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Farmer, Tycoon Recognized for Philanthropic Acts
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What do a 74-year-old farmer from Uygur and the richest man in Hong Kong have in common?

Answer: Both were yesterday named among the Top 10 Philanthropists of 2006 by the Chinese government for their charitable acts.

This year's China Philanthropy Awards, the most regarded of their kind in the country, sought to convey the changing face of philanthropy, proposing that anyone and everyone can and should get involved.

"It's not just about rich people giving away huge sums of money," said Peng Chenmin, deputy director-general of the department of Disaster & Social Relief within the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

"Every individual can show their love by giving their time and effort," Peng said. 

Award-winner Abulizi Nulaike from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China, said that while a single person might be able to do only one small thing, "many good things become a big thing".

Ten years ago Nulaike adopted a young abandoned girl from the Han ethnic group, who had been born without an anus. Since then, he and his wife have spent their life savings attempting to give their daughter as normal a life as possible.

Yesterday's other award winners were property tycoon Huang Rulun; Canadian doctor Chen Futang; the Taiwan-based Tzu Chi Foundation; the Dalian Wanda Group; the State Grid; China Samsung; Nanfang Lee Kum Kee; the Chinese Marrow Donor Program; and the Stars of Hope Scholarship Program.

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, who is one of the world's richest men, was given an honorary award for his lifelong dedication to charity work.

Echoing the awards' "Everyone Can Be A Philanthropist" theme, China Central Television Station (CCTV) yesterday held a press conference to launch its "Philanthropy One & One Action" campaign, which calls on all sectors of society to get involved in charitable acts.

CCTV viewers are being encouraged to donate one yuan ($0.12) and one hour of their time to charity. The donations are recorded using an online database, which will later be used to match volunteers with those in need throughout the country.

"Volunteers can publish their details and offers on the website and we will try to match supply with demand," said Li Feng, deputy director of the Social News department within the News Programming Centre of CCTV.

"In this way, both those in need and those donating will be able to find a match and get together."

(China Daily March 20, 2007)

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