President Obama's Family Member Maya Soetoro-Ng Pays a Visit to China Global Philanthropy Institute
On June 20, 2016, Maya and her delegation paid a visit to China Global Philanthropy Institute and held a dialogue with the Institute. This time, China Global Philanthropy Institute was the sponsor of the dialogue, which President Wang Zhenyao presided over. The topic of the dialogue was "Charity, Education and Cultural Exchange." The guest speakers included Ms. Maya Soetoro-Ng, Ms. Carol M. Fox, Director of Special Projects, and Dr. Wang Qinghong, Liaison of China Projects & Special Projects Specialist from East and West Center.
Ms. Maya Soetoro-Ng is an education specialist from East and West Center. She obtained a master's degree in secondary school education from New York University and a doctoral degree in international and comparative education from University of Hawaii. She's currently teaching cross-cultural education, peace education, social research methods, etc. at University of Hawaii. This is the third time that she has visited China. She is deeply rooted with China. When she helped President Obama run the presidential campaign, she represented herself as a daughter-in-law of Chinese origin because her husband was originally from Guangdong, China, who immigrated to Malaysia and Canada later on.
Maya is a creator of Ceeds of Peace. The program cultivates leaders in the field of peace building in an all-round way. Maya expressed that during the process of cultivating a leader in peace building three points were very important: first, the focus on shaping potential leadership; second, exchange at its core; third, the attention to social innovation. Most of the content of her courses is centered on teaching the young people how to tap their own potential leadership and how to shape leadership through participation.
Maya believes that the concept of peace building is very extensive, which includes equality, personal inner peace, social welfare, conflict management and so on. Therefore, in this career, different people have different roles. Through everyone's efforts and contributed power, we can finally build a better community. "In the exploitation and practice of charitable and public services, I hope that we can become aware that our own leadership goes much beyond the communities, cities, and countries where we live," Maya said.
Among Maya's delegation members, Dr. Carol M. Fox and Dr. Wang Qinghong are two guests who have long been devoted to pushing forward Sino-U.S. relations, especially cultural exchange between the East and the West and the promotion of charity. They have contributed a lot to enhancing exchange in charity between the East and the West. Ms. Carol M. Fox expressed, “I have learned a lot from my Chinese colleague, President Wang Zhenyao. Six years has passed. We have become a great family where we share a common goal. Also like family members, we sometimes have differences, but we manage to settle those differences through communication. We love one another and we march into the same direction.”
When it came to World Conservation Congress, the so-called "Olympic Games" in the world of environmental protection, Wang Qinghong said, "We have a lot of philanthropists who have a lot of ideas about sustainable development and they have done a lot of work. Therefore, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce to the world the development of environmental protection in different countries, especially in China that has done a lot of work in sustainable development and environmental protection during the past years. I hope that the world can understand China not only as a leader in economy but also a country with great potential in global environmental protection. There are also many philanthropists who have contributed a lot and have strong determination."
Both Maya and Carol M. Fox emphasized the importance of communication and understanding and the respect for diversity during the course of cross-cultural communication. Ms. Maya Soetoro-Ng believed that the United States is a very diverse country like China and that one of the common responsibilities for all is to strengthen the understanding of and the exchange between the diverse cultures of both countries. During the event, she also expressed, "I am very happy that we can build a bridge between the United States and China."
East and West Center and China Global Philanthropy Institute have experienced all sorts of trials, overcome difficulties, and progressed forward unceasingly in charity promotion and cultural exchange. Their mission is to cultivate Global Philanthropy Leaders who "have a global insight, mix together Chinese and foreign wisdoms, assume missions and shoulder responsibilities, be keen on exploration and innovation." During the dialogue, students of Global Philanthropy Leaders Program from China Global Philanthropy Institute and representatives from EMP witnessed such a grand dialogue between philanthropists from the East and the West.