" and how to apply in their classrooms. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Sep - Dec 2017 - project progress
During the team's visit to the village twice, they started the preliminary work on library design and explored new trade cooperation opportunities for the project in order to provide the villagers with more options for economic development. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Jul 2017 - 2nd early childhood education service
The 1U1V team carried out an early childhood education service in Qiunatong Village in collaboration with the Service-Learning Centre of Chung Chi College at CUHK from 20 June to 14 July. It is the second time such service was held. A total of 20 student volunteers participated. The service plan also included in-depth investigations from five aspects of public health, disaster prevention, population trafficking, ecotourism and cultural records.For more details, please click here to see the work report (in Chinese version only).>
Mar 2017 - project progress
In May, the team not only completed the design of ecological farm for one of the villagers, but also conducted a mapping work of an old village house transforming project for another villager. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Mar 2017 - project progress
From October last year, the team visited the village several times to analyze the thermal comfort data of the local dwellings, design together with one of the villagers for an ecological farm building, and prepare the second early childhood education service. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Jul 2016 - 1st early childhood education service
Collaborating with the Service-Learning Centre of Chung Chi College at CUHK and Hong Kong Child-Rity Association, the 1U1V team conducted the first early childhood education service with the theme of “Play-based Learning” in Qiunatong Village, during 1-22 July 2016. Total 21 student volunteers participated in this service trip. They designed games for about 60 village kids aged 3-12 and focused on the theme of "understanding of self" and "Knowing the village". For more details, please click here to see the work report (in Chinese version only).
Apr 2016 - project progress
The team planned to implement the Permaculture Design methods in the village's agriculatural system, production environment, economy and local culture development. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Dec 2015 - project progress
With the support from Service-learning Centre of CUHK Chung Chi College and Hong Kong Institute of Education, the team planed to develop a learning programme for pre-school children with few HK volunteers. During the visit in Dec, the team did investigation and preparation work for the leaning programme. Meanwhile, they continued to do some body checkup for the villagers, to update community syrvey data and to fine-tune the assistance strategy for its agricultural and economic system. Please feel free to click below links to see relevant work reports, learning programme plan and an article written by a HK volunteer after a visit to Qiunatong Village.
The team accomplished a pit toilet improvement work for Chugang village group and visited the clinic in Zhongle Township. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Aug 2015 - project progress
During the trip, the team carried out three tasks including village house structure survey, township education survey and data collection for construction of walking pathway. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
May - Jun 2015 - project progress
The main purpose of the trip is to investigate the agricultural system of the village and formulate necessary assistance strategy. Besides, the team also tested and improved the anti-slippery materials for the walking pathway. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only) and click here to see the report for agricultural, forestry and economic improvement plan (in Chinese version only).
Feb - Mar 2015 - project progress
The team started working on waste treatment plan and promoted health knowledge in the village. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Dec 2014 - project progress
In order to analyze the space utilization of the village and its features, the teams completed topgraphic surveys and building drawings for 4 village groups. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Nov 2014 - project progress
The teams conducted samples collection and surveys on agricultural economics, public health and people's livelihood in the village. They also tested the wastewater and made a small-scale landfill plan for the village groups. Besides, they completed a topograhic survey for Chugang village group. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Jun 2014 - 3rd investigation trip
3 university teams conducted a joint investigation. They blended with each other's work and worked out a six-year development plan for the project. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Apr 2014 – 2nd investigation trip
The objective of the trip was to evaluate the problems in the village and conduct feasibility analysis for potential solutions which may provide reference for further study in future. Please feel free to click the following links to see relevant work reports (in Chinese verison only) for four different aspects:
Besides, the team hopes to create or achieve the followings through this village sustainable development assistance programme:
a hope for next generation
a concern for the old and sick
a sense of identity for the villagers
a demonstration for new rural development
Feb - Mar 2014 - 1st investigation trip
The objective of the trip was to investigate the probable problems in the village. The team conducted surveys and interviews to collect the data about villagers' livelihood, health and education background. Please click here to see the details of the work report (in Chinese version only).
Dec 2013 - 1st site visit to Qiunatong Village, Yunnan
Once the idea of "One University One Village" was conceived, the project team was formed and stepped into the village for the first time in Dec 2013. Its aim was to initially assess the situation and the needs of the village.
Society and economy; built environment; humanities and health
Mapping of the Village:
Traditional buildings; settlements and layouts; village topography
Health education; basic medical examination; screening for chronic diseases
Art decorations in village square; production and installation of wooden doors in public toilets; indoor air ventilation assessments and air quality tests in village houses; seismic performance of house structures; safety investigation of pedestrian pathways
Investigation on water supply and drainage system; tests on drinking water quality; waste management investigation and solution plans
Community surveys (including topics such as population trafficking, community medical map); collection of folktales
Surveys on handicrafts and agricultural products; cultivated land soil environment quality analysis; permaculture design for family farming
The first early childhood education service
Sightseeing route investigation and hand-drawn maps for village ecotourism
Eco-farm design (it was acknowledged by the local community, however, the construction project was suspended due to the conflicts between the site and local government’s development plan)
The second early childhood education service
Vernacular house renovation as a village library (a dispute of land use right emerged and the project was suspended in May 2018)
Safety improvement of road pavement (the project was suspended due to the high construction cost after the assessment of the design; the poverty alleviation projects of the local government has renovated the pedestrian paths for all villages)
The third early childhood education service; positive discipline psychological training for class teachers in township middle schools
Investigation in local art crafts and improved packaging design for villagers’ homemade wine
Field studies including local tourism development, economic and cultural industry plan, village management, village planning, design proposals of village hostels and souvenir shops, etc.
A picture book about Nu River Valley (already completed the selection of stories and liaison with the publisher, however the project was suspended as it was difficult to find a suitable illustrator in Hong Kong and Mainland for the collaboration)
Training for service learning programme to students from Chung Chi College of CUHK
Participation in the workshops on “Community Conserved Areas and Endogenous Development” in Lijiang with villagers