Weichang County is one of the poorest in the province, where more than 20 million people live on less than $1 per day. The project will focus on increasing income, diversifying diets, and improving nutrition and health.
So here I am in China - my first visit, and Beijing with its population of 20 million is a jarring contrast to Greenfield, Indiana. Yet I am most struck by how much the same we are, by all that we have in common.
When I see an older woman walking along on the arm of her daughter, I see myself walking with my mom.
When I hear our tour guide, Andy, talk about the hardships his parents are facing dealing with the poor health of his grandparents, I think of family and friends who face similar but more manageable situations.
Sitting in the meeting of the Association of Chinese Social Works (an emergent group of workers in the non-profit sector) I notice how similar it is to the conference on Hunger that I attended in DC early this year - the same topics, the same challenges, and a very similar group of enthusiastic but underpaid young professionals.
When my friend from Elanco China wipes away a tear as he tells us how important it is - this work we're doing to help the lives of the rural people in his country - we are also moved to tears.
We're really just a very big family on a very small planet, trying hard to do the right things. Everywhere there are hungry and poor who need to be fed. Elanco, Heifer International, the Lilly Foundation and the Chinese Association of Social Works can each make a real difference. And when we work together, we can teach each other, inspire each other, and amplify that impact. How cool is that?