- Chinese Name:李嘉誠基金會
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Nurture a culture of giving, support education reform initiatives that encourage long-term thinking, empowerment, creativity, ope-mindedness, and constructive engagement and help advance medical research and services.
Li Ka Shing was born in Chaozhou, Guangdong, in 1928, moving to Hong Kong with his family in 1940. After working with a watch-strap company and then starting his own plastics factory, he built a personal fortune through Hong Kong property investments in the 1950s. He is now variously reported to be Hong Kong’s richest man, and the sixth richest in the world, with investments and employees in 42 countries.The Li Ka Shing Foundation was established in 1980. Since then, it reports, donations have exceeded HK 5 billion (USD 600 million).
In recent years, the foundation has provided assistance following natural disasters in India, supported medical and academic research in the United States and the UK, and contributed to community facilities for ethnic Chinese communities in Singapore and Canada. However, the great bulk of its giving has been to Hong Kong and, increasingly, the Chinese mainland.Education is foremost among the four areas that the foundation supports. In addition to providing scholarships it has paid for the building of dozens of primary schools, a library at Beijing University, an ITC Centre at Tsing Hua University, a new campus for Shanghai Foreign Languages Institute, and the capital costs for a new university and teaching hospital in Shantou, Li Ka Shing’s home city.
Mr. Li has taken a personal interest in the growth and development of the university, as it shares his ideal of “serving the good of all,” as well as his commitment to high-quality education. As such, the Foundation has pledged HK$5.4 billion to support Shantou University (STU), HK$3.6 billion of which has already been donated as of 2010. In 2009, for the first time, the Chinese government supported STU’s reform initiatives with a pledge of US$100 million and encouraged the university to take its reforms to other universities in China.
Health projects in China have included support for the development of “Heart of Gold” hospice services in 20 major hospitals, and the building of several hospitals and nursing homes.
Community Welfare projects have in the main consisted of funding for emergency relief efforts and rehabilitation following natural disasters – notably through the rebuilding of schools.
Cultural projects have included funding for repair and rebuilding of many Buddhist temples, including Ta’er Si in Qinghai, the Yu Lin caves in Dunhuang, and for numerous performing art groups, including music and ballet.