Over the past twenty years, MSI has partnered with local governments, hospitals and institutions. Projects include hospital volunteer training, youth centre, medical, community health, English and children camps, student scholarship, animal husbandry, community development and business management training in different sites of Sichuan. These currently include Chengdu, Xichang, Zhaojue, Meigu and Mianyang. The site at Mianyang was set up after the earthquake which struck Sichuan on 12 May 2008. Read more about the Sichuan sites tabularised on this page.
Sichuan’s provincial capital is located in the fertile Chengdu plain in southwest China. Also known as the Land of Abundance (天府之国), it has a rich history dating back to the Jinsha (金沙) culture in the Bronze Age. It was also the capital of the Shu (蜀) state which ruled during the Three Kingdoms period (三国时代). There are many historical and cultural landmarks all-round the city that reflects this rich heritage.
An important economic, transportation and communication hub, this megacity plays a significant role in central government-backed efforts to drive economic growth in western China. Its current metropolitan population of 8.4 million (14.7 million including rural areas under its jurisdiction) is expected to grow to 11.7 million by 2020. Its economic development and residence registration (户口) reform has meant a significant increase in its migrant population and a stretching of its medical and education infrastructure.
Sichuan Chief Representative Office
Since 1999, MSI has had its Sichuan Chief Representative’s Office (CRO) located in Chengdu liaising with provincial, prefectural and county officials to facilitate and develop the work of MSI sites in Sichuan. The office also provides administrative and logistical support for long-term workers and the numerous short-term teams which pass through Chengdu on their way to other sites in Sichuan.
Meigu County (美姑县) is one of 16 counties that make up the Liangshan Yi Autonomous region of southern Sichuan province. About 98% of Meigu County’s 230,000 people are Nosu (indigenous language name) also known as Yi (Mandarin Chinese name). Under the auspices of the Meigu County Poverty Alleviation Bureau (美姑县外援项目办公室), MSI started facilitating 3-year community development projects to promote holistic family health in the county’s villages in March 2005. Since then, MSI’s involvement in the county has expanded to include partnerships with the Meigu County Education Bureau to support middle school students from broken homes and with the Meigu County Hospital to raise the standards of medical care in their paediatrics department.
Mianyang is located in northeast Sichuan province with Gansu as its northern neighbour and Aba Qiang Minority Autonomous Prefecture on its western side. It has a population of more than 5 million people living in 2 towns and 6 counties, including Beichuan County (the most severely affected areas in the 12 May 2008 Sichuan earthquake), An County and Zitong County.
MSI has worked in Sichuan for many years. When the earthquake occurred, MSI with the support of the government, immediately got involved with earthquake relief and sent in rescue medical teams and set up a command centre as a frontline coordinating point to offer help during the serious aftershocks which followed in May and June. Now that the phase of critical earthquake relief work is over, MSI continues to give priority to long-term rehabilitation, reconstruction and development projects.
Xichang is the capital of and gateway to Liangshan Prefecture, located in Southwest Sichuan Province. The prefecture is comprised of 16 counties and has a population of more than 4.5 million. Many of them come from more than 10 minority groups such as the Yi, Tibetan, Hui, Miao, Mongolian, Lisu, Naxi, Bai, Buyi, Zhuang and Dai. The Yi minority people make up 43% of the overall population and hence this land is aptly named the Yi Autonomous Prefecture. This people group originates from a slave matriarchal society with an intricate caste system, and celebrates several unique festivals such as the Torch Festival and the Yi New Year.
Lying at an altitude of 1630 m above sea level, Xichang has a population of half a million people. It is MSI’s earliest long-term location and has played an important role in moving work up to Zhaojue County. With good transportation links to major cities like Chengdu and Kunming as well as to all the sixteen counties in the Liangshan Prefecture, Xichang is in a very strategic location and has an important role in reaching the rest of the prefecture.
Zhaojue County, situated in the heart of Liang Shan Prefecture, southern Sichuan, is the cradle of the Yi people in China. The county area of 2,699 sq. km. is very mountainous, with the highest peak altitude of 3,878 m. The county with 7 administrative districts has a population of 280,000, 97% of which are Yi. The majority of the people here are traditional farmers and their main livelihood is agriculture and raising livestock. Up until the 1950s, the Yi people of Liangshan had a slave-owning society and because of geographical difficulties, have for many generations been isolated from outside influence. This has severely affected the prefecture’s overall economic growth and development. “Yi” is their Han Chinese name, but the Yi prefer to call themselves Nosu (the Black People). The Yi people are warm, friendly and very hospitable.
MSI Professional Services, in partnership with the County government launched medical and community health projects in Zhaojue in 1996. The Youth Centre, started in 1999, is a joint venture of MSI and the local county government. It serves to reach out to young people, putting emphasis on holistic education. A livestock project also started in 1996, seeks to improve the economic livelihood of farmers. This project works closely with farming communities, bringing training in sustainable livestock production and pasture development.
- Business Consulting
- Community Development
- Education and Youth
- Medicine and Community Health