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National Campaign to Improve Public Welfare

17 Chinese social work and public welfare organizations jointly launched a nationwide campaign on Monday to encourage public welfare activities in the country.
A series of activities are scheduled for this year to further spread the concept of public welfare, regulate the performance of social organizations and facilitate the renovation of China's public welfare system, according to the campaign's organizing committee.
Each year, beginning this year, ten projects from across the country will be selected as case studies through which lessons can be learned on administrative procedures and the sustainable development of public welfare and charity activities.
To support the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the organizing committee said the 17 organizations will launch a large-scale program in June to collect 20.08 million yuan (US$2.42 million) in donations by the end of May 2008. The donations will be used to provide medical assistance to 2008 children born with illnesses or physical deficiencies, and cannot afford to pay for treatment.
Statistics offered by the China Association of Social Workers (CASW) show that among the 16 million babies born each year, 4 percent are born with deficiencies and about 32,000 are born into impoverished families.
The program to solicit public donations will be placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Audit Office. Comments and suggestions from the public are welcome, said Zhao Fengqi, secretary-general of the organizing committee.
Other activities in the campaign include an annual publication of a list of benefactors, setting up public welfare websites, and establishing a forum on public welfare in China, he added.
The social organizations participating in the campaign include the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the Red Cross Society of China, and the CASW.
Zhou, who is also vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, stressed that the campaign should be developed into a transparent and credible model for future public welfare undertakings in China.

(Xinhua News Agency May 24, 2005)

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