There is no gift better than the gift of education. As 2010 is soon coming to a close, some of you may be considering where to make donations. My favorite charity is the China Youth Development Foundation’s Project Hope (希望工程). In terms of scale and impact, it is one of the top charities in the world. In recognition for how critical Project Hope is to alleviating poverty in China and to provide equal opportunities to all, Deng Xiaoping wrote the calligraphy, “希望工程,” which became part of the logo for the organization.
Project Hope’s mission is to bring education to the poorest parts of China. (By the way, we have been researching China related charity organizations. Too see some other reputable ones, please click on the “China Charities” link in the navigation menu near the top of this page.)
The organization has done extremely well, and here is a recap of the impact Project Hope has had in the last 20 years:
It has been twenty years since the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF) launched Project Hope in 1989. By raising 5.67 billion RMB in donations, aiding 3.46 million students from poverty-stricken families to go or return to schools and building 15,940 Hope primary schools throughout the past twenty years, Project Hope has made significant contributions to both the development of fundamental education in the economic backward regions of China and the healthy growth of younger generation. In the past 20 years, Project Hope has advocated of the traditional virtues and modern spirits such as: respect for teachers, aid the poor, and willing to help others, which promoted cultural and ideological progress. Project Hope has grown up to a national non-profit program with great impacts and numerous participants, due to actively cooperation with domestic and international organizations, enterprises, and individuals from all sectors of the society.
Project Hope is very comprehensive as it looks at education for the poor systematically. It helps poverty stricken families pay for the minimal fees and supplies necessary for children to stay in school. It builds schools. It also trains teachers who can teach at remote and poor parts of China.
Everyone in China knows about Project Hope.
Many foreign corporations operate in China also donate to this charity.
Motorola alone has donated over $7.5 million to date. In talking about Project Hope and Motorola’s involvement, Eileen Sweeney, Director of Corporate & Foundation Philanthropic Relations for Motorola, said this in “Restoring Hope and Education in Rural China“:
Project Hope is about promoting social welfare, delivering quality education, and advocating for youth education in China. Children in rural China are often forced to forgo an education because of the fees charged by schools and pressure to join the workforce to generate additional income for their families. In addition, schools in rural China often do not have sufficient resources.
Motorola works to give students hope by creating a path out of poverty through quality elementary education and support through high school and college. To have the greatest possible impact, Motorola and Project Hope establish “Motorola Hope Schools” in rural areas where dropout rates are highest and school standards are lowest. In addition, one Motorola Hope School is located in an urban area to serve students from rural areas whose parents spend part of the year working in the city to supplement their incomes.
Picture below is a “Hope School” built on funds from Motorola.
I should point out that the name “Project Hope” or “Hope Project” has been now used by many organizations around the world; some for similar purposes while others completely different. (Google search for either of these names won’t turn up this particular charity. It is insane, but Google is what it is.)
China is still very poor. A modest amount can really be life-changing for someone. If you are thinking about donating, then seriously consider Hope Project. Their “contact us” page has all the pertinent details.