Volunteers get Jin’an beauty tag
XIAMEN — Zheng Jinxing and his friends conduct nightly patrols along the roads of Jin’an community in the coastal city of Xiamen in East China’s Fujian province.
In 2013, when Zheng, now 54, began the patrols, burglaries were often reported within the community.
“Thieves are skillful, they can open a door with a plastic card. Some of the locks in our community are inadequate, so we often encourage residents to change their locks,” he said.
Zheng and his team of volunteers never take a night off, their patrol takes place from 8 pm to 10 pm even during a typhoon or while their neighbors celebrate the Lunar New Year. They see it as their duty to the community, which is made up of mainly low and middle-income families.
“If we see car lights on or doors unlocked, we let the owners know. We return lost bags, mobile phones and driver’s licenses or hand them over to police,” he said.
As a sanitation worker, Zheng’s day begins at 3 am. When he finishes work, he returns to the community to guide traffic. After dinner, he goes out to patrol.
But when he moved to the community in 2009, Zheng was known as a “troublemaker.”
“I always got drunk and got into fights, nothing in the community was good in my eyes,” he recalled. “The head of the committee said I should change my behavior. It took time but eventually I was able to change.”
Zheng has now been acknowledged as a star volunteer in the district. His story is typical of many of the 2,562 registered volunteers in Jin’an. Covering 310,000 square meters, Jin’an is Xiamen’s largest governmentbuilt community for lowincome families. The comprehensive volunteer system earned it an award as one of China’s “most beautiful communities” last year.
In the morning, a group of elderly women collect garbage and teach the benefits of sorting recyclables. During the day, basketball, choir and tai chi clubs, organized by the volunteers, fill Jin’an with laughter and song. The residents have free access to almost any service they require as part of the voluntary services within the community.
They can even request a specific service by posting their needs online or leaving a message in a suggestion box. If the request is reasonable, the residential community committee will check the volunteer schedule and arrange for someone with the relevant professional knowledge to assist.
To meet the needs of the more than 2,000 elderly residents who live alone or have mobility issues, a group of middle-aged residents formed the Sunset Red team. They regularly visit and chat with those in need, read them newspapers, clean their homes or help them buy groceries.
“On weekdays, most of our volunteers are middle-aged and elderly people, while younger people often serve the community at night and on weekends,” Chen Liming, director of the Jin’an residential community committee, said.
The volunteers help resolve disputes often seen in other communities such as parking issues and noise complaints.
Wu Xiudan, 63, is a retired judge. She enjoys dancing with her friends in the evenings but knows the younger generation dislikes loud music. So Wu volunteered to become a mediator between the different groups within the community.
She later opened a free legal consultancy service to settle disputes within the community.
In the video, Dimash, the ambassador of “I’m in China”, a cultural exchange project in which foreign stars, online celebrities and volunteers visit different parts of the country to experience local culture and customs, and the other foreigners sent their wishes by saying, “Stay strong, Sichuan”, in Chinese.
Sima Zomorodian, an Iranian student at Sichuan University, said she was prepared to help the people there.
registered volunteers assist community in Xiamen