A Memoir from a Philanthropist in China (by Mr. Shi Lei)
Despite the rise of Chinese philanthropists, practicing philanthropy in China is still full of challenges. Not only would one have to donate money or materially, but being philanthropists also require sacrifices such as time, energy, or even time spent with one’s own family. Even so, the Chua family did not hesitate to make all sorts of sacrifices. They are indeed a great inspiration to me.
Greetings to all Directors and generous readers! My name is Shi Lei, and I was born and raised in Luoyang, China. I have the great honor of meeting both founders of The CEO Foundation (“CEO”), Christina and Joseph Chua, and their family. I have since involved myself in many of their charity activities in Luoyang. As my salutation to CEO’s 21st Anniversary celebration, I want to take this excellent opportunity to share my thoughts and blessings.
Despite the rise of Chinese philanthropists, practicing philanthropy in China is still full of challenges. Not only would one have to donate money or materially, but being philanthropists also require sacrifices such as time, energy, or even time spent with one’s own family. Even so, the Chua family did not hesitate to make all sorts of sacrifices. They are indeed a great inspiration to me. I have participated in some so-called “charitable activities” before. I needed only to donate money or some material stuff and take a photo for the sake of remembrance. I made myself feel good at the time for “doing charity work.” However, in hindsight, I realized it was a pointless gesture.
I still remember the first time when I walked into the Orphanage and saw the CEO team embraced the children with unpleasant odor or congenital malformations; I was appalled and entirely uncomfortable with it. It was not until I learned that Chua had established a CEO Training Centre in Luoning Children Welfare Institute and even relocated to Luoning County in Luoyang for the Centre’s development that I truly understood the meaning of “Love-in-action” for the first time. The Chua family’s dedication to the maintenance, design, and development of the training centre curriculum allowed the children to receive education in ethics and develop proper life values.
Just as every kind of love requires sacrifices, conflicts are an inevitable part of the cause. While the collaborative Orphanage might not give the best support to the Chua’s operation, they remained generous. Eventually, they donated all things in the training centre as a tribute to CEO’s work. No wonder they gained so much respect from the Luoyang community.
In particular, Mr. Chua and his wife, who stationed in Luoyang over the years, are part of the foundation. Without your encouragement and ongoing financial support, I trust that they would face even more challenges to persist and personify God’s Grace through their work. I am convinced that the entire journey in Luoyang has been a perfect testament of Faith and Love from then to now.
I salute The CEO Foundation for their 21 years of excellent work. May many more years of their Love-in-action for children and youth shine and glorify the Almighty God. I bless the foundation with bountiful finance and all kinds of resources. May their Light continue to brighten up the darkened world today, bringing hope and joy to people in our generation.