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Gates Foundation

10 years ago, the Chinese village of Ci Fu was hurtin'.

A very poor area with bad roads, no medical care, and not a single computer — it was the perfect recipe for a bad situation in Ci Fu, a village that nearly 2,000 people call home.


Hello, Ci Fu. Images by D J Clark.

Qin Zanchun moved there for a reason.

A struggling village doesn't seem like the #1 pick for a recent graduate, but it's where Qin decided she needed to go.

Hello, Qin Zanchun.

As explained in a beautiful video by D J Clark, Qin and the people of Ci Fu had something in common.

Like many in the village, Qin grew up in poor health and was constantly sick as a kid. She knows the struggle.

So she did something about it. She went to medical school, got her degree, and instead of taking a job in an established area with money to follow, she showed up in Ci Fu.

She became the village's only doctor.

It wasn't a glamorous life, you can say that much. She walked long distances on terrible roads every day to care for the villagers — many of them elderly. Her salary for one month was just 30 yuan, about $4.83 ... for an entire month!

But she stuck with it and kept going because it was important to her.

    10 years later, Ci Fu is a much different place.

    A much-improved place! The village now has concrete roads that connect it to more places, rural health insurance, and computers. And it's a healthier community overall. Dr. Qin has a new health center too (and is definitely getting paid more).

    It's a heartwarming tale of helping those in need in a place that surely would have continued to struggle. You can't make progress if you're not healthy.

    Go, Dr. Qin!