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  • Chris McMillan

Across China: Woman in wheelchair weaves way out of poverty


9th March 2022

Across China: Woman in wheelchair weaves way out of poverty

He Wenhua, 46, adjusted her wheelchair and placed the smartphone on a tripod, as she started her livestream sales session, proudly introducing local handicrafts from her native village of Hongya in Wuzhong City, northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

As someone with severe paraplegia, He never imagined she would one day become a renowned local handicraft artist and that she will be able to help her family out of hardships through online sales of these products manufactured by her and her neighbors.

A loving mother and wife, her life completely changed after she met with a road accident in 2011. "When I realized that I would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my years, I fell apart," she said.

To add to her tragedy, He's husband, the family's sole breadwinner, developed asthma a few years after her accident.

"It felt like the sky was falling. I couldn't take care of myself, and he couldn't do heavy work," He said, recalling that she even contemplated suicide.

Amidst all gloom, rays of hope emerged after her family was registered as an impoverished household. The local government's timely and courteous assistance, which included the donation of a wheelchair, gave her the courage and hope to live.

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