Message from the Founder –
Dear Valued Donors and Supporters,
In the midst of the global coronavirus crisis, I wish you, your family and loved ones good health and safety.
What we are facing currently is unprecedented and incredibly challenging. China had the first breakout and the country was locked down from the end of January. Now it is hopeful to see China recovering in good speed. During this time, the entire EGRC team and I have been closely working with our girls by launching an online workshop ‘Active Hope’ in February, and the ‘SAY NO’ campaign throughout March. Most schools in China are still suspended, the students are all doing online learning from home.
Under this situation, our usual fundraising efforts have been heavily compromised. Fundraising events, which usually make up 50% of our revenue, are all being cancelled. Currently there are 464 girls in the sponsorships, my top agenda item these days is to find ways to ensure the girls have the necessary funds for the next school year. First step, I appealed to our corporate donors to ask for further help. Here I am going to share the heartwarming and positive responses I received.
I cheer on our loyal and committed corporate donors. Under this difficult business environment, it is truly admirable to see that they are willing to go beyond their original pledges in response to the need. This vision, compassion and spirit of cooperation is key to all of us getting through the crisis and achieving victory.
Heartwarming responses from our corporate supporters
“Ching, every crisis presents opportunities“. These are the first words I hear from Fang Bourne, the COO of BMO Asia when I reach out to her in early February. From that day these words have helped me maintain confidence and a positive attitude to lead and reach out for help.
I explained a specific challenge to Fang on our call – a donor is no longer able to fulfill its three year commitment of sponsoring 100 high school girls they had started last year. These girls need to continue their G11 and G12 study. Five days later, I received Fang’s response that BMO is committed to take on 50 of the 100 girls, they would even consider further support if we are not able to solve this issue in later months. I was deeply touched by her note.
Fang Bourne visited Gansu last fall. She wrote after the visit: “I was inspired by the families’ and the girls’ determination to pursue a better life through education. I’m also impressed at how the modest charitable gift of education had indeed positively changed the course of their lives.”
BMO finished their first three year commitment last year. In December, 2019 they chose EGRC as one of the charities to benefit from their Employee Giving Campaign. Asia CEO Albert Yu expressed his commitment to support EGRC at the Campaign launch.
Since 2013 Teck Resources has loyally made annual donations to EGRC, as part of its community investment program and commitment to empowering women, which are important aspects of company culture.
As a long time corporate donor, they have witnessed the development and growth of EGRC’s work, and impact created by meeting EGRC girls first hand. When I reached out to Marcia Smith, Senior VP of Sustainability and External Affairs at Teck, I received this positive and encouraging response: Teck is proud to continue providing support for the important work EGRC is doing during the global crisis we are all facing”.
Teck has increased its annual donation in 2020. This amount will ensure another 25 girls continue their education in the next academic year.
Barry McInerney, the CEO of Mackenzie Investments emphasized his commitment to support women and EGRC during his keynote speech to over 1,000 guests at the Canada China Business Council AGM in Shanghai last November. Mackenzie made its initial donation to EGRC in 2019 and has indicated solid plans to continue.
I contacted Barry recently and he wrote in his reply: “It is Mackenzie’s great pleasure and honor to sponsor girls from your incredible organization“.
Mackenzie has further committed to sponsor 10 more girls. Ying Du, the Managing Director of Mackenzie China has made a personal donation to show her support.
In the past five years FMC China office based in Shanghai has made donations and provided leadership training sessions to EGRC graduates. Two women executives of the company Bethwyn Todd, the CEO of Asia Pacific region, and Tracy Wu, the head of China operation are actively involved in their support work.
After Tracy learned that some of our high school students don’t have proper devices for online learning during the coronavirus crisis, she immediately started collecting used laptops and her IT department made sure that all of them were in good working condition.
Last week 40 of our high school girls received computers and are now able to do online learning while at home.
After visiting Gansu last fall, Kai Zhang, the CEO of Manulife-Sinochem wrote to me: “I can see the impact that EGRC is making on the lives of the girls, and they really came into their own, pursuing their dreams and aspiration with great confidence and appreciation for life“.
After the trip Kai committed to do more. Beyond its current commitment of 30 girls’ sponsorship, they would further support the girls by providing online learning devices.
On behalf of all EGRC girls and the team, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the above loyal donors, and to each of you. I wish you well.