The Vaseline Healing Project

China

The Miao people

Supporting an ancient culture

Ji Dao village lies 25km from Kaili City, Guizhou Province, China. The rural way of life in Ji Dao has remained unchanged for thousands of years. Instead of asking "how are you?" people ask "how are your crops and pigs doing?"

Women play a pivotal role in this culture. Every day their strong hands skillfully work in the fields and in the home.

For Miao women, embroidery is a form of self-expression. Some of the women in Ji Dao spend over a year sewing details onto bridal gowns.

Chen Qin, a Miao villager doing some embroidery.

"To each of us Miao women, embroidery is extremely important, it connects all of us; every stitch represents our lives, depicts the beauty that lives in our heart."

Chen Qin, Ji Dao village

But change threatens the Miao way of life. Urbanization draws young people away from the village breaking the tradition of embroidery being passed down through generations.

'Touristification' of Miao culture, whilst seeming to popularize Miao embroidery, also encourages the use of machine embroidered goods: 'Made in China', but not handmade in Guizhou.

This is a culture at risk of being lost forever.

Chen Qin looks concerned about the future.

"I worry that I may be among the very last generation to understand our beautiful, wonderful culture."

Chen Qin, Ji Dao village

But with a little support, this ancient culture can live on, enriching the future for all of us. This is why The Vaseline® Healing Project teamed up with the Soong Ching Ling Foundation, a charitable organisation dedicated to supporting women in China's ethnic minorities.

Women in Ji Dao need strong healthy hands to continue to sew. With strong hands they can make a living out of their hand-woven designs, playing a pivotal role in rural communities and protecting this ancient way of life.

Chen Qin brings home cotton to continue her embroidery work.

"Protecting our skin helps us to protect our traditions - because healthy hands are vital for continuing our traditions."

Chen Qin, Ji Dao village

Vaseline® protects and moisturizes skin. In rural areas, the simplest skin condition can turn into a serious issue that makes it hard to do basic tasks. For the Miao people, protected skin means a protected culture.

Back to the Healing Project in China

Through the Vaseline® Healing Project we have helped heal the skin of

4,309,137 people

Our target is to help 5,000,000 people affected by poverty or emergencies by 2020.

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