“Over the next two years, I am committed to working with dedication and sincerity, striving to do more for the common people and make tangible contributions to the village,” Yan Guangrong resolved to himself on his first day in Xujiayu Village.

Yan, the first secretary dispatched by Shandong Open University (OU) to Xujiayu Village in Yuandongtou Township of Yishui County, has since dedicatedly explored every corner of the nine natural villages within Xujiayu. Throughout this journey, he has been attentively listening to the needs and concerns of the villagers, gauging the community's pulse with each step he takes.

Building an improving infrastructure to the people’s aspiration

"Secretary Yan, we need to repair the roads in our village," the villagers said from their fields, sharing their concerns openly. Infrastructure is a critical issue for the common people and a key focus for the Party's policies in rural areas. Yan Guangrong actively communicated with higher authorities, sought policy support, and obtained assistance from relevant departments. Over the past two years, the transformations in Xujiayu Village have allowed the common people to truly feel the benefits of the Party's favorable policies.

A 3-meter-wide and 3871-meter-long production road has been constructed, greatly simplifying the task of cultivating mountain fields for villagers. The 'village-to-village' road has been widened to 6 meters and extended to 1851 meters, enhancing transport accessibility for people in nearby villages. The ford at the village's east end has been converted into a three-hole bridge, fulfilling a long-held local desire for such a structure. Embankments of a potentially hazardous pond have been strengthened, securing the safety of downstream residents during heavy rains. The addition of 165 streetlights has brightened nighttime walks and visits. Furthermore, the installation of fitness equipment and construction of guardrails have made exercising more convenient for the villagers. These improvements have markedly boosted the community's sense of happiness and security.

Promoting Industrial development to strengthen the village and enrich the people

To drive rural revitalization, industrial development is essential. Following thorough research and discussions with the village committee and Party representatives, Yan Guangrong, attuned to the specific needs of the supported village, allocated a portion of the government's matching funds to develop ecological agriculture park and shopping center projects under the village collective's name. This strategy secures a steady annual income of 96,000 yuan for Xujiayu Village, underpinning its financial foundation for sustainable growth. Additionally, Yan and the committee members visited Jinan and Weifang to explore handcraft initiatives. They organized training in "Chinese knot" weaving and broadened avenues to enhance the villagers' earnings.

He invited experts in fruit tree cultivation from Shandong Agricultural University to provide on-site guidance for planting peach trees in Xujiayu Village. He also reached out to businesses to assist villagers in selling peaches that were damaged, thereby alleviating their concerns. Furthermore, Yan organized a visit to Yinan for members of the village committee and village representatives to research the planting of Artemisia annua, which laid the groundwork for future adjustments in industrial structure. He implemented dynamic monitoring and support measures, ensuring the fair distribution of benefits from poverty alleviation projects, and worked towards consolidating and expanding the successes achieved in poverty alleviation efforts.

Capacity building for the leadership team as the key for the cause development

In the journey towards rural revitalization, the role of talent is pivotal. Since his assignment to the village, Yan Guangrong has consistently focused on forming a robust leadership core with skilled officials. He maintains high standards and strict requirements for both the village Party committee members and the villagers’ committee, with a strong emphasis on enhancing political integrity to better serve and guide the villagers towards prosperity. New Party members are regularly recruited to bolster the strength of the Party branch, and the quality and abilities of the reserve forces are continuously enhanced through participation in grassroots cadre education programs organized by Shandong OU.

Yan also orchestrates the twinning and mutual development of the Party branches in the assisted village and Shandong OU, creating a sustainable exchange mechanism. Through this, Party members are encouraged to play an exemplary and leading role.

Keeping close to things related to people, big or small

Yan Guangrong has always prioritized maintaining a strong connection with the community, viewing their welfare as a key aspect of his work. He has been proactive in addressing concerns raised by the public, including matters of medical insurance and subsidies for those with disabilities. One of his notable achievements was coordinating the installation of 57 wall-mounted carbon crystal heaters, a project that earned widespread appreciation in the community.

Yan has also been instrumental in organizing various events that directly benefit the community. For instance, he arranged a "Children's Day" welfare activity, providing school bags and stationery to 138 children, demonstrating his commitment to supporting the younger generation. During the "July 1st" visitation and welfare event, he ensured that Party members over the age of 60 received welfare funds and gifts, showing his respect and care for the older members of the community.

His efforts extended during the Spring Festival, where he played a key role in distributing essentials like rice, flour, and oil to 263 households. These households included poverty-alleviated families and elderly Party members, highlighting his dedication to supporting those in need.

Yan's commitment to education is evident in his organization of the "sending education to the countryside" initiative during the summer vacation. This program aimed to improve the comprehensive qualities of elementary school students, reflecting his belief in the power of education.

Furthermore, Yan is actively engaged in various activities related to forest protection, fire prevention, voluntary service, and improving the rural living environment. These initiatives demonstrate his holistic approach to community welfare.

Through daily interactions and simple yet meaningful gestures, Yan has fostered a deep and genuine connection with the villagers. His dedication and actions reflect a sincere commitment to the well-being of the community, earning him their respect and gratitude.

Developing true feelings to ensure the Party and the people of one mind

The people of the Yimeng revolutionary base area are sincere, simple, and warm-hearted. By holding the common people close to his heart, Yan Guangrong has gained the recognition and trust of the villagers.

In August 2023, Yan Guangrong was distinguished with the title "Model First Secretary" in Yishui County. He viewed this as not just an honor, but a substantial responsibility. Committed to his original goals, Yan plans to continue his dedicated work in the village where he is stationed. His approach is to maintain a deep connection with the community, treating villagers as family and focusing on impactful projects. His aim is to significantly benefit his second hometown, striving to strengthen the village and improve the lives of its residents. As the “First Secretary,” Yan is determined to be a leading figure in the rural revitalization of Shandong Province.


Reprinted from People’s Daily Online by OUC News Network