Story and Photos by Ding Zhanyong | Local Project Partner | Heifer China
On July 27, 2013, the second Home Cleaning Competition was held in Huang Lin village with support from Qingshen County Women's Federation and Heifer China.
The competition is part of the Urban and Rural Environment Comprehensive Improvement project, which improves local residents' environmental protection awareness.
Heifer's Participatory Self-Review and Planning (PSRP) process played a big part in the competition. All participants participated in Heifer's 12 Cornerstones of Just and Sustainable Development training prior to the start of the project. During PSRP, project participants review and evaluate how the Cornerstones have become a part of their lives. The PSRP exercise helps individuals and community members create more specific personal and collective goals.
Families of the judges and community leaders participated in the good, clean fun, but were excluded from winning. The judges, elected by the community, wrote the rules for the Home Cleaning Competition.
The event was a family affair, as children out of school for summer break enthusiastically swept floors, raked yards, and tidied up their homes from the inside out.
Judges gave Feng Tiancai's family high marks when they saw his three children busily cleaning up their front yard. This type of award encouraged the children to keep up the good work.
In all, 70 families participated in the competition. After three hours of inspecting homes for cleanliness and order, the "Hygienic Family Award" was presented to the top 10 families and two groups received the "Excellent Hygiene Award." Winners were announced on the village's public board, and an awards ceremony was held the following week.
Celebration of this project's milestone continued when families further beautified their community by planting trees.