Businesswoman Gigi Chao founded the Faith in Love Foundation (FILF) in 2008 to help alleviate poverty and remind young people about the power of art as a medium of communication.
“Before I launched the Faith in Love Foundation, I’d dabbled in a number of businesses and, while they were all profitable, there was something empty about employing 50 people exclusively dedicated to making money. So I decided to found the FILF. Today we support a number of underprivileged young people who have fallen through the cracks of the social welfare system and need help finding their feet. Hope is a tender flame, and we focus on keeping it alight by giving young people the confidence and skills they need for adulthood. Raising money is relatively easy in Hong Kong—i mainly do it through robbing my friends. In fact, I’m surprised I still have friends! My biggest headache is getting Hongkongers to realise that we are all responsible for improving the lives of the less fortunate people in our society. We live in a fast-paced city and it’s easy to want instant gratification, and charitable giving is no different. But the problems Hong Kong faces are complex and will take time to fix. That said, there are many local philanthropic figures to admire. Sally Lo is, of course, the charity tour de force. I also admire my close friends Gigi Fu and John Li, who taught me the importance of getting young people personally involved with charities.”