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Gubei Civic Center expands


The five-year-old Gubei Civic Center at 99 Fugui Road E. has extended its services to government affairs, everyday life, cultural exchange and community joint governance.





At the same time, an Expatriate Center has been opened at the Gubei Civic Center.



The new service center accepts applications for temporary residence and work permits as well as offering consultations on entries and exits, residence and work permit paperwork.



Previously, foreign residents in Gubei had to go to the Hongqiao One-Stop Service Center of Overseas Talents near the Sky Soho about 10 kilometers away to apply for work permits.





They can now apply for important certificates at their community service center. A highlight of the new center is that foreign volunteers are among the service staff.



The volunteers work along with human resources staff, police and entry and exit officials.



An overseas volunteer recruitment center has been opened at the center to encourage expats to join the city’s community volunteer team.





Meanwhile, workshops at the Gubei Civic Center provide courses on subjects like folk music, fine arts, dancing, cooking and calligraphy.



The Kunqu and Peking Opera Club is among the highlights. Originally founded as a club for Kunqu Opera enthusiasts by Zhao Jinyu, an apprentice of well-known Kunqu Opera artist Zhang Xunpeng, the center boasts an eclectic membership of white-collar workers and foreign residents.





The club hosts regular workshops with noted performers, as well as small shows aimed at cultivating interest in Chinese opera among expats, according to Zhao, who now acts as the center’s director.



Volunteer services, Christmas parties, award ceremonies and even exhibitions displaying private collections have also been held at the Gubei Civic Center. And the penthouse library is a great place for a quiet afternoon retreat.



As the Gubei Civic Center mainly serves the Ronghua neighborhood, Shanghai’s first residential community for expat families, its workers mobilized Chinese and foreign residents who were enthusiastic about public affairs to set up a chamber dealing with community matters.



A panel of 12 counselors works for the more than 33,000 people from nearly 50 countries and regions who live here. About 57 percent of them are foreigners.



The chamber holds regular meetings once a month. The counselors bring to the body feedback from their communities: problems, suggestions for improvements, and praise for systems that work well.



Sometimes, counselors even visit residents’ apartments to deal with specific grievances.



They have encouraged everyone in the community to contribute ideas for the maintenance and management of their neighborhood.





Editor: Li Xinran Shanghai Daily



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