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Red Cross needs rebirth: student

(Global Times)

15:12, September 15, 2011

An overseas student in the UK donated 10,000 yuan ($1,548) from wages earned at her part-time job to the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), in what is thought to be a move to give the organization a chance to rebuild its damaged credibility, the Beijing News reported Wednesday.

Jiang Xiaotong, 22, a postgraduate student studying at Bristol University, entrusted her friend to make the donation via the Internet and read a video statement.

Jiang hopes the money she donated will be used for humanitarian relief and she wants to check whether the organization has improved following a spate of scandals that have damaged its credibility.

“A lot of humanitarian relief was realized with the help of the Red Cross,” she told the Global Times Wednesday.
She said, “If we refuse to donate, people who need help will suffer.”

If the RCSC manages improvements in the coming year, she will continue to give money directly to the organization after returning to the UK, she said.

“We will check the online donation platform to see whether it has made adjustments and improvements, whether the publicized information is very detailed,” she said. “I have confidence the Red Cross won’t abuse my donation.”

The RCSC launched an online platform to disclose donation information in its latest gesture to reassure donors of its integrity. However, many people complain the platform so far only discloses information on individual donors who contribute at least 100,000 yuan and group donations reaching at least 500,000 yuan.

“Donors should be given equal opportunity to know where the money has gone, no matter how much they donate. RCSC should publicize allocation of each donation, but we need to give them time to improve,” Jiang said in the interview.

Data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs shows public donations to charitable organizations have dropped by nearly 50 percent since July, a steep decline after the “Guo Meimei incident” took place in June.

Guo claimed to have a strong connection to the RCSC and bragged about her lavish life. The story raised concerns about possible abuse of charitable donations.

Wang Rupeng, secretary general of RCSC, expressed his gratitude for Jiang’s support and confidence in the organization Tuesday.

Compared with the same period last year, the total amount of donations in the first half of the year was 10 billion yuan, a 73.6 percent drop.


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