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Date16.03.2017 CountryChina Aflateen votes73

Cutting Snacks and Picking Peppers

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Changing Life Habits

In rural middle schools of Guangnan County, China, over 80% of children are “left-behind”, with their parents migrating for work in factories in eastern coastal areas, leaving their children in the care of grandparents or other older relatives. Juan, a 14 year old girl, lives with her grandparents while her parents work on an earphone assembly line more than 500 miles away, only coming back for Spring Festival once a year.

Like many of her peers in school, Juan is participating in financial and life skills education classes thanks to the support of Credit Suisse. She says “I like the FELS class very much, as I can learn a lot of useful knowledge and skills, and it can help me find solutions for difficulties we often encounter in our daily life. I have started saving after taking this class, and I believe saving can help me realise my dreams, making me better prepared for future. ”

Learning to earn and save has been a revelation for Juan. She used to spend her entire allowance each week, but has since learnt to save incrementally by cutting out unnecessary expenses like snacks. She is currently saving 5-10 yuan (0.72-1.45 US dollars) a week in order to study in senior high school – something that would have seemed impossible before enrolling in the program. She is also happy to now be able to be generous and give something back to her grandparents, often buying fruits from town to bring back to them.

In addition to saving, during the weekend or vacations, Juan sometimes also helps to pick peppers in the mountains for other villagers so she can earn a small amount of money for a day. “I feel very proud, because I can save and earn money myself, though it’s only a small amount of money.”