Creating a Better Life campaign
The economic divide between urban and rural areas of China is substantial. The average income for a worker in rural China is approximately $690 USD a year, while those in cities earn an average of $2,290 USD—over three times more.1 HP is working to create economic opportunities and improve social conditions by giving rural Chinese communities access to information technology (IT) and training programs.
Chinese university graduate village officials (UGVOs)—charged with putting their education to use in developing areas—are sent by the Chinese government to rural villages to act as community leaders. By interacting with UGVOs, who have a unique perspective on local needs, HP learns how to most effectively promote economic and social development.
As part of this partnership, HP held a nationwide "Creating a Better Life" contest in 2010 and invited UGVOs to compete for grants. More than 1,000 UVGOs submitted proposals describing how they would use HP equipment and support to enhance development in their local villages. Thirty finalists were invited to present their ideas in Beijing to HP directors, officers from the department in charge of UGVOs, and IT experts from the Chinese Academy of Social Science.
After multiple rounds of competition, judges selected 23 winners, who together received more than $75,000 USD worth of HP technology and support to make their visions a reality. Winning projects included:
- Dandelion Paradise A school in Anhui province that was developed for children of migrant workers so they can learn to video chat with their parents, who are working in urban areas
- A village e-commerce site A website that allows people worldwide to order delicacies from a village in the Hunan province
- One Village A website that provides policy advice, technology information, educational resources, and details on village affairs to residents in Linying County in Henan province
HP intends to continue helping the winning UVGOs to implement their projects in 2011. The strongest ideas will serve as models for other UVGOs, spurring new thinking about how technology can improve lives in rural China.
- 1 Chen, Shirong. "China rural-urban wage gap widens," BBC news, January 16, 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7833779.stm.