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CANGO Held Humanitarian Relief and Voluntary Service Workshop during 2020 CIFTIS

In September, 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) opened in Beijing. This is the first international exhibition held in China after the outbreak of COVID-19. With the support of the Ministry of Commerce and the Beijing Municipal People’s Government, China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO) entered the National Convention Center and joined hands with China Civil Network for International Humanitarian Assistance (CIHA),Beijing Pro Bono Foundation and Beijing Huizeren Volunteering Development Centre to organize the workshop on Humanitarian Relief and Voluntary Service in Post-Epidemic Era. Over 110 guests both online and offline from United Nations agencies, academic institutions, domestic and foreign NGOs and enterprises participated in this workshop.
At the beginning of the opening ceremony, Ms. Wang Xiangyi, Executive Director of CANGO, expressed welcome and thanks to the guests. Mr. Xu Tao, Chairman of CANGO, delivered an opening speech, reviewing CANGO’s commitment in strengthening cooperation and exchange with domestic and foreign NGOs, enterprises, governments and individuals in poverty alleviation, community governance, women's development, climate change and environmental protection, public welfare and CSO capacity building for 28 years since its establishment. In the field of humanitarian relief and voluntary service, CANGO has given full play to the advantages of the platform,carried out its work through various methods such as cooperation with ministries, supporting international volunteer service exchanges, and establishing China Civil Network for International Humanitarian Assistance.
The morning session focused on how to effectively promote Chinese civil forces to participate in international humanitarian relief. Mr. Wang Ke, Deputy Executive Director of the China NGO Network for International Exchanges, made a keynote speech entitled Civil Society Participating in International Humanitarian and Building Community with Shared Future. Ms. Wu Minwen, Executive Director of Fosun Foundation, shared online their practice to aid the global fight against the epidemic as a corporate foundation.
In case sharing session, Mr. Liu Zhihua, Executive Director of Beijing Peaceland Foundation, shared their practice and reflection on Chinese CSOs’ participation in global epidemic prevention and control. Mr. Hao Nan, Director of the Zhuoming Disaster Information Service Center, shared professional exploration of civic society forces in humanitarian assistance.
In case reviewing session, Professor Huang Haoming, Vice President of China Global Philanthropy Institute (CGPI) and Honorary Chairman of CANGO, pointed out that the participation of Chinese civil forces in international humanitarian aid had taken an important step, which was very inspiring. He put forward three suggestions for the participation of civil forces in international humanitarian relief: Firstly, it is necessary to raise the leadership’s awareness on participating in global humanitarian relief; Secondly, to learn from the international standards and the United Nations humanitarian system and the successful practical experience from all developed and underdeveloped countries in this field; Thirdly, NGOs must improve professional capabilities in humanitarian relief.
This forum coincided with the first anniversary of the China Civil Network for International Humanitarian Assistance (CIHA). CIHA released its annual report in the form of text introduction and photo display to mark the achievements.
The panel discussion in the morning was hosted by Professor Zhang Qiang, Director of Innovation Center for Risk Governance of Beijing Normal University. The guests panelists included Dr. Alison Jenkins, Director of the South-South Cooperation and Partnerships of UNICEF China, Mr. WU Peng, Chief of International Department of China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, Mr. He Wen, Deputy Executive Director of Amity Foundation and Ms. Liu Yuanyue, Chief of Disaster Management Department of One Foundation. The panelists believed that the most important thing for NGOs going global was to enhance their own capabilities, make plans, and involve in dialogue and exchange.
The afternoon session focused on innovative development of professional voluntary services, moderated by Ms. Xu Xiaoxiao, Assistant Executive Director of CANGO. Ms. Zhang Nan, Country Coordinator in China of United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme, delivered a speech, introducing the historical development and its continuous innovation of the UNV in voluntary service since its establishment in 1970.
Ms. Zhai Yan, Chairman of Beijing Pro Bono Foundation, made a keynote speech titled Pro Bono: New Emerging Power of Service Industry, introducing the concept of professional voluntary service (Pro Bono) and the social value it creates. Mr. Tang Min, renowned economist, Counselor of the State Council, and Vice Chairman of YouChange China Social Entrepreneur Foundation, shared his personal gains from professional volunteer services and YouChange’s experience in integrating social innovation, poverty alleviation and Pro Bono. Ms. Wang Ruihe, Executive Director of Alibaba Foundation, shared the practical experience and results of engaging the power of business ecology in response to public health emergency.
Dr. Guo Peiyuan, General Manager of SynTao, hosted the panel on the topic of strategy of voluntary service innovation. Panelists included Mr. Song Yang, Senior Social Responsibility Advisor on Public Participation of Alibaba Group, Prof. Wei Na from Renmin University of China, Ms. Zhang Yi, CSR Manager of Schneider Electric, Mr. Matthias Stepan, Chief Representative of China Office of Stiftung Mercator, Germany, Mr. Bunthok Deth, National General Secretary of Cambodia YMCA. The guests believed that enterprises can promote voluntary service through advocacy and mechanism, and we should embrace digitalization, and promote voluntary service innovation through technological means.
Ms. Peng Yan, Board Member of Global Pro Bono Network (GPBN), hosted the panel on the topic of development of Pro Bono in post-epidemic era. Panelists included Ms. Ling Hui, Executive Director of YouChange China Social Entrepreneur Foundation, Mr. Tang Jun, Person in Charge of Wuhan Green Boat Emergency Response Volunteer Service Team, Mr. Cao Shitao, Executive Director of Beijing Voluntary Service Research & Development Institute and Mr. Zhang Hongyan, Founder of Venture Avenue. The guests believed that by building a professional volunteer service ecosystem, formulating norms and standards, building a platform with information as the cornerstone, and developing cross-border links, the development of Pro Bono can be better promoted.
In the conclusion speech for afternoon session, Prof. Yang Tuan, from Institute of Sociology of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), noted that it was for the first time that voluntary service has been included in CIFTIS as an issue under discussion. Voluntary service is a public service and public benefit service industry in service industry, and it is an industry in the ascendant and with great development prospects.
This is the first time CANGO has participated in CIFTIS and explored new tools to include guest speakers and audience both offline and online, domestic and abroad. A thousand miles begins with a single step. This workshop provides a platform for multi-stakeholders to share information, exchange experience and explore future cooperation. It is expected that Chinese NGOs will have more active engegement and more fruitful cooperation in international humanitarian relief and voluntary services.
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