If you only read one thing this week…


After the earthquake – a stronger civil society by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
May 12, 2009, 7:59 am
Filed under: Articles, Development theory, If you only have 15 mins

Volunteerism stands strong one year later – and has even won support from local authorities normally wary of grass-roots movements.

The article is about how one year after the Sichuan earthquake, which left 70,000 people dead and 4.8 million people homeless, over 100 organizations, some INGOs but most are Chinese, are now building houses, counseling survivors, restoring sanitation systems, and undertaking a thousand other tasks that need doing.  And many of them are doing it as volunteers.  One person who has studied NGO activity in China since the earthquake said “It has strengthened a sense of civil society.”  The article goes on to observe that local authorities are taking notice about how useful NGOs can be and, while still wanting to be informed, they do “not to interfere in NGOs as much as they did before … when they had so little confidence in them.”

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