Thursday, April 23, 2009

Olympics, Paralympics leave legacy of volunteerism among Chinese

From China Daily:

WUHAN, China -- China's national association of social workers has registered 10 million volunteers, and the force is getting stronger, as schools and employers embrace a volunteering spirit, said an association director here on April 23.

"More than half of volunteers serving for the Olympic Games and the Paralympics in Beijing last year were chosen from the association's registered numbers," said Yuan Yuan, deputy director of the volunteer work division of the association said at a work meeting held in this capital of central China's Hubei Province.

She said there are about 430,000 community volunteer groups nationwide. More than 30 million people volunteered in such social work as disaster relief and post-earthquake reconstruction last year.

"It is important for the association to build up a network of service stations to provide guidance to improve the quality of the volunteer work," said Yuan.

The volunteer experience is becoming more valued in large Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

The Beijing Municipal committee of education issued a circular in February calling for all schools to keep students' volunteer experience on record, which can be referred to in the school enrolment evaluation and employment.

The move is expected to greatly increase the number of volunteers in community work in the city, which has 1.78 million students on campuses.