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China aid workers hone their skills

Disaster relief gets the professional touch from Jinde Charities

China aid workers hone their skills
Karl Ammann of Caritas Germany (left) explains how international relief efforts work
By reporter, Shijiazhuang

April 18, 2011

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Aid workers across China have come together to learn how to co-ordinate more effectively in emergency relief projects.

The three-day seminar was held by Jinde Charities, a nationwide Church-run NGO in Shijiazhuang, Hebei provincial capital, last week.

“It was originally an in-house training but we think it might be good to share the chance with other Catholic NGOs in mainland China,” said Father John Ren Dahai, seminar organizer.

Every time there are disasters, Church NGOs rush to help the victims.

“In the course of it, besides lack money, we all feel that we lack experience and expertise,” said Father Ren, Jinde’s vice director.

The seminar gave practical advice including how to make an initial assessment, the channels through which to distribute relief aid.

It also focused on better coordination among these regional Church organizations to make sure aid went to where it was most needed.

Keynote speaker Karl Ammann of Caritas Germany described methods used by international humanitarian organizations.

Ou Ge, a participant from southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said that the seminar helped him understand how to work to meet international standards. Ou was one of the 17 participants coming from eight regional Catholic NGOs.

“In the past, we worked from our own experiences, usually using our own initiative on who to help and how to help. But we need to be professional,” he said.

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