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Volunteers to be sent to DPRK
By Ma Lie (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-13 22:34

Two non-government organizations (NGOs) which teamed US and Chinese volunteers together in Xi'an, the provincial capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province are planning to dispatch volunteers to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), agency executives Thursday told China Daily.

The US-based Global Volunteers and the Xi'an-based Sino-American Society are sharing a common goal as they send teams of Chinese and US volunteers to the DPRK, Global Volunteers CEO Bud Philbrook said Thursday.

Philbrook was in Xi'an for a celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the partnership between the two NGOs.

Eighty-three US volunteers gathered Thursday in Xi'an to start their three week volunteer placements to serve local residents.

The US volunteers are linked with Philbrook's organization,which has been working in Shaanxi Province at the invitation of the Sino-American Society since 1996.

"With the long-term relationship between China and DPRK, it is our hope that the North Koreans will extend an invitation to Global Volunteers through the Sino-American Society," Philbrook said.

The organizations are planning to expand the current programme, Society President An Wei told China Daily. In Xi'an, the first and only area the volunteers provide free services in China, Philbrook revealed that Global Volunteers will establish programmes in other Chinese provinces, one in the south and one in the west. The first teams will be sent to those areas this year.

For the first time, the Sino-American Society will send Chinese volunteers to serve in communities in the United Sates starting later this year or early next year.

Under the current programme, teams of volunteers share knowledge and expertise with Chinese counterparts in business, law and health care, as well as teaching conversational English to boys and girls in kindergartens and students in schools.

According to Philbrook, Global Volunteers made a strong commitment towards peace 20 years ago when the organization began to send volunteer teams to communities around the world that asked for help. At present, they are providing free services in 20 countries and regions.

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