Faith-based organisations have been known to play a significant role in disaster relief work. They have also been known to provide sustainable development work in disaster-struck areas in the form of education and medical services. Faith based organisations aid the government in disaster affected areas in sustainable recovery through providing educational services in the form of teaching and teacher training, as well as training of medical personnel in specialist skills such as surgery and physiotherapy. In terms of social engagement, faith based organisations (FBO) can act as an intermediary body between the government and the people, in the sense it offers social and voluntary services in society (Berger; An-Na’im, 2005). In the Sichuan earthquake, the Chinese government effectively coordinated the relief efforts of various International NGOs including FBOs with its own disaster relief work. The Chinese government provided the overarching management of the NGOs’ voluntary projects in this earthquake relief work, and allocated the duration and sites for the various NGOs to execute their expertise in helping the victims. However, the Chinese government placed strict regulations on such humanitarian work by FBOs. Therefore, this research investigates the work of a Christian FBO, ITM (a pseudonym), that operates as an international FBO in the earthquake affected area in Sichuan, China. This paper argues that FBOs, operating as international NGOs, play a significant role in cooperating with local governments to provide capacity building in terms of training of local doctors and teachers that will enable the sustainable recovery and development of disaster hit communities’ victims.
About the Speaker
Dr Sng Bee Bee is currently a trainer of Academic Writing Skills in RSIS and an Associate lecturer in SIM University and Part-Time Tutor in NIE. Previous to this position, she has taught Communication Skills in the Language and Communication Centre, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore for 9 years. She graduated with a Doctorate in Education, specializing in Education Management from the University of Leicester, UK. Her research interests include Educational Change and Applied Linguistics. Currently, she is involved in a collaborative Sociology research project in NTU. She has also worked as a volunteer teacher and teacher-trainer in rural areas in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Indonesia.