The Beijing Donation Center for Project Hope opened in March 1994 and aims to help needy students and improve school conditions in poor regions. They have received over 108 million yuan (US$13 million) in cash and nearly 36 million yuan in kind over 10 years. Over 120 million of this has been spent so far.
Chen Shuhui, director of the center, said, "By the end of last year, we had built 206 Hope primary schools, donated 321 educational movies, used one-to-one donation measures to help 46,658 needy youth, assisted 1,971 needy college students, helped 12,374 needy children, and planted over 1300 hectares of trees through the Mother River Protection Operation. In addition, we organized flood relief fundraising in 1998 and anti-SARS activities in 2003."
The Student Sunshine Project and Hope Star Project use one-to-one donation measures. "Donators not only know when their donations are received by poor students, but also detailed information about beneficiaries," said Chen. "Other projects are under the strict supervision of donators and media and are carried out according to Project Hope Management Regulation."
According to Chen, the center has established a series of strict management and supervision systems. It is the first charity organization to employ certified public accountants to manage accounts and release audit results every year.
Tens of thousands of individuals and companies donated to Project Hope through the center over the last decade, putting a lot of trust in it in the process.
Shiseido Liyuan Cosmetics Co. is a joint-venture enterprise. It has built two Hope primary schools since 2000. Shan Wei, the department manager, said, "In 2000, our company donated 150,000 yuan to the center to build a Hope primary school in Inner Mongolia. In the process of building the school, staff of the center regularly reported back on the project's development. After the school was built, our company was very satisfied."
Shan trusts the center entirely after this experience, and donated another 200,000 yuan for another school last year. The company now intends to donate a Hope school through the center every two years.
Tie Qun is an employee of American International Assurance's Beijing branch. Since 1997, she began to donate cash to Project Hope whenever something good happened to her, such as getting a raise or a promotion, receiving a bonus at the end of a year, etc. She is very confident in Project Hope, "It gives me a receipt for my donations, and children who benefit always keep in touch with me."
(China.org.cn by Wang Sining, November 19, 2004)