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Half of Funds for Project Hope Donated by MNCs

"Half of our Project Hope's funds are donated by multinational companies (MNCs). Moreover, the frequency and amount of these donations is increasing, making them the main source of funds for Project Hope," Tu Meng, secretary-general of the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF), told China Youth Daily on September 25.

In 2002, one third of Project Hope's donations came from MNCs and another third came from private-owned companies. In 2003, donations from MNCs exceeded one-third of the total amount. In 2004, the top five largest donations from MNCs accounted for 56 percent of the total, while the top ten accounted for 67 percent.

Tu said CYDF has an open and transparent comprehensive fund management system. At present, Project Hope has raised over 2.7 billion yuan (US$333.64 million) in donations, which has funded the construction of approximately 12,000 Hope primary schools in poverty-stricken regions.

Currently, CYDF receives annual donations of 100 million yuan, while provinces and regions receive 200 million yuan each year. The average donation by the top five MNCs is over 30 million yuan.

With economic strength and mature corporate cultures, MNCs contribute to public service much more than private-owned companies, who are more likely to be motivated by short-term economic benefits.

Private-owned company donors are mainly from Guangzhou, Zhejiang and Hong Kong, most are without higher degrees and many of them were unable to attend school, or did so with great difficulty. In contrast, businessmen with higher degrees often show little interest in donating and are reluctant to reveal their wealth.

According to a recent report by Ernst & Young, one of the four major international accounting and consulting firms, from 2005 to 2008, the luxury goods market in China will grow at a rate of about 20 percent annually and from 2009 to 2015 at a rate of about 10 percent. By 2015, China will become the second largest luxury market in the world, next only to Japan.

China now has more than 1,000 billionaires and 10 million millionaires. We don't lack wealth. We need wealthy who will return something to society.

Project Hope is a public welfare undertaking, initiated and organized by CYDF, that enlists extensive support from home and abroad to assist dropout students, and those at risk of dropping out, in continuing their schooling in China's rural, poverty-stricken areas.

(China.org.cn by Zhang Yunxing, September 30, 2005)

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