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China's first non-gov't community foundation launched
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China's first non-governmental community foundation, the Arcadia Public Welfare Foundation, was launched at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Saturday.

The foundation was established with 100 million yuan (about 14.65 million U.S. dollars) donated by Shenzhen Airtown (Eastern) Industrial Co. Ltd. and Shenzhen Arcadia Real Estate Group.

"In the past, it was largely the government that took care of China's communities, but now social groups are playing a vigorous part," said Wang Jinhua, an official in charge of community construction of the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Arcadia, a residential community built on landfill in Shenzhen, the city that was China's window of reform and opening-up, has received domestic and overseas habitat awards since 2005.

Li Aijun, board chairman of the Shenzhen Arcadia Real Estate Group, said the foundation planned to provide financial aid for community welfare projects, such as senior citizens' housing, schools, recreation facilities and environmental protection teams.

The first project will help a local hospital improve community health care and provide free exams.

(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2008)

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