Beijing needs more volunteer participation
07 December 2004

Beijing: Shanghai may develop incentive measures to encourage more participation in volunteer jobs.

"The Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau is currently drafting a set of plans, which will hopefully be released and executed next year, to get the city more deeply involved in volunteer services, and finally establish them in law," said Yang Xiaoyong, an official from the bureau.

Good deeds will be rewarded, though not necessarily in a pecuniary way, according to Yang.

"For civil servants, volunteer work will be counted in their annual performance evaluation, which will influence their future career development," said Yang.

"For university students, their participation in volunteer jobs will be considered when applying for scholarship or jobs."

"And for senior citizens, the hours they contribute will be counted and paid back when they are in need of help in future," Yang said.

Since the launch of volunteer work in 1993 in the city, Shanghai now has signed up more than 2 million volunteer workers. They help old and poor families, orphanage houses or provide services during events like APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation), Formula One Racing and the Shanghai International Arts Festival, said Zhu Xianming, an official from the Shanghai Volunteers' Association.

"We now have more than 1,000 volunteers involved in foreign affairs capacities. They all have degrees on foreign languages and were recruited through strict examinations," Zhu told China Daily.

"Shanghai has formed a complete network, from the government to each living block, to manage all volunteers," Zhu said.

"But we need more regular and long-term participation," said Yang.

"Most volunteers come and go, and some of them are never used after they register. It would be much more helpful if services are provided regularly, at a certain place and time," Yang said.

From: China Daily

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