On December 15th, 2009 in conjunction with the Heifer International Sichuan and Chongqing office, 30 members from Heifer International partner groups visited ARDY's mutual fund groups to study how to establish such groups and their methods. The visitors first went to Liao Yuan village, the site of ARDY's Heifer International mutual group project. They visited with the intention of viewing and emulating, paying visits to both the managers of the mutual fund group and the members, exchanging ideas and viewpoints and conversing about the nuances of executing such groups.
Following the site visit, the participants and the Heifer International leadership returned to ARDY's headquarters to meet in the conference room and to discuss and share the impressions of what they had just witnessed. They reflected on ARDY's model of mutual fund groups and the process of establishing them, the attendance and activities of the groups, the funding, and the support provided by ARDY. Their visits and the subsequent discussions helped the visitors to see a model of self-sustainable rural development.
ARDY's Secretary-General Gao Xiang Jun gave everyone a presentation regarding ARDY's outreach and support for mutual fund groups, also detailing the Association's model. She described how the Yilong model is consistent with the basic principles of sustainable rural development in China and the efforts to eliminate the bottlenecks that have previously constrained rural development.
After both the visits and the reflections, the visitors on the study-trip concluded that they would like to promote the Yilong model for projects related to rural development.
The YouChange volunteers also attended these events.