By Chen Yu
After a visit to a grassroots government center, African delegates were impressed with China’s community building and management and planned to apply Chinese practices to their local work.
On Friday morning, a China-Africa youth delegation visited the Qibei Resident Community and had meaningful exchanges with the staff of the residents’ committee, interacting with senior residents of the Qibei community.
During the workshop, we talked with some African delegates on their views of the structure and organization of the Qibei Resident Community. “Impressive work of community building and management” were high-frequency words from interviews, while many African delegates said they plan to apply the experience of community building and management they have learned to the establishment and improvement of their local communities. Here’s a glimpse of their impression of the Qibei residents’ committee.
El Fallaki Amar, an English teacher from Morocco who enjoys volunteering in his free time, said he plans to petition his government for funds to start establishing similar communities. Understanding the great care and patience needed when working with senior citizens, he praised the work the residents’ committee has done in engaging the elderly with the resident community at large.
Hellen Fejto Urio is a social worker at the Tanzania Gender Networking Program. She found Qibei’s community’s management model very inspiring and was impressed to see the committee has developed a platform to engage senior residents both physically and socially. Hellen noticed they have established an effective and organized platform to engage the elderly through various activities such as dancing teams, handicraft workshops and walking clubs. She said, “Through this platform, the elderly can communicate and socialize with each other,” adding, “In my country, lacking such platforms to engage in community activities, the senior citizens stay home most of the time and have a limited social life. But we are all human beings who will fare better when engaging with people around us.” Hellen said she plans to use the experiences and practices of Qibei residents’ committee to establish similar committees or platforms in her neighborhood and help the elderly become more active members in the community.
Tarak EI Khouly, a member of parliament in Egypt, spoke highly of the work the Qibei residents’ committee has done. He said there are similar structures and organizations in Egypt. “But I think we could learn from their way of community management. When I get back to my country, I will see what we can do to improve our existing structures and policies based on Qibei’s successful model.”
Dominique Volaravo Josie is from Madagascar. She is a political science lecturer in Antsiranana University. She said the work the Qibei residents’ committee has done is inspiring — including special programs targeting the needs of elderly and unemployed residents, such as providing door-to-door service for senior residents and connecting unemployed residents with potential employers.
When asked what made the deepest impression, she cited the service station that provides door-to-door service for senior residents. “We don’t have many platforms focusing on the needs of the elderly,” Josie said, “and I think we should at least start a conversation within society about directing more attention and resources to engage senior citizens in our communities.”
From China Daily