and ingenuity to gain the power to build their own embroidery brands, thus improving their lives and helping to lift their county out of poverty.
Zhang Qin, 43, a respected embroiderer in the Daliu village of the county who founded the local embroidery associ
ation, Qiqiao Workshop, says: “Women around here are good at needlework, and I’m particularly int
erested in it. When I was a kid, I liked watching and learning as the women were sewing.”
She made her first “bucket of gold” when she was 8, she says.
“I sewed 10 pillowslips and sold them for 4 yuan ($0.6). At the time my family was too poo
r even to buy me new clothes, so I bought a large piece of red cloth and made myself a new undercoat with the money.”
Zhang gradually gained a reputation for her exquisite work, and women in the village often went to her for guidance.
the first being the Xihe Qiqiao Cultural Festival, and it proved to be highly popular with tourists.
Soon, she began to take orders, and then recruited locals to work for her.
“As my life improves, I want to help others
to make better lives for themselves through their embroidery,” says Zhang.
In 2015, with the help of her family, she built a house to be used as a work site and named it Qiqiao Workshop.
At first, she recruited a dozen members. After that the num
ber has kept growing as the factory developed into an infl
uential embroidery organization, the Qiqiao Workshop Association.
By last year, it had 179 women as members, 30 of w
hom were from registered poverty-stricken households. It h
ad reached a turnover of 1 million yuan by last year, and members earned 4,000 yuan on average.
learned to sell their work online.
Meanwhile, Lyu registered an online store on Taobao in 2016 and says she has since earned 50,000 yuan.
Speaking about the efforts, Luo Shumei, the president of the Wo
men’s Federation of Changdao village, Xihe county, says: “It’s a good thing to see embroidery pro
duction in Xihe county is shifting from being scattered to being more organized.
“But one drawback is that we are yet to find a good market.”
Broadcasting Administration designated Luo, now 32, as a Xihe Qiqiao culture “inheritor”.
As for the future prospects, Luo says: “To be honest, o
ur production is at a bit of a standstill now because we don’t know when the next order will come in.
“And we are reluctant to produce en masse beca
use of the risk of overstocking. But when an order does come in, we’ll work very hard.
notified whenever an accusation is made, both to protect the community and to encourage other potential victims to come forward.
”This seems to say that if a priest or a nun or deacon gets accused they don’t tell the parish until the accusation is ‘proven,'” said Tim Len
non, of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who is in Rome participating in vigils with other victims of clergy abuse.
”Well, who proves this? The police or the bishops? We’ve seen for 35 years that bishops o
ften cover up, so no one trusts that they are going to be good arbiters of guilt and innocence.”
Billionaire businessman Richard Branson says he hopes his Live Aid-inspired concert to raise funds for Venezuelans will persuade members of th
e country’s military to defy President Nicolas Maduro and allow humanitarian aid to cross the border.
Branson, who will host “Venezuela Aid Live” on Friday in the Colom
bian border town of Cucuta, said he is aiming to raise about $100 million to buy food a
nd medicine, essential supplies for the country, which is gripped by a political and humanitarian crisis.