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1,900 Student Volunteers to Finish Service in West China in July

About 1,900 university graduates who volunteered to help develop impoverished regions in western China for one year in 2003 are scheduled to finish their service in July, sources with the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) said on Thursday.


In order to help those graduates to find proper jobs, the CYLC has held two special job markets for them in Beijing and Shanghai. China Netcom also provided each graduate one phone card of 100 yuan (US$12) for linking with related departments.


In June of 2003, the CYLC and related central ministries launched the Go-to-the-West program, which calls for college graduates to provide volunteer services in the western regions, where they are most needed.


In August of 2003, 6,000 young volunteers selected from among nearly 43,000-plus college graduates set out to 183 counties in 12 western provinces and autonomous regions for volunteer service of one to two years.


The volunteers usually work in the fields of education, medical care, agriculture and cultural development. At the end of their volunteer work, graduates are free to decide whether to remain in the west or to seek their fortunes in other regions of the country.


Though rich in natural resources, China's western regions are badly in need of professionals while college graduates are fighting an uphill battle to hunt for jobs in recent years.


(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2004)

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