By  on March 17, 2009

JINTANG COUNTY, China — For more than two decades, Zhang Yunxiu’s family has relied on shoe factories half a country away for their livelihood, gradually climbing out of poverty with the rest of China.

Zhang, now 46, ventured to Dongguan to work in a shoe factory in the early Eighties as part of the country’s first wave of migrant workers to staff assembly lines that ignited an economic juggernaut. The work wasn’t tough, but being away from her young son and daughter was unnerving.

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