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Number of Chinese volunteers reaches one million
05 December 2005

Beijing, China: The number of officially registered volunteers in Beijing has reached nearly one million, and even more are thought to be serving the public unofficially, according to a recent conference focusing on volunteering affairs in the Chinese capital.

A large-scale and sound volunteer service system has come into being here, according to the second congress of the Beijing Volunteers Association (BVA) held on Sunday.

Volunteer associations at various levels, some 700 working stations, more than 4,000 service bases, and over 10,000 volunteer teams are operating across the city. About 90 per cent of Beijing-based colleges and universities have established similar associations, statistics released by the BVA at the conference showed.

To mark the 20th International Volunteers Day on Monday, the association launched three programs Sunday offering services during the upcoming international youth track-and-field championship and before 2008 Olympic Games.

Under a nation-wide campaign initiated by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League (CCYL), China's young volunteers will carry out a range of activities with the theme of "Chinese Volunteers for a Harmonious Society" to assist needy groups in different forms. Efforts should also be made to enroll more registered volunteers.

Meanwhile, the CCYL Central Committee will issue this year's "Golden Awards for the Service of Young Volunteers in China".

Yang Yue, secretary with CCYL's secretarial office, said more than 150 million volunteers have spent over 5.5 billion hours assisting in poverty reduction, large public activities, social welfare programs, disaster relief, and many other campaigns acrossthe country since 1993.

CCYL has been trying to recruit more volunteers and the number of officially registered young volunteers is expected to increase to 20 million by the end of the year, the non-government organization said earlier this year.