The Spirit of Giving
Clockwise from top left: Peter Woo, Michael Kadoorie, Jack Ma, Peter Lim, Amanda Witdarmono, Yaacob Khyra and Celia C. Hong from our list of 50 philanthropists in Asia who are changing the world
ith the arrival of the season of goodwill, we are delighted to present Hong Kong Tatler’s inaugural philanthropy magazine, which shines a spotlight on the organisations and individuals giving back to our communities. In the following pages, we introduce 50 philanthropists who are changing the world, men and women who stand out among those making invaluable charitable contributions across Asia. We also take an in-depth look at a selection of the world’s most exceptional philanthropists, from Chuck Feeney, whose giving-while-living philosophy inspired Bill Gates to found his own remarkable foundation and his Giving Pledge (which, as of this year, has signed up 185 billionaires from 22 countries), to Hong Kong’s own charitable superhero, businessman Li Ka-shing, whose philanthropic work has been instrumental in the evolution of the region’s tradition of passing wealth through lineage.
Like anywhere, Hong Kong faces some pressing issues. For example, it is a hub for the illegal trafficking of wildlife and animal products, and we meet a coalition of warriors working to curtail this cruel trade. The city also faces challenges in the areas of education and the ageing of the population, which former finance secretary John Tsang plans to address with his new social enterprise. We also talk to property magnate Ronnie Chan and Ruth Shapiro, founder of the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society, about an important new study, the Doing Good Index, to see how Hong Kong ranks regionally in terms of philanthropic commitment.
Year on year, charitable giving is on the up internationally. The number of women involved in philanthropy is also increasing. We speak with some impressive female philanthropists, including Escuela Nueva’s Vicky Colbert, one of two winners of the inaugural Yidan Prize, and Cherie Blair, who was in Hong Kong recently to discuss the development of women’s education in Asia.
Last but by no means least, we present a selection of 50 charities and non-profit organisations in Hong Kong—far from a complete list, but an introduction to some of the charities supporting our city, introducing their founders, missions and ways you can become involved.
There’s much more besides, and we hope the worthwhile ventures and the people making a difference featured in these pages will help inspire generosity, whether through donations, efforts to raise awareness of various causes or the volunteering of time. We all have something to give.
—Rachel Duffell Editor