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About Li Ka Shing Foundation, please click here.
About Project Define, please click here.
Cases sharing by women village officers, please click here.

Li Ka Shing Foundation Major Projects in Shaanxi Province (2000-2013), please click here.

You are the frontwomen of our future!
“Project Define” Supports Women Village Officers
to serve and shape the future

(Shaanxi Province, 19 November 2013) Statistics made it easy to figure out and demonstrate the importance of women in China to the world.  In 2013, the population of women in China has reached 650 million, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of the world’s total population (7.2 billion). About 330 million (more than 50 per cent) still reside in rural areas. Not only are they primary care-givers to their families and their young, they contribute more than 65 per cent of China’s rural manpower. By most measurable indicators, these women represent a formidable force to advance and sustain rural economic development. Efforts to unleash this untapped well of potential will have a profound impact to the development of China and the rest of the world.

Inhibited by cultural and socio-economic constraints, only approximately 20 per cent of women are in village administration position. Social inequality limited the learning opportunities for women and therefore their academic qualifications are generally inferior to men.  The majority of Chinese village women possess only a primary school education and a mere 40 per cent have received high school education.  Around 22 per cent of Chinese village women (748,000 strong) sit on Villagers Committees and Village Party Branches, representing about 588,000 villages in China.  While the numbers may not appear significant, these women demonstrated their dedication and perseverance to serve their community. Some are re-elected by their villagers, and one even acted as the spokesperson for her village, attending the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

The aim of Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF)’s “Project Define” is to enable Chinese women villagers to realise their power to serve the community through the use of technology in boosting up their knowledge base, then creating a rippling effect to gain more support from the government and other social resources.

Successful Pilot Program Propels Project Define into Next Phase

LKSF and the All-China Women’s Federation jointly launched a Pilot Training Program under Project Define (Qi Pu) in 2010. The Foundation donated RMB22.5 million to provide higher education training for over 4,300 women village officers in the Anhui Province, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the Chaoshan region of Guangdong Province, and northern Guangdong. The project was supported by Anhui University, Guangxi University, Guangxi Agricultural Vocational College and Shantou University.  Using seed grants, the project also financed approximately 350 rural development program conceived and implemented by the women village officers themselves. The entire project benefited 650,000 people living in rural areas, doubling the income of the villagers, enhanced cultural development and strengthened the social harmony of the communities.

The pilot projects inspired the confidence and broadened the horizons of many women village officers. Zhang Shun-ying is an elected women village officer in Shangxi Village, Shantou in Guangdong and her work was originally centered on farming. With the learning experience in Shantou University, gaining the seed grant and interacting with her peers from other village, Zhang said, “I was able to ponder, share, and learn new knowledge as well as take on new theories under an environment where I was treated as an equal and with mutual respect.” 

Given the success of the pilot, the Foundation will commit an additional RMB20 million to jointly launch a new phase of Project Define (Zhan Pu) with China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs.The new project will be implemented in the provinces of Hunan, Shaanxi, Xinjiang, Guangdong and Guangxi.  The new phase of Project Define (Zhan Pu) will ride on the success of the pilot with the goal of empowering over 4,000 women village officers in community management and advance their leadership roles in their village’s socio-economic development. The project will encourage and support their initiatives to improve people’s livelihood, education, environmental well-being and alleviate poverty.

The Four Main Components of “Project Define (Zhan Pu)

Knowledge Enhancement & Relationship Building:
  • Receive higher education training: Break free of traditional cultural norms and move from village to universities
  • Distance learning platform: learning without limits through advanced technologies
  • Cases Sharing and Interactive Learning: sharing life experiences and difficulties encountered with other students and encourage mutual  support
  • Using specialized software developed by university students:  recognise the care and compassion of the younger generation for rural development and strengthen people’s connections by the use of technology

Augment Abilities & Encourage Innovation:
  • Diversified Learning: Improve mediation skills, knowledge of village economic development, regulations and law, project formulation, and management
  • Bottom-Up Approach: encourage civil administration staff on the grassroots level to report problems encountered in order to address the core of the issues.

Seed Grants Promote Mutual Trust:
  • Interactive Learning and Building Fortitude: Students lobby and vote for each other’s projects to win seed grant thereby encouraging deliberation and inspiring new ideas
  • Effect of Leveraging: fight for additional funding from local government thereby stimulating greater input of social resources and draw greater public attention

Giving Back to the Village:
  •  Implement projects and improve people’s standard of living
  •  Increase villagers’ income
  • Demonstrate women’s capabilities and unite the villagers

The launching ceremony of “Project Define (Zhan Pu)” is held today in Dashitou Village, located at Weicheng District, Xianyang City in Shaanxi Province. Mr Li Ka-shing and Mr Dou Yupei, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Civil Affairs are joined by officials of Shaanxi Province. They exchanged ideas with 30 women village officers, some of whom are from Guandong and Guangxi and are alumnae of the training program. The women shared their experiences at the universities and virtual learning, as well as how they implemented initiatives to improve the development of their villages. The women village officers who shared their experiences in the ceremony received tablet PCs to continue their on-line learning and be part of an interactive knowledge network.


Mr Li Ka-shing, Chairman of the LKSF, and women village officers at Dashitou Village in Xian exchange perspectives on social issues while appraising the harvest conditions of the calabash gourd.

Mr Li enjoys a casual chat with Mrs Lei, second from left, and her family during his visit to Dashitou Village. He wishes Mrs Lei good health and happiness.

Mr Li at the launch of Project Define (Zhan Pu).  The project supports women village officers to serve and shape the future of rural areas.

Project Define supports women to realise their power to serve the community by boosting their knowledge base through the use of technology.  The women village officers share their experiences at the ceremony and receive tablet PCs to continue their on-line learning and become part of an interactive knowledge network.

For inquiries, please contact:

Li Ka Shing Foundation
Mr Jeremy Lau
Tel: +852-2128 1207
Fax: +852-2128 1766
Email: [email protected]