Feng Yuqin was an accounting student at the Ningxia Branch of the Open University of China (OUC). In 2002, she began 14 years of service work for the elderly.

In 2010 and 2011, Feng Yuqin received the Advanced Respectful Individual and Loving the Elderly awards from the Civil Affairs Bureau. In 2011, she was selected as an advanced individual. In September 2014, she was praised as an advanced person for doing a good job in the national rural “Five-Guaranteed Family” work in the rural areas by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The Central Nursing Home of Zhongwei city, Ningxia province, was founded in 2010. Among the more than 80 elderly people from rural areas in the “Five-Guaranteed Family” programme who live at the home, many were suffering from dementia or other disabilities. The elderly people were lonely and lacked family affection, which made them unsociable and eccentric. They had bad personal hygiene habits and were generally poorly behaved, which made them rather difficult to manage. However, Feng Yuqin, as newly assigned dean of the nursing home, made the decision to win over the elderly people with her love and affection.

Right from the beginning, she took the time to talk to the elderly people, and got to know their individual living habits and characteristics. She used targeted ways for different people, treated them politely, and extended her assiduous and thoughtful attention and warm affection to every person. In order to help them live a happy life, she treated every old person and met their demands as if they were her family members, no matter whether they were suffering from deafness, blindness, injury, incontinence, epilepsy or cancer. She was not only the dean, but also a doctor and a nurse. She never was never afraid of getting her hands dirty or of doing tiring jobs. Instead, she cared about every elderly person and devoted all her time to them. They returned her love with these words: "You are not afraid of hard work. You are much closer than our biological daughters!"

The nursing home is like a big family. Feng’s wish is to help the old people live happily and healthily. In order to do so, she even broadened the meaning of "nursing". In order to help the senior citizens live a pleasant life and improve their environment, she led them in turning over the unused soil around the nursing home, planting vegetables, flowers, grass, more than 200 fruit trees. The nursing home was turned into a garden, with summer flowers, autumn vegetables, and many fruits. The freshly picked vegetables made the residents’ life more colourful. Feng Quqin hoped that every elderly person would be healthy and happy. Therefore, she made plans to organise rehabilitation for the elderly and held activities suitable for them, such as chess, cards, and fitness. She often had private talks with individuals about the importance of self-care. Through her efforts, the elderly people in the nursing home started to do gymnastics every day. Many of them even learnt to cross stitch and knit. Recreational activities for the elderly were gradually enriched and their physical movement, unity, and friendship were enhanced.

In March 2014, deeply aware of her lack of specialist knowledge, Feng Yuqin enrolled in the accounting class of OUC’s Ningxia Branch. During her study at the RTVU, Feng Yuqin was very interested in her chosen major. She attended every face-to-face tutorial class despite her busy job. She put a great deal of effort into her studies and practice. She learned theoretical knowledge, such as accounting basics and intermediate financial accounting, cost accounting, management accounting, computerised accounting, accounting simulations, economic mathematics, and basic computer application. She even engaged in self-study after class. If she did not know the answer to a question, she would always take the initiative to ask her teachers and classmates for help. Studying at the RTVU has enriched her life and improved her knowledge and skills. She was able to put the theories she had learned into practice and connect actual situations with her theoretical knowledge. This has not only enabled her to do a good job at work, but also helped her make significant achievements, which have been praised by her superiors and colleagues.

By Ningxia Branch, OUC