On June 1st the China Charity Alliance hosted the “2015 Cross-Straits and Hong Kong & Macau Philanthropy Forum” (2015海峡两岸暨港澳慈善论坛) in Taipei. The event was attended by scholars and practitioners from the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Participants discussed philanthropy-related topics with the three themes this year being “together we share, be responsible, and create” (共享，共担，共创).
A reported from the Jiangnan Times’ sat down with He Wen from the Amity Foundation, who talked about the forum’s three themes:
How do communities build a “philanthropic culture” that shares with one another? To answer this question, He Wen used a story that took place in a community in Taiwan. In this community there was an old temple. When people heard the news that the temple might be developed, people in the community took the initiative to renovate the temple themselves to prevent if from being destroyed. He Wen said the temple is a symbol of a community culture and that the story made him realize that to develop a philanthropic culture it is important to start with small things, such as protecting places that hold a community together.
Creating together (共创)
He Wen mentioned in the interview that to improve Chinese mainland’s philanthropic culture and environment, foundations and organizations should come up with more creative methods. For example when working with different groups, organizations should provide customized services to make philanthropic work more efficient. He also proposed in the interview that all corporations should be more socially responsible and asked the public to encourage corporate social responsibility.
Taking responsibility together (共担)
As He Wen recalled from the Amity Foundation’s experience during the relief effort after the Nepal earthquake, it was vitally important to really consider local needs. According to He Wen, many organizations in Nepal only brought tents for local people to use, which weren’t suited to Nepal’s hot and rainy Spring weather. In contrast the Amity Foundation built waterproof houses for local people. He Wen therefore emphasised that in order to conduct efficient work, philanthropic organizations have to fully understand the local environment they are operating in.