On March 12th, 2016, Badi Foundation’s Chief Representative Ms. Shareen Farhad was invited by Asia Society Hong Kong Center to discuss NGOs’ participation in China’s poverty alleviation process. The speech was part of the Jack Tang Memorial Lecture Series, which centered around “Eliminating Poverty in Rural China: Wishful Thinking or Achievable Goal?”.
Ms. Farhad stressed the importance of capacity building to the process of poverty alleviation. Since 2005, Badi Foundation has prioritized its institutional capacity building program. For the past ten years, Badi has identified, trained, and supported 41 service-oriented individuals from 13 provinces to initiate community-based organizations (CBOs) focusing on empowering rural women or youths. These organizations have been working closely with local populations to advance their communities culturally, materially and socially. Some examples of local initiatives arising from the capacity building process have begun to emerge. Women from the Na Xi ethnic minority in Lijiang, Yunnan benefited from developing a konjak (a special kind of economic crop) plantation through collective consultation and exploration. Women from the Zhuang ethnic minority in Debao, Guangxi started to actively identify the needs of their communities and solve them together after participating in capacity building training. Women in Dingbian, Shaanxi established an embroidery cooperative to develop the local economy while preserving the traditional embroidery culture. Badi Foundation, as one of the NGOs participating in China’s alleviation, explores possibilities through a process of learning and shares experiences arising from the grass roots with policy-makers.
Asia Society’s Hong Kong Center offered a platform for guest speakers, who were scholars or experts from the field of poverty alleviation to share their views with the general public. Around 100 people attended the event.