Hong Kong, 11 th May, 2018– The Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation – BEA Charity Fund (“BEA Charity Fund”) and “la Caixa” Foundation today announce that they have renewed their pledge to support the Firefly Centre Development Programme (the “Programme”) for a second 3-year period.
In addition to opening 12 new Firefly Centres in the coming three years, the Programme will focus on enhancing teacher quality by recruiting talented teachers from urban areas and posting them at rural schools on 1 -year contracts. Selected teachers will be awarded stipends, and provided with teaching support, and career guidance following the completion of the contract period. Basic necessities such as water heaters and quilts will be provided to schools as needed.
“I am delighted that our three organisations have agreed to continue working together to improve the quality of education provided to children attending rural schools on the Mainland,” says Dr. David K.P. Li, Chairman of The Bank of East Asia (China) Limited. “It is especially rewarding to see how much of an impact our Programme is having on rural schoolchildren. Observing children interact with computers for the first time, and enjoying hot water on a cold day makes our support so meaningful.”
“ “la Caixa” Foundation is pleased to extend its support and expertise to the Firefly Centre Development Programme,” says Mr. Isidro Fainé, Chairman of “la Caixa” Foundation. “Giving disadvantaged children the opportunity to make the most of their lives can only bring benefits to China’s continued development.”
Established in 2009 by Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation and The Bank of East Asia (China) Limited (“BEA China”), the BEA Charity Fund is dedicated to improving educational opportunities for children attending rural schools on the Mainland. Unlike schools in more affluent urban parts of the country, rural schools often lack basic resources such as educational materials, school supplies and hot water.
The BEA Charity Fund works with each participating rural school to identify a room, which is renovated and fitted out with furniture and equipment to become a Firefly Centre. These Centres are equipped with internet-enabled desktop computers and projectors, as well as a library and other educational tools with the aim of ensuring that students at rural schools enjoy the same educational opportunities that their peers in more affluent parts of the country. It is the hope of the BEA Charity Fund that the Firefly Centres will help under-resourced children realise their potential regardless of their background or location. Including the 18 Firefly Centres jointly funded with “la Caixa” Foundation in the first phase of the Programme, the BEA Charity Fund has established 76 Firefly Centres in 25 provinces and autonomous regions since the establishment of the Firefly Project in 2009.
Mr. Isidro Fainé, Chairman of “la Caixa” Foundation(Left); Mr. Jia Yong, Director, and Acting Secretary General of Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation(Center); and Dr. David K.P. Li, Chairman of BEA China(Right).
About BEA China
Headquartered in Shanghai, The Bank of East Asia (China) Limited ("BEA China") was one of the first foreign banks to receive approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission to establish a locally-incorporated bank in Chinese mainland. Leveraging its deep insights into the China market as well as BEA (HK) Head Office's banking expertise in Hong Kong and overseas, BEA China offers a wide range of banking and financial services to customers. BEA China operates one of the largest networks of any foreign bank in Chinese mainland.
About “la Caixa” Foundation
“la Caixa” Foundation” is the leading foundation of its kind in Spain. For more than a hundred years, the organisation has invested in social development, science, research, education and culture. Internationally, it is the third -largest foundation in terms of assets, and devotes an annual budget of 510 million euros to promoting social development and equal opportunities, with particular attention to the most vulnerable groups.
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