Service stations to drive spiritual civilization in the communities

Yang Jian
Putuo District launched a New Era Civilization Practice Station at Gem City shopping mall on December 20 to offer various public welfare services to the district's communities.
Yang Jian
Service stations to drive spiritual civilization in the communities
Ti Gong

New Era Civilization Practice Centers have been set up across Putuo District where a complete network of three-level centers has been established to cultivate mainstream values and activate cultural life.

Putuo District launched a New Era Civilization Practice Station at Gem City shopping mall on December 20, in Yichuan Road Subdistrict, to offer various public welfare services to the district’s communities.

The government released 1,000 “public benefit cards” to encourage the district community to take part in the civilization practices.

The launch event, live broadcast on the Internet, featured free medical checks by doctors from Putuo District People’s Hospital and Putuo Central Hospital, and showcased heritage skills exhibitions and traditional Chinese opera performances.

The city’s outstanding volunteers introduced their projects at the launch and shared opinions on the topic “New Era New Public Benefit.”

Putuo has established hundreds of New Era Civilization Practice Centers across the district to drive spiritual civilization construction and enhance standards.

The centers are based on the existing grassroots public service resources in the county, township and village levels. It aims to cultivate mainstream values and activate cultural life with various voluntary activities.

Under the guidance of the city’s spiritual civilization office and the leadership of the district Party committee, Putuo has been carrying out the civilization practice activities across the subdistricts and towns.

A complete network of the centers has been established. The district has created a three-level network in the district, subdistrict and the neighborhood and village levels.

The district has a district-level civilization practice center, 10 subdistrict and township level centers, along with 277 centers in the neighborhoods and villages.

Volunteer service resources have been activated to develop the characteristic centers. Putuo has 30 city- and district-level voluntary service bases, 66 “learning from Lei Feng (an icon of altruism)” work stations and 117 social practice bases for middle school students. They roughly cover all the cultural venues, tourism attractions, hospitals and various community service centers.

Five volunteer workshops, based on famous local model workers or celebrities, have been development along with a Lei Feng Theme Park inside the Changfeng Park. The workshops include those of Xu Hu, a famous national model worker, who repaired toilets for residents around the clock for decades; Cao Daoyun, director and Party chief of the Putuo Civil Affairs Bureau; Jin Jing, the famous 2008 Olympics torchbearer who, during the Paris relay, fended off protesters from her wheelchair; Yu Jingzi, a model nurse at Putuo District People’s Hospital and Zhu Xueqin, one of the first three migrant workers elected in 2008 to the National People’s Congress.

Multiple volunteer service bases have been developed in cooperation with the education, culture, health, technological and sports institutions.

The first of 23 district-level New Era Civilization Practice Centers have been launched at cultural landmarks, such as the memorial hall of Gu Zhenghong (1905-1925), a martyr who died in a massacre against a local workers’ strike in 1925; the district’s culture center; the history museum of the Caoyang Community, China’s first worker’s community built in the 1950s; Huxi worker’s culture center; the district’s children’s hospital, people’s hospital and sports centers.

Characteristic volunteer teams have been established at the centers to cap citizens’ demands, while a civilization practice information platform has been released to create an online-offline practice pattern in Putuo.

Jointly developed by the Putuo Integrated Media Center and, the platform is available on the official mobile app of Shanghai Putuo. There are five sections: news, exhibition, practice site, study platform and volunteer service.

Mobile information platform

Citizens can read the news, apply to various events, make appointments for sports venues and listen to online classes. Since the platform was launched in May, over 810 news and stories have been published along with 296 items on civilization practice information.

Putuo’s 10 subdistricts and towns, along with various government departments, have completed 276 tasks on the platform. In a latest upgrade, some sections have been connected with city-level civilization practice centers. The new release section, for example, has been expanded with subtopics on hotspot recommendation, civilization promotion, activities and people.

The “practice center” part lets citizens check the introduction on all civilization centers in Putuo, while the “learning platform” allows users to take part in online training programs, learn skills or watch civilization promotion videos.

The stories and achievements of local moral models or outstanding volunteers are shared on the “practice star” section.

As the most popular section, the “volunteer service” has been upgraded to allow users to release or accept voluntary tasks and comment on the services. The tasks have been categorized to promote mainstream values, enrich cultural life or expand volunteer teams. The section has so far released 3,000 tasks, while nearly 7,000 citizens have accepted the tasks through the app. For instance, in a volunteer task released in the Changfeng Community Subdistrict, residents are encouraged to carry out a cleanup campaign in their neighborhoods every Thursday morning. Thirty volunteers have been recruited through the app.

Another task in the Wanli Subdistrict aims to recruit 10 citizens to serve as volunteers in the community “innovation house” to promote environmental protection concepts with art and technology.

Over 500 people have applied to take part in another cleanup campaign on the riverside of Suzhou Creek on Guangfu Road W. through the end of the year, when continuous paths will be opened to the public on both sides of the river.

The district’s sports bureau is recruiting 10 volunteers to carry out basic physical checks and provide sports suggestions for citizens, while the Putuo Science and Technology Commission has launched a science promotion painting competition.

Grassroots Volunteerism

Eleven volunteer service teams led by professionals have been established in Putuo, covering medical and health, legal assistance, mental health, ecological environment, culture and art, life civilization, community service, sports guidance, science promotion, financial investment and garbage sorting.

Jiang Dongdong, the deputy Party secretary and director of Putuo, has been appointed the chief leader of the district’s “New Era Civilization Practice Volunteer Service.”

The “Brightness Action” has conducted cataract operations for tens of thousands of people living in China’s most rural areas where poverty is high and the number of ophthalmologists is extremely low.

The program was initiated in 2004, when ophthalmologist Zhang Xingru was studying hospital management in Peking University. During a seminar he met a lama from Sichuan Province, who showed him a picture of blind seniors and children, and that image shocked Zhang.

According to official statistics, at least 4 million people are suffering from cataracts in western China.

Another program, The Rainbow Bay Ward School, founded in 2016, has brought classes, games and happiness to young patients at the Children’s Hospital of Shanghai. The students and teachers spend two hours with patients in a classroom on the 12th floor of the hospital every Tuesday. The program has been listed as a national demonstration volunteer program.

A remote video class program has attracted over 200 registered volunteers and over 1,000 participants to give online lessons to schools in remote mountainous regions. Over 90 percent of the volunteers have a bachelor degree, while nearly half have a Master’s degree. The voluntary program has established online video classrooms in 41 elementary schools or teaching sites in 11 western provinces. Volunteers are giving remote lessons from over 10 nations across the world, including China, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Japan. About 190 lessons on English, music, fine arts, natural science, painting and computer are given to over 2,000 students every week.

The seed lab, named after late botanist Zhong Yang, has also been unveiled in Putuo and Tibet to conduct scientific experiments, education and online and offline science lessons.

Zhong was a professor of life sciences at Fudan University and dean of the university’s graduate school. He was a leading scientist in China in the fields of botany, ecology, bioinformatics and evolutionary biology. He collected about 40 million seeds to build a genetic bank of plants that grow exclusively in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and helped develop ecology education in Tibet. He died in a car accident, aged 53, on September 25, 2017, while on a work trip in Erdos City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

A “Suzhou Creek Study” project has been established to encourage residents to read. The Putuo government wants to create a cultural platform for residents to read books, listen to lectures and enjoy traditional operas at community libraries along the creek.

In recent years, Putuo has strengthened public cultural services, by building community facilities and branding protected cultural heritage. During this year’s Suzhou Creek Culture Festival, the district invited Liu Chan, a noted painter and the daughter of renowned painter Liu Haisu (1896-1994), to give a lecture on her father and the art, while leading Peking and Kunqu Opera performers have given speeches online.

There are 1,343 registered volunteer teams in Putuo. They hold lectures, art performances, legal, traffic rules and environmental protection promotions and health education and legal consultations.

The volunteer programs have joined forces with the key events and promotions in Putuo in recent years, such as the campaigns to curb waste of food, support the China International Import Expo, promote garbage sorting and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

During the fight against the pandemic 458 volunteers were recruited to take part in COVID-19 prevention volunteer services at the city’s highway entry in Huaqiao in neighboring Jiangsu Province.

The volunteer teams launch massive cleanup campaigns across the district every Thursday and promote garbage-sorting rules on the fifth day of every month.

Retired cadres in Putuo have organized a volunteer team to give lectures about the history of the city and the Communist Party China.

Yichuan Subdistrict organized a COVID-19 prevention team with 200 young volunteers to promote pandemic prevention knowledge. It has developed a three-tier civilization practice center to host various promotion campaigns in shopping malls and communities. Over 50 families in the subdistrict set up stalls to promote civilization concepts, which have benefited over 100 neighborhoods.

Changzheng Town has developed a number of model streets, historical education sites, a science garden and civilization graffiti walls.

Changfeng Subdistrict launched a training session for volunteers at the import expo, while the Shiquan Road Subdistrict release monthly activities themed on pandemic prevention and healthier dining habits.

Caoyang Subdistrict launched a campaign to assist impoverished students along with the Shanghai Electrical Apparatus Research Institute Co. It is the 21st similar poverty alleviation campaign launched in the community, which sprang up in 1951 as a home to model workers of the city. It has been listed as a heritage site by the city government.

Changshou Road Subdistrict has launched eight themed volunteer events in cooperation with the city’s health authority, disabled persons’ federation as well as greenery and sanitation bureau.

There are 267,626 registered volunteers in Putuo, accounting for nearly a fifth of the district’s total population. Some 76 percent of them are taking part in volunteer activities. About 2,000 civilization practice events and projects have been launched both online and offline in Putuo, attracting over 10,000 volunteers.

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