The long-term relief project of World Vision in Yongsheng County of the Yunnan province has been widely recognized by the Chinese government, World Vision China reported.
An exhibition for World Vision's 10 years of work in Yongsheng and a seminar on rural community development was held on March 29 thru April 1 to review the success. The government of Yongsheng County in Yunnan Province, World Vision and Yongsheng Rural Community Development Association have joined hand to organize the event, according to World Vision China.
More than 100 people, including officials and representatives from the local government and from Poverty Alleviation Office of the State Council, scholars from Tsinghua University NGO Research Center, World Vision staff and community representatives from Yongsheng, participated.
The main project of World Vision in Yongsheng has mainly involved with children since 1997 when it started a "Child-focused Area Development Program" (ADP) in cooperation with the China Charity Federation. 1996 marks the first year the World Vision has entered Yunnan Province for launching an emergency relief program in Yongsheng County in response to the devastating earthquake in February.
World Vision China reported that it had spent a total of over 30 million RMB in Yongsheng by September 2005. The work of World Vision has spread to other counties of Yunnan province as well, including Yulong, Shangri-la, Wuding, Yuanyang, Honghe, Luchun, Ruili, and Longchuan where poverty and natural disasters are relevantly prevalent. More than 500,000 people in Yunnan Province have benefited by World Vision’s poverty alleviation and community development projects.
Expert from Tsinghua University NGO Research Center commented during the seminar, "The project achievement in Yongsheng is a successful case of how international NGO, government and community worked closely and effectively on rural poverty alleviation."
However, foreign human rights watchdogs have criticized the Chinese government for prohibiting the activities of international NGOs. According to the World Report 2005 from the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HWR), it is stated, "Civil society is also constrained and most NGOs are government-controlled."
HWR also reported that Henan authorities continued to impede the activities of some NGOs that provide services to people with AIDS. In 2004, Henan officials closed three NGO-run orphanages for AIDS-affected children, and briefly detained staff of the Dongzhen Orphans School.