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Project helps jobless, single mothers in Shenzhen
Latest Updated by 2007-03-05 10:39:43

A PROGRAM offering training and jobs for impoverished women, especially single mothers, kicked off Friday (Mar 2) morning in Shenzhen.

Launched by the Shenzhen Women's Federation (SWF), the Sunny Mother program has the support of the municipal civil affairs, education and health authorities who have promised to provide free medical checkups to the mothers and cut school fees for their children.

The city's social welfare lottery fund has contributed 3.31 million yuan (US$413,000) to the program. Three local firms, including Foxconn, donated another 1.15 million yuan at the project launch ceremony Friday.

"A survey we conducted late last year prompted us to launch the program,"said Cai Qiaoyu, an official with the SWF. The survey found that 1,940 local single-mother families had an average monthly income lower than 344 yuan per person last year, and another 3,320 such families had an income ranging from 345 to 500 yuan. Of these impoverished single mothers, more than half are hukou (permanent residence permit) holders.

"Poorly educated and afflicted by chronic diseases, these single mothers don't have much hope in their lives, find it difficult to find a job and to pay for their children's education,"Cai said.

A trial in the Zhulin Community has been successful in offering the women free training and government-subsidized jobs which do not require sophisticated skills.

In a small workshop housed in the community's office building, about 70 women are busy assembling parts to be used in mobile phones."All they have to do is to embed one part into the other, which they can learn to do properly within two days. Some 20 other women are working from home,"said Zeng Bohui, boss at the workshop. Another subsidized job Zeng's firm offers is a car-valeting service on nearby housing estates.

Working 35 hours a week cleaning cars, Sun Huifang earns about 1,610 yuan each month, of which 800 yuan is subsidized by the government.

"It's a flexible job near where I live,"said 47-year-old Sun, who used to take whatever odd jobs she could find."I have a daughter and son, both Shenzhen University students. The job is a great help to my family."

The job subsidy, like the city's social welfare policies, only covers hukou holders in Shenzhen.

Editor: Wing

By: Source:China View website
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