Xiamen: A city filled with volunteer love

XIAMEN, China, March 27, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A report from chinadaily.com.cn: 

Xiamen, a coastal city in East China’s Fujian province, has improved the standard of living for its residents thanks to the devotion of local volunteers.

According to a local official, the city is now home to more than 7,000 volunteer service organizations and about 1.08 million volunteers, offering services in fields such as emergency rescue, medical care, poverty alleviation and management, as well as offering assistance to children, senior residents and people with physical or mental difficulties.

Helping seniors

Ye Tong, a 22-year-old student learning dance and performance at Jimei University, is an example of someone helping people with her own skills. In 2022, she joined the Hongyanlai Cultural Service Center, a community center intended to help local retirees enrich their lives through cultural activities.

Ye said she and her colleagues have designed textbooks and developed teaching methods to help retirees learn to dance.

“I’ve found it is not easy for females to get used to their new lives after retirement,” Ye said. “The way to keep them happy is to engage them in enjoyable hobbies and help them make new friends.”

‘King of storytellers’

Su Qiankuan, 91, is a resident in Xiamen’s Tong’an district. He might be the oldest in the city’s force of volunteers.

The senior resident is often referred to by locals as the “king of storytellers”.

Over the past decade, he has hosted storytelling events at various sites in Xiamen. The use of minnan — or southern Fujian — dialect is a unique feature of his narration.

“The local tales, especially those developed in Xiamen’s long past and those related to the Red culture of the city, are valuable cultural assets,” Su said.

He added that he also wanted to make people realize that local dialects are an important part of Chinese culture. “It is a pity that some dialects, which can usually remind people of where they come from, are on the verge of disappearing.”

Caring the underprivileged

Care for people with physical or mental difficulties is another highlight of the voluntary services in Xiamen.

In the city’s Siming district, grassroots officials at the Xibian and Kengnei communities have joined hands with local business entities to establish a voluntary service team for children with autism.

Their most recent move was to hold a charity auction in late February, collecting money for the rehabilitation and education of the children.

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