By Yang Jun and Zhao Yandi
For the past 16 years, Yu Liufen has helped residents in Yanbo, a village in Guizhou province, eradicate poverty and develop the local economy.
Her hard work received a lot of attention and she was elected a delegate to the National Congress of the Communist Party of China for the third time in 15 years.
In 2001, Yu served as Party secretary of Yanbo. At that time, the village was mired in extreme poverty. It had no road connecting it with the outside world, and there was no electricity or running water. According to Yu, one-third of the residents lived below the national poverty line, with annual per capita income of no more than 800 yuan ($123).
The first project Yu took on was building roads.
"At that time we had doubts about being able to build roads because of the scarcity of money and material," said Xiao Bengao, a resident.
Showing her determination, Yu used 40,000 yuan of her own money to purchase the materials for a three-kilometer road and persuaded all the residents of the village to devote themselves to the project. Every day she got up early to help carry materials from the local government office to the construction site.
After three months, the road was completed and Yu enjoyed the residents' admiration and trust. Together they built 11 more roads.
Later came the purchase and development of a 98-hectare forest farm. Over time, the village acquired the equipment it needed to plant fruit trees and open leisure resorts to increase their incomes.
In 2003, a brick factory using the byproducts of coal mining as raw material was built in the village, reducing pollution and providing jobs.
After investigating and studying how other areas successfully developed, Yu encouraged residents to begin poultry production and set up a livestock farm.
In 2010, more than 10,000 chickens raised by Yuan Huiying, a poultry breeder in Yanbo, died of disease.
"Yu told me that the experience was important and that failure bred success," Yuan said. "She comforted me and gave me assistance."
Regaining confidence, Yuan continued the breeding project and made a profit of more than 400,000 yuan two years later.
With Yu's help, a distillery using the traditional methods of the local Yi ethnic group was built. In 2013, the distillery made a successful transition to a limited liability company－Guizhou Yanbo Liquor Industry Co－and villagers became shareholders.
So far the company has earned revenues of more than 40 million yuan.
Such diverse development has brought prosperity to Yanbo. Last year, the annual per capita income increased to 15,457 yuan.
"Helping villagers get out of poverty and become better off is the best gift for the 19th National Congress," Yu said.