African officials learn about Chinese civil society in Fuzhou

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On May 14, more than 30 government officials from 11 francophone African countries convened at a charity forum in Fuzhou to discuss public welfare experiences and techniques. The forum was held by a Fujian student aid charity association (福建省简单助学公益协会), a non-profit organization established in 2003 that works towards poverty alleviation and education. As of May 9, the organization has donated more than 18 million Yuan and spent more than 10,000 hours working to help more than 3,000 children.

The association’s executive chairman Zheng Bin humbly told reporters that since opening fifteen years ago, the association has merely used grassroots methods and mobilized ordinary people to help children in need.

Among the attendees at the forum was Gaba Carmmen, an official at a student aid agency in Benin, who expressed his wish to utilize the techniques discussed at the meeting back home. Oyandi Alain Dieudonne, an official at the National Literary and Art Department in the Republic of the Congo, was moved by the efforts of the Chinese civil society sector and also hoped to apply the same methods at home.

Aside from this, the officer in charge of Senegal’s Youth Employment Diouf Mamadou Coumba expressed great interest in China’s mobile payments system, saying that the high mobile phone penetration rate in China coupled with the ease of mobile payment drives China’s vibrant civil society. In addition to this, Coumba expressed an interest in the methods of the Fujianese association that hosted the forum, and warmly welcomed them to start child welfare programs in Senegal.