Alibaba recently announced the official launch of its Elderly Care program slated to improve community-based elderly care services in rural and urban areas. With RMB 50 million earmarked for this program in three years, Alibaba aims to build 100 new elderly care communities in at least Nine provinces and cities by engaging in five forces of communities, social organizations, social workers, community volunteers, and social services.
On September 16, 2022, guided by the Department of Charity Promotion and Social Work under the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Alibaba Philanthropy unveiled the program with the China Association of Social Workers and set up a head office to coordinate project affairs. The first batch of projects under this program will be carried out by the Amity Foundation, China Social Assistance Foundation (CSAF), and Zhejiang Women and Children's Foundation (ZWCF). They are expected to serve nearly 10,000 elderly people in 10 months.
According to the latest data from the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, the number of people aged 60 and above is estimated to exceed 300 million, accounting for more than 20% of the total population during the 14th Five-Year Plan period. This figure will rise to over 400 million, accounting for more than 30% of the total population by 2035 when China will enter the phase of severe aging. To cope with the aging population in China, it is essential to leverage the capabilities of internet platforms and public welfare institutions.
Elderly Care — Community Elderly Parents Care Service Innovation Project undertaken by the Amity Foundation is one of the key projects of the first batch. This project is an update of Papa and Mama's Canteen, an innovative public welfare project initiated by Alibaba Philanthropy and the Amity Foundation to address the dining issues of elderly people in 2015.
Equipped with a group of professional social workers, the Papa and Mama's project provides 22 days of nutritious lunches for very old aged, widowed, lonely, and disabled seniors in urban and rural communities every month. Through a flexible combination of "Community Canteen," "Food Delivery," and other forms of services, it also contributes to the development of cultural, psychological counseling, and recreational services in communities. Over the past nine years, the project has raised more than RMB 20 million through Alibaba's Goods for Good project to set up hundreds of such canteens in over 20 provinces and cities nationwide, serving lunches to nearly 10,000 elderly people in need.
Papa and Mama's Canteen in Jiutang Village, Lishui District, Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, China
Papa and Mama's Canteen is funded by Alibaba's Goods for Good project.
Elderly Care — Liren Warmth Community Elderly Care Service Innovation Project undertaken by CSAF and Elderly Care — Zhejiang Comfortable Community Elderly Care Service Innovation Project by ZWCF will also serve to facilitate the building of an innovative community-based elderly care service system.
Apart from exploring innovative ways to promote elderly care for years, Alibaba also under the guidance of the Ministry of Civil Affairs joined hands with the Wuhan Charity Foundation, and the Wuhan Association of Social Workers to embark on a special project called "Five Community Forces Make Wuhan A Warm City" by engaging in five community forces to achieve deep coordination. In 2020, the project featuring an integration of psychological counseling services, academic research, and standard implementation was launched in Wuhan. Statistics show that the project is capable of deploying 27 social service institutions to 35 communities in Wuhan to provide psychological counseling services to residents, help the most vulnerable group affected by the pandemic store their lives, and encourage more residents to go outside to feel a reviving Wuhan after the pandemic. The project is expected to serve 49,000 people and benefit 100,000 people.
Built on Alibaba Philanthropy's past experience in providing lunches and community services for elderly people, the Elderly Care program will usher in a new era of community public welfare empowered by the internet public welfare platforms and the five community forces. Alibaba Philanthropy will continue to explore new ways of combining public voluntary services and professional public welfare programs by leveraging internet resources and its 3-Hour Philanthropy platform. It will also build a creative elderly care service system to record public welfare hours and engage more young people in community-based elderly care services so as to meet the physical, mental, spiritual, and cultural needs of elderly people in rural and urban communities.