China
A community worker serves residents like her family members
By Xu Bei  ·  2021-07-29  ·   Source: Web Exclusive
Chen Jianping, Secretary of the Communist Party of China Qianpubei Community Committee in Xiamen, Fujian Province (ZHANG WEI)

Chen Jianping is on the phone all day, talking to people, listening to their needs and helping them solve problems. In her neat white blouse and black trousers, Chen looks like a competent and efficient white-collar worker. She is the Secretary of the Communist Party of China Qianpubei Community Committee. Qianpubei is a residential community in Xiamen, Fujian Province.

Having engaged in community work for 13 years, Chen views the community as a family and herself as a member of that family. Residents have recently been bombarding Chen with issues related to Qianpu Fitness Park, an area for recreation within the community. The park provides 30,000 square meters for activities such as walking, croquet, basketball and table tennis. Public toilets in the park need to be renovated, which means they will be closed for nearly a month, inconveniencing residents.

"Thousands of people do exercise there every day. The closure of public toilets would be a big problem for them, so we must find a solution as soon as possible," Chen said. Chen found that the toilets in Xiamen Sports School, about 100 meters away from the park may provide a solution.

"The problem would be solved if the school shares its first-floor toilets with park users," she said. However, the school leaders denied her request due to COVID-19 prevention and control concerns.

But Chen didn't give up. She still regarded using the school toilets to be the best solution. She went back to the school for the second time with staff from the local sanitation department. After discussion, the head of the school agreed to share the toilets as long as a dedicated gate and pathway could be built to separate visitors from students and staff. The local sanitation department volunteered to clean the toilet every day. This way, the COVID-19 prevention and control pressure on the school could be reduced. Soon, park users were granted access to the toilets in the school.

In Chen's opinion, a community worker should always put residents' needs high on his or her agenda and offer professional service to the community. This is not the first time she fought for park users' access to toilets.

In 2013, Chen and her colleagues visited households in the community to solicit opinions in a bid to improve community governance. Many residents said the most urgent problem in the community was the lack of toilets at the fitness park. At that time, the park did not have any toilet facilities. Chen promised she would try her best to solve the issue.

Chen Jianping at the croquet courts at Qianpu Fitness Park in Qianpubei Community, Xiamen, Fujian Province (ZHANG WEI)

After negotiation with each of the park's stakeholders, one stakeholder agreed to make room for public toilets. Residents were satisfied with the improvement to the park.

However, while the toilets were under construction, Chen underwent surgery on her left knee. Returning to work soon after the operation did not allow her knee sufficient time to recover and it still hurts from time to time. But she never complains.

Chen's excellent performance has earned her honors at many levels, including a national award as a model worker. At the same time, her sincerity and wisdom win her the trust of the community's residents. When residents encounter problems, it's Chen who comes to mind first. Residents often say, "Let's look for Secretary Chen" when they need help.

According to a study on livable cities in China released at the beginning of the year by the Chinese Academy of Science, Xiamen, consisting of many communities like Qianpubei, ranked eighth on the top 10 list for 2020. The result can be considered as a recognition of the hard work of the city's community workers, including Chen.

Copyedited by G.P. Garth

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