Volunteering in China


While living abroad, some expats wish to get involved in the local community life.

What organizations expats can turn to if they want to volunteer in China?

How to join a charitable institution, what are the steps?

Which causes have the greatest need for volunteers in China?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience and advice,


Most volunteer organizations in China are quite secretive compared to other countries.
The govt here does not like people organising themselves without direct oversight.
This means it can often be difficult to get involved in volunteerism.
What kind of field are you most interested in?

Here some link to one non official charity project in china "From China with Love"
They do also some activity every friday for feeding homeles people in Guangzhou...

I have had over 35 years of basketball coaching experience, I am certified as a level 111 instructor, so I volunteer with young rural kids teaching them the game.  However, Wenshidi is correct, the government wants oversight and inclusion therefore, its difficult to do things because they want it done their way. 
A few years ago, I was asked to coach a military team in Chongqing.  However, I had to coach them on an outside basketball court in oppressive heat because, as a foreigner, I was not allowed onto the base which had a very nice gym.  Once I was finished, and about to board a plane to Beijing for the National Finals, a high ranking General informed "someone", that he wanted to coach this team during the games and I was asked not to go to Beijing.  So, I volunteered for several weeks prior to the tournament, implemented both offenses and defense, spent copious amounts of time putting them into game shape.  The soldiers went on to win the National Championship giving the General big face, and I never even received a thank you. 
I still volunteer, yes, but with young boys and girls and when I see them do something right that I have taught them, that is reward enough.

If you are interested in volunteering for animal rescue, then please check the following: … inshanghai


While I was living in Shanghai, I found Bean Shanghai ( fairly early on via a blog, and I have to say, they were really great. There was nothing secretive about them, and they were well organised, I think run mainly by the American community. They organise fundraising events for charitable causes and organise such volunteering as playing mahjong with elderly people or my personal favourite, playing with kids at an orphanage! Of course, the orphanage is run by Americans too, so it is much nicer than any state run orphanages, but it was still a nice experience, I will never forget some of those kids and would recommend Bean to anyone who wants to get involved in Shanghai!

From what I have read as recent as yesterday, several cities in China have pet restriction in force.  Apparently, the city councils have warned pet owners to "get rid of your pets, or we will come and shoot them".  Is this organization aware of this news item?  this would be a great volunteer effort.

Hello there! I found the volunteer work by fluke from a friend. I had been always want to join volunteer work ever since I stepped in China five years ago, but only recently I started doing so. It was one afternoon when I had meal with a good local friend here, she was (she`s moved to other city now) volunteering at this orphanage, she said she thought I might be interested in joining too, so she told me about her new activity. I was like jumping off my seat when hearing her story; the orphanage is full with babies from a few months old to max 2 years old! I always wanted to spend my time with children and babies who are rejected by their`s just my heart is always with them. So a few days later she took me to the headquarter office and had myself registered as a volunteer. It was like finding lost piece of my heart!

Apparently the orphanage is an Australian based foundation, called China Heart - you can google it. From what I know, they always need volunteers to help out. They have forms to fill out - they want to know what skill you can contribute. They have rules, one of them is you`re not allowed to take any photos with the kids, photos of the kids, or anything in their care houses. What i do there is just spending 2-4 hours baby sitting those little adorable beautiful souls! You may want to google it, see if they have branch in your city, if you`re interested. Good luck!

Most animal rescue groups know about the pet restriction established in one district in Shandong province: … o-kill-all

So far there is no "several cities" involved on this restriction.

Animal Rescue Groups in SHANGHAI:

(1) Best Friends China:

Contact person (adoption in Minhang District): Jane Wang / janeadoption[at]

Contact person: Jane Su / bestfriendschina[at]

(2) Paw Pals Animal Rescue - PPAR:

PPAR New Website:

Wechat: PPAR_sh

In Chinese:

PPAR's articles (in English): … _house.php … your-help/

PPAR in Sina Weibo:

(3) Pets for Adoption:

e-mail: petsforadoption[at]

(4) Animal Home: e-mail: hoooome2014[at] / Wechat: sunnysunny17

(5) Bow Meow Shanghai:

(6) Scan and help save a life:

(7) Shanghai Animal Protection Frontline Alliance - SHAPFA:

(8) Good Dog Good Cat Volunteer Shanghai (in Chinese):


(9) Jaiya's Animal Rescue - JAR (blog):

(10) Second Chance Animal Aid - SCAA:

(11) Stray Shanghai: … index.html

(12) TNR (Blue Ribbon) / Wechat ID: TNRaction / e-mail: blueribbon_web[at]


Animal Rescue Groups in BEIJING:

Animal Rescue Beijing:

Beijing Cat Group:

Charly's Cats:

China Small Animal Protection Association (CSAPA):

Little Adoption Shop:
Facebook Page:
Chinese Website:

Lost in Wuffdaokou:

Together for Animals in China (TACN):


Other Animal Rescue Groups in China:

Chengdu Qiming Small Animal Rescue Center:

Chongqing Small Animal Protection Association (CQSAPA):

Dalian Vshine Animal Protection Association:

Nanchang Small Animal Protection Association (NSAPA):

Pamily (Guangzhou):

Shenzhen Dog Protection Association:

Tuhua Animal Conservation Association:

Xuzhou Animal Rescuer Centre:

Zhejiang Small Animal Protection Association (ZJSAPA):

Hi EvaHP, I hear what you`re saying ``I will never forget some of those kids`` :) I, too, experienced the same thing from playing with the babies at an orphanage here in my city (Xian). They`re all adorable but there are always a few that really stuck in your heart. It`s heart breaking to witness that some of those babies are rejected for the physical defects they have, but further I think they`re still lucky to be survived in a professional organization (meaning good food, clothing, medical treatment, toys, etc) full with loving staffs and volunteers - knowing there are many newly born babies ended up in the river banks, or, survive in the very poor life. I know, of course there`s nothing more beautiful than living with and being raised by your own parents with unconditional love.

100% support the Unity Cluster's "Buduanwang" project based in southern China but operates around the country. It's still small and somewhat university-supported. This group is at the forefront of bringing elearning to the Chinese countryside where poverty is still a major problem. Volunteer by contributing 1 hour per week in webcasting a class (language, math, science, etc.) or simply help them spread the word.

Dr. Lin is an amazing leader and is extremely generous to this organization. Find out more here:


Hi, any dog rescue groups in Ninghai China?


Hello, once there are some people willing to volunteer in china and big problem is that most from what you can find on first pages of google and yahoo are commercial projects, here is one where you don't have to pay anything, I would say even more! they provide you with pocket money.
We are an organization in China looking for volunteers and volunteer organizations from all over the world to cooperate with. if you are interested in long or short term programs in China don't hesitate to  send a letter to royaletc.ab[at] to know more. There is our website
Hope this information was useful

One issue that all foreigners in China that want to volunteer should be aware of is that it could be considered as illegal work, as it's illegal to work in China without the proper Visa, even if the work is not payed.
But I don't know if there are any exceptions for volunteering. Would be great if somebody who knows the details could share it with us.

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