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NGO Activity in China Remains Limited
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NGOs in China


The following article was published in Chinese by the New Post, one of the free-er newspapers in China.

Me working for a USAID funded NGO in Thailand
Me working for a USAID funded NGO in Thailand

China has been developing quickly, they have taken economic models, bent them and reshaped them. They have showed the world how much they can progress, but at the same time in many ways china is backwards. Stepping into China is like going back in time, to America in the 1950’s. A 1950’s with Iphone, but 1950’s never the less.  People are poorer, but jobs are plentiful. The past is gone, and the future is here, bringing with it an optimism that life can only get better, and the sounds of progress rise with each new building.

China is making strides into the future, but in many ways China is still far behind. In the 1950’s USA. There were NGOs, organizations that were free from outside control, funded by charitable giving and that were able to make huge changes in the lives of those in need. In China, NGOs are few, are weak, are scattered and are afraid. The past has not been kind to them. Luckily the 18th committee of the communist part of China has called for more empowerment of NGOs, but empowerment will not be enough for NGOs to catch up overnight.

NGOs fill the rolls that the private sector and the government doesn’t fill. They take care of the people who businesses ignore and governments forget. For NGOs to grow and succeed, China must encourage a new generation of talented individuals to not go into trade or business, government or English, but into NGO work, into spending their time and energies improving the lives of others. The Chinese people must too make sacrifices, they must plunge their hands into their wallets and pull out a fist of RMB and donate it. If new skilled workers join the NGO work force, if people donate, then NGOs will grow and China will begin to closer resemble the developed countries.

If NGOs grow, then solutions will be found to the nail city issue, and so many more. Ethnic tensions could be decreased as NGOs bring together develop inter-community actives. Chinese children will get more education as NGOs build relationships with public schools in other counties, securing free study exchange programs with schools in other countries. Doctors would become better as they volunteered with NGOs to serve poorer people in communities around the world. The air would become cleaner as NGOs not seeking money or power helped identify the biggest polluters and filed their reports with the government and public. The poor would become better off as NGOs set up donation centers where people could pass their old clothing, furniture and belongings to those who need them and cannot afford them. The Chinese people would be happier, those assisted would live better lives and thus be happier but also those helping others would be happier. In developed counties most people volunteer, and studies show that people who volunteer regularly report being happier people. And China would become more respected as its people left on exchange programs not seeking wealth or glory, but to help others and know more.

For China to truly progress, truly become a great nation, truly become a land where people are proud to live, then it must embrace NGOs and the endless benefits that come along with their adaptations.

Hey, I’m Eric, is my travel blog. I write this website to show you how easy it is to live, work and travel all around the world. I’ve been traveling almost 8 years now. I’m just about to publish my new book Where the Wind Blows: Traveling around the World on $5 a day

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  1. Well, this seems difficult for your generation to work out, especially at present. I have worked for more than 1 year in Hong Kong, and then i feel puzzled. Hong Kong is the area with open attitude for all kinds of voices, and the NGOs in there is common in college as well as in society. But there is a long way for people in Mainland China with enough confident and ability to do these things.

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