SEATTLE – May 30, 2017 – Today the Giving Pledge announced the addition of 14 new individuals and couples to its growing list of signatories. The philanthropy effort continues to expand internationally with the addition of philanthropists from Australia, China, Cyprus, Monaco, Norway, Slovenia, Tanzania, as well as the United States.
Dear Mr. Gates,
When I was with you at the Gates Foundation Headquarters in Seattle on May 9, I expressed my intention to join the "Giving Pledge" initiated by you and Mr. Warren Buffett and donate at least 50% of the wealth of my whole life.
It is not only my long and deeply cherished wish but also the collective glory of my whole family who are extremely proud of my determination to sign the "Giving Pledge."
Helping disadvantaged groups live decent lives in the process of creating wealth has been my personal credo. It is also what I hope to strive for with you, Mr. Buffett and other successful entrepreneurs in the world.
I was born in a farmer's family, very different from most of those who have signed the "Giving Pledge" and who are mainly from middle class families. Many Chinese entrepreneurs have grown up in poverty or even hunger. So we deeply understand the importance of wealth and opportunity. From the bottom of my heart, I hope to change the problem of equal opportunity in social development through my efforts and constant giving.
In my early days, fate was not good to me. I was born in a remote village of the Yimeng Mountain area in Shandong Province. So I have deeply understood the taste of poverty since my childhood. There are at least nine people in my family who died of war. At the age of 27, I became disabled due to a serious car accident.
But fate was good for me too. Suffering did not shake my determination to change fate, but strengthened my confidence in helping disadvantaged groups. I was determined to alter fate and started the process of creating wealth early through my own vision and efforts. After twenty years of development, my corporation, Dongfang Huiquan Financial Holdings Group, has become a diversified financial investment group of industrial investment, securities funds, focused on tourism and culture, charity and philanthropy.
Changing the fate of ourselves through efforts is the achievement of our generation of Chinese entrepreneurs. Changing the fate of others through giving is the responsibility of our generation of Chinese entrepreneurs for China and the world. The Dongfangjun Charity Foundation founded by me has developed and implemented a variety of philanthropic projects in caring for veterans, disaster relief, poverty alleviation, reviving traditional culture, supporting education, and building a harmonious society, from which I gain happiness and power to go forward.
A famous Chinese saying is “When you drink water, think of its source." I cannot make achievements without the help of others. "The highest goodness is like water." Helping others should be persistent, should be subtle, and should "make thunder out of silence." like you, I am dedicated to changing the fate and future of disadvantaged groups through culture and education. Let me with you and all outstanding philanthropists in the world directly face and address urgent global challenges in environment, energy, health, and other issues.
I deeply appreciate the Global Philanthropy Leaders Program of the China Global Philanthropy Institute, which not only introduced me to your "Giving Pledge" but has also built an important bridge for us to meet in person. I am certain that my family will become happier because of my actions. and I hope this world will become a better place because of my efforts.
Dear Mr. Buffett, Mr. and Mrs. Gates
It was my great honor to receive your invitation to join the Giving Pledge. I would be delighted to join it, to fulfill my social responsibility, to achieve the full value of my life. In 2004, I made my first donation to a school in Guizhou, and that's when my philanthropy got started. Wealth comes from society, and should be returned back to society. Charity is not only a social responsibility that entrepreneurs must fulfill, but also a good way for the entrepreneurs to give back to society. With regard to the balance between business and charity, I have always respected the principle of Acting Positive and Staying Kind.
Acting Positive makes people gain wisdom and wealth. In their pursuit of career development, the entrepreneur becomes bigger and stronger. Staying Kind, means to treasure life, respect nature, always have goodwill and be ready to help others in need. This makes people mentally healthy and blessed.
Those who engage in charity bear a kind heart. Those who are kind reveal true beauty. To do a good thing once is not difficult. What is hard is to persevere in fulfilling the pledge of philanthropy. During the past ten years, I built my business and life, and devoted myself to philanthropy in the area of education, science and technology, culture, environmental protection and poverty alleviation. After my first donation to schools in Guizhou, China, I donated money to Fanjing Mountain Nature Reserve to help them set up the Fanjing Mountain Ecological Botanical Garden and build a public platform to protect the area’s natural ecology and rare animals. At the same time, I never stopped helping people in need in Guizhou. I established scholarships to help poor students go to college for a better education, and I have donated to build a boarding school.
At this point, I have been in the education industry for more than two decades. Education itself is people oriented. The development of our country, even the whole world, relies on people’s talents. Therefore, I have proposed the concept of Great Philanthropy. That is, I believe that philanthropy is not just about donating money and goods, but also about sharing wisdom. We Chinese say, it is better to teach people how to fish than to give them a fish. That’s why I’m so glad to see the achievements that been made after the donation of my educational evaluation program.
I am grateful to be part of the Giving Pledge, and I look forward to joining you in devoting my humble contributions to the progress of human life and the development of society.