YWCA of China continues to meet the social needs of its people
Ann Drummond, World YWCA volunteer and member of the YWCA of Australia, recently had the opportunity to visit the YWCA of China, namely the associations in Beijing and Shanghai. During her visit she had the chance to learn about the association and their work and she shares with us what she has learnt.
What’s the history behind the YWCA of China?
The YWCA of China began as a student organisation in 1897 within universities in China and grew to form the National YWCA of China in 1905, becoming affiliated to the World YWCA one year later. The YWCA of China has been around for many years and it has faced great difficulties due to the political climate and restrictions in the country. Despite these obstacles, it has grown to become a multi-service organisation with many local organisations that reach a large number of people from infancy to adulthood.
What’s the present situation at YWCA of China?
The YWCA of China is still going strong after over 116 years of services with programmes that meet the social needs of the people of China. The YWCA of Beijing has a number of programmes, which support the learning of English, including classes, bible study and a library of English books for both children and adults. They also have a wide variety of activities for children and youth including day care camps during school breaks and they provide special programmes to cater to children with disabilities. one of the many achievements and programmes of which they are proud is a day care programme for the elderly and a national programme done in conjunction with the YWCA of Japan and Tokyo, which trains elderly care workers and domestic workers. Special programmes are also done to address environmental issues.
What impressed you the most about the organisation?
I was most impressed by the work of the YWCA of China and the two local associations I visited. They are not only responding to local community issues, but are also confronting global issues such as the environment, peace, and disaster responses. The YWCA of China has many years of experience and as such I believe that they are in a very good position to benefit from the changes that are occurring within the Chinese Government. They are also well positioned to work in partnerships with Faith-based Organisations as well as Non-Governmental Organisations.
What partnerships do you see forming following this visit?
The YWCA of Australia has had considerable experience in regards to partnerships with the government and the NGO/FBO sector and I think it would be good for the YWCA of China and Australia to forge closer links as we have much to share and learn form each other.
The World YWCA always promotes information sharing and partnerships between YWCAs and visits like these are very much encouraged and supported. Ann was very happy to have visited the YWCA of China, following a delegation’s visit from the association to the YWCA of Australia in 2004.