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Volunteering in China?


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I was curious if anyone knew about volunteering or doing volunteer work in China, specifically Beijing. I'd prefer to find some volunteer activities that are removed from a religious group. If anyone has done volunteer work in China before and can give me some advice, please let me know. Thanks!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 6 months later...

You can find volunteer positions with international agencies, such as Unicef and World Wildlife fund by contacting them directly, info is on their websites.

If you want hands on, you might need some guanxi, since smaller, CHinese charities are not generally advertised. That's Beijing usually has a highlight of a Chinese charity, and if you e-mail the editors, I am sure they would be able to tell you where to start.

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  • 4 years later...


I see this thread hasn't had any posts since 2004 but I have the same question as ChouDoufu. Did you find a place in the end ? I am thinking of going with Lotus this summer (the volunteer-only program), even though it seems expensive.

Any advice ?

Thanks !!

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I don't particularly have a good opinion of the average volunteer program in China. I consider most of them a "sucker a foreigner into doing a job for free program" instead. I checked out Lotus, they are "offering" to let you be a volunteer teacher in BJ for the price of almost 2000 USD a month. Most likely whatever school you end up in, you will be alongside other foreign teachers who are getting PAID around 2000 USD a month doing the same work.

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BrandeX, which of these schools do you reckon is paying other teachers RMB14,000 a month?

I'm generally dubious about anything where you pay to volunteer, but if the cost is worth the experience to the volunteer and non-profits get funds with which to operate, I don't see the harm in it. Programs where you get pay for placement in a private school, or most government ones, are probably best avoided.

Lotus have been around for a long time, and as far as I can tell are a cut above most of the dross out there. I can't see any sign of them placing people in random schools for profit, and they're very clear to their host families that they are not getting a free English teacher.

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agree I usually wouldn't pay a third party to volunteer. i guess you can contact the NGO's directly but just make sure you are doing some research on the organization you are working for. otherwise you might try thebeijinger. i actually had contact with one organization on their looking for volunteers but ended up not having the time to actually participate.

Also as always, guanxi or leads from friends will work best. you can just ask your chinese friends if you haven't done so yet. they might have some information. that's how I got my olympics volunteer position. you are going to be surprised how many of the Olympics volunteers are NOT recruited through their university.

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  • 1 year later...


I would like to find short-term (2-3weeks) volunteering opportunities for this summer. My criterias are that i want it to be cheap and also i would like to work in public health, health education, well almost anything having something to do with help although im not a medical student nor a health professional. PLus, by health related work, i do not mean taking care of children while they are at the hospital. I want something more than that.

Programs offered on internet and by lots of ONG are kind of expensive so I was wondering if you guys think it is easier to find something oncewhen you are actually in China (i have plan to study mandarin before actually start to volunteer), so during the month that i will be studying, i would have time to research. But do you think it is possible finding such a placement in a short amount of time?

Thanks a lot!

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