On 16 October 2017, the NUS Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy was privileged to host a delegation from mainland China, led by Zhenro Foundation (http://www.zhenro.cn/). The delegation, comprised of individuals from four organisations (Zhenro Foundation, Harmony Community Foundation, IYouShe Community Cultural Development Centre, and Fengrong Community Service Centre) was eager to glean insights from ACSEP’s experience in research and education in the related social sector that they could implement in their local context. In turn, three of the organisations shared about their work on this platform of mutual exchange.
Lu Lichun, Senior Project Officer from Zhenro Foundation, introduced its aims to build a professional, transparent and efficient cross-border public welfare platform focused on building the urban community, promoting public service sector, and fostering social innovation in an urban setting.
Lu Lichun, Senior Project Officer, Zhenro Foundation, introducing the foundation
Zhenro aims to curate vision and innovation in the social sector. It has evolved from pure donations to strategic philanthropy nowadays. Its key value consists of “professionalism, efficiency and transparency”.
Zhenro aims to work in partnership with the urban community to build capacity, foster community culture, encourage ownership, and grow sustainably. It acts as an advocate for social welfare, promoting the use of innovative methods (such as crowdfunding) to support projects addressing environmental, children, employment, health, and elderly issues.
To date, Zhenro has completed 4 community projects, funded more than 20 national projects, and worked with over 50 communities to conduct themed dialogue sessions. It has also created the first China Community Development Forum.
IYouShe Community Cultural Development Centre
Zhang Dalong of IYouShe Community Cultural Development Centre shed light on their country-wide effort in promoting mutual assistance in communities.
IYouShe aims to solve a few key problems in the social sector ecosystem and civil society. These problems included the lack of a platform for participation in social issues, the increasing income inequalities, lack of social capital, inefficient social organisations, and declining moral value in human relations.
To address these challenges, IYouShe offers a diverse range of practical solutions to meet physical, social and emotional needs of people in the community. They launched modern community granary to serve as the charity portal to collect and give non-cash donations. They also ran regular charity bazaars, supplied nutritious soup and organized cultural performances for the elderly. The use of technology is also encouraged – such as the mobile app to facilitate the timely, efficient, and transparent management of granaries.
Going forward, IYouShe wish that some of these sustainable, profitable, socially impactful projects can be replicated and adopted in other urban communities.
More information on IYouShe Community Cultural Development Centre can be found here: http://chinadevelopmentbrief.cn/directory/iyoushe-community-cultural-development-center/
You Will See
Wang Shuwen of You Will See (SEE) shared his venture that aimed to serve the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.
With a desire to create systemic change that does not merely teach others to fish, but revolutionises the fishing industry, SEE works to serve multiple stakeholders: environmental non-profit organisations, farmer cooperatives, and green business partners. It provides end-to-end guidance for farmers, equipping them to manage their fields, collect data on their harvest, and market and distribute their products more effectively.
A platform for mutual learning and reflection.
Overall, it was a fruitful exchange of ideas and best practices by Chinese social organisations. ACSEP looks forward to future opportunities for mutual exchange and learning with Zhenro, IYouShe, You Will See, and other social purpose organisations.