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Volunteers for Olympics
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At a press conference on March 28, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) launched recruitment drives for volunteers coming from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, the overseas Chinese diaspora and from foreigners around the world. All those who wish to join and serve the Olympics and lend the volunteer body a veritable global character are invited to apply.

Li Binghua, executive vice president of BOCOG and vice chief of the Beijing Olympic Games Volunteer Work Coordination Group, said that the volunteers recruitment in each of the above areas would benefit from its own agency. For Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, the Hong Kong Home Affair Bureau, Macao Sport Development Board and Beijing Olympic Games Taiwan Compatriot Volunteer Recruitment Center will respectively oversee volunteer recruitment in these areas. For overseas Chinese and foreign applicants, the Beijing Olympic Games Overseas Chinese and Foreign Volunteer Recruitment Centers will field all applications.
Starting from March 28, applicants outside the mainland can use the following websites to contact the relevant organization:

Hong Kong: www.hab.gov.hk
Macao: www.sport.gov.mo
Taiwan: www.bjtx.org
Overseas Chinese: www.bjqb.gov.cn
Foreigner: www.ebeijing.gov.cn

Volunteer consultancy hotline: (00 86) 10-12308

The application period will last a year until the end of March 2008, with BOCOG aiming to complete recruitment by May 2008. The number of volunteers will stand at 70,000 for the Olympic Games and around 30,000 volunteers for the Paralympic Games.

According to Liu Jian, office director of Beijing Olympic Games Volunteer Work Coordination Group, the number of volunteers recruited from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, overseas Chinese, students studying abroad and foreigners may vary depending on application demand.

For the duration of their stint at the Olympics, the volunteers will be required to shoulder the cost of transportation from their place of residence to Beijing and accommodation during their stay in the city.

"The volunteer program for the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games has attracted widespread attention and support from people from all walks of life. The recruitment for volunteers in Beijing began in August 28, 2006 before spreading to the rest of the mainland on January 2007. So far, 410,000 applicants have been received with over 280,000 coming from Beijing and 130,000 from the rest of China," said Li Binghua.

In addition to 100,000 venue volunteers, about 2,000 city volunteer service stations will dot around Beijing including key transportation points, business centers, scenic spots, hotels, hospitals, clinics and cultural facilities.
Basic Requirements for Volunteer Applications

1) Agree to serve the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic games;
2) Born prior to (but including) June 30, 1990, and in good health;
3) Abide by China's laws and regulations;
4) Able to participate in pre-Olympic trainings and related activities;
5) Able to work for over seven days running during the Olympic and Paralympic Games;
6) Native Chinese speakers should be able to communicate in foreign language(s), and applicants whose mother-tongue is not Chinese should have Chinese-language skills;
7) Possess professional knowledge and skills as required for the positions.

(China.org.cn by staff reporter Wang Qian, April 2007)

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