Written by Husband and Wife, Ren GaoQing and Guo GuoYing, Customers of Biquan Branch of ARDY
In Biquan Town in Yilong County, Sichuan Province, whenever villagers talked about Ren GaoQing and Gou GuoYing, they would give nods of approval and commend, “the couple work so hard that they discover a road to wealth within waste products” or ”with ARDY’s help in recent years, their home has changed quite a bit…”
Six years ago, Ren GaoQing and Gou GuoYing lived in Section 2, Qingquan Village,Biquan Town. They were penniless. Their three-bedroom house swayed during storms. Their son and daughter only finished elementary school and were forced to work outside at a young age. The honest couple only had two acres of infertile land. In one year, the family could only raise at most one pig or some chickens and ducks. There would be no pocket-money to spend until the harvesting season. So if they ever got sick or had an emergency, they could only go to the neighbors to borrow money.
Thus, the couple wanted to raise more pigs and chickens to sell, hopefully earning enough money. However, they had no capital to start the business.
In 1999, the Biquan branch of ARDY was established. The branch had microfinance activities that could help the couple. But microfinance was funded by foreign funds and needed installments, the couple must set up a collaborative group to get a loan. The couple signed up three times to form a collaborative group, yet each time their groups were disbanded without reason in a few days. The group members either set up other groups or did not want to participate anymore. The couple knew that they were too poor and may not be able to repay the loans so others purposely avoided them.
After thinking over and over again, the couple went to the branch once more. With ARDY’s patient explanation and help, the couple finally set up a detailed repayment plan with requirements and finally set up a collaborative group. They borrowed 600 RMB.
After receiving the loan, the couple bought pigs and chickens for 200 RMB. They did not dare to use the rest of the money; in case, they did not earn a profit, at least they could make repayments in the first two months.
Because they lacked experience and skills, the chickens and ducks all got sick. Their pigs and sheep did not grow. The rumors and gossip slowly spread to the staff members working for ARDY. “Now it is over. Their pigs could not be sold…their ducks and chickens have high fever…the project did not work out…they have a huge debt…you will never get your money back…”
How could they make money in such a short time? ARDY’s staff members were also helping them think of ways and seek ideas. However, Ren GaoQing and Gou GuoYing were both honest people. Although they lived near the town, they never went to the market to sell anything. They did not know what to do to get the money they needed to repay back the loan every ten days.
One time, they unexpectedly saw their neighbor sell waste products. After a few days of careful consideration, they chose picking up trash and recyclables as their occupation. The couple immediately took action after making this decision. They went to town and the schools to pick up bottles and scrap paper. The husband took the rest of the money and went from door-to-door to buy broken metal materials, old newspapers, plastics, etc. Thus, the couple began to work in this dirty, tiring, and disdainful job to earn a living.
Three days later, Ren GaoQing took the trash he collected and the garbage his wife collected to town to sell. As he counted the money he received , besides earning the capital, they managed to earn more than 10 RMB extra. This surplus could buy some food. Not ever having an income before, the couple were happy for a long while.
Ren GaoQing and his wife finally found a way to make money in a short time. As long as there was free time, they would go around to look for waste products. Every 7 or 8 days, he would go to the recycling station in the town to sell his waste products to make money. First, they would keep a portion of the money to pay of the loan. In on year, they not only repaid their loan with interest on time, but also earned quite a bit of savings.
In order to expand their business, they took out another loan of 1000 RMB from ARDY the second year. In this way, Ren GaoQing and his wife risked wind, rain, bitter cold, and sweltering heat. They endured contempt and disrespectful looks. With tears and sweat, they used their firm willpower and the loans from ARDY to walk to where they are today.
No pain, no gain. Ren GaoQing’s home had changed. In the fall of 2003, his family bought 120 square meters to build a simple-decorated house that was considered good in the area. Compared to the house before, this new house was like heaven.
When their new house was completed and they received another loan of 4000 RMB to expand their business, the couple, who appeared older now, could not stop the tears from flowing as they said, “ARDY is so good. Thank you so much! It was you who let our family walk towards wealth!”
Today, the couple’s two children have grown up and work in Guangzhou. The couple’s drive have led to them to a bigger business and strengthened their confidence of getting rich. This spring, they will start preparing to build another two stories on their house (currently, under construction). When they finish building the new house that they never thought they will own, their son will get married.
We sincerely wish them the very best. We hope that they will continue to be healthy and that their family will forever be happy.
(Translated by Liu YuLiang and edited by Jennifer Yau)