A woman from Mingguang City, Anhui Province, not far from Nanjing, has sadly lost her battle with leukemia only 51 days after her diagnosis. However, her death has given light to the kindness and generosity of her community, as they took the initiative to utilise crowd funding in order to pay her medical expenses.
Together, the community helped raise￥500,000 to cover the medical treatment of 23-year-old Zhang Rui (pictured, right). The amount was raised in just 4 days, after starting an account on a Chinese crowd funding platform named Drops, reports the Yangtze Evening News, via Sina.
Charitable fundraising is not something that is common in mainland China, a country which holds the largest population of billionaires of any country on the planet. Yet, despite the country’s economic boom and sharp influx of wealth, China ranks 144th out of 145 countries on the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) World Giving Index, which measures the percentage of a population that makes charitable donations.
Part of understanding China’s staggeringly low statistics could be attributed to a lack of transparency from charities throughout the country about exactly how funds are used. This lack of openness tends to make the Chinese, a people whom are traditionally very careful with their finances, feel skeptical of charitable organisations.
Charities tend to have a cloudy reputation globally, but in China people seem especially aware of financial scams. Incidents in Nanjing have been reported in the past, whereby people have donated blood for free and then found out patients were being charged large sums for it. Individuals opening “charities” but not releasing any financial reports, only to end up using the cash for their own spending, is an ongoing problem highlighted by Chinese media.
Cancer is a major threat to the health of Chinese citizens, tied with vascular disease as the leading cause of death among the country’s adults. The number of diagnosed cancer cases in China reached 4 million in 2016, according to ABC News, 3 million of which never survived.
The number of diagnosed cancer cases in China only has alone by 100,000 patients each year since 2013. This makes donations towards cancer research and medical treatments in China invaluable.
Back in Anhui with the family of Zhang Rui, the woman who died from leukaemia, her family has made the decision to refund to donators the￥430,000 that was left unused after her death, a kind gesture in return for so much generosity.
After China’s scandalous Guo Meimei incident and many others like it, it is reassuring to see people pulling together to help one another in times of need; perhaps individual crowd funding methods are the future of trusted Chinese giving.