Chinese Version

Chairperson’s Welcome Address

                                      

 
Dear Friends,

You are welcome to visit China Social Entrepreneur Foundation (YouChange).
On 16 February 2007, YouChange came into being after it was approved by the State Council. It was formally launched in the ceremony on 12 May 2007. Since then, friends from all walks of life have paid close attention to the growth of this young philanthropic organization in China. I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation on behalf of my colleagues to you for your support, encouragement, care and help.

I began to engage poverty-stricken population as an individual donor several years ago. While enjoying the pleasure of assistance, I came to realize problems in China’s emerging non-governmental philanthropy. Many entrepreneurs and individuals felt constrained in their poverty reduction endeavors due to unsmooth information flow, unprofessional operation and limited time and resources. Sometimes, it was even counterproductive: generous donation hurt the dignity of the recipient; selfless assistance made the recipient more dependent and even resentful; funds were improperly used and diverted due to lack of regulation and management. Against this background, there was an urgent need to set up a bridge between the entrepreneur and the recipient and help the former to achieve more effective philanthropy. YouChange was founded to meet this need. In June 2006, I came up with the idea to set up a philanthropy platform for Chinese entrepreneurs. This idea was well-received among my friends. Then, YouChange was launched by some Chinese entrepreneurs committed to philanthropy in China. The Confucian spirit that a successful person should help the world was admirably demonstrated among them.

What differentiates YouChange from other philanthropic and poverty-reduction organizations? That is our commitment to social progress through social innovation. First and foremost, we advocate and publicize neo-philanthropy.

Neo-Philanthropy stresses integrating spiritual and material poverty reduction. Spiritual poverty, as we believe, is a widespread phenomenon in today’s society and to some extent a cause of material poverty. Bearing this in mind, neo-philanthropy is committed to harmonious development and the unity of material needs and spiritual pursuits, and takes as its first priority people’s overall improvement and development of humanity.

Neo-philanthropy stresses the systematic way of thinking that man is an integral part of nature and applies it to the cause of development and poverty alleviation. The development model single-mindedly dependent on economic growth and poverty alleviation only based on development will not bring benefits to mankind, but rather worsen the problems between human and nature, and between individual human beings. Innovative methods, models and mechanisms should be adopted to address poverty in a systematic way, and particular attention should be given to the relationships between human beings, between human beings and society and between human beings and nature in order to achieve sustainable social development and philanthropy.

Compassion while educating others is an everlasting theme in neo-philanthropy. The traditional “see–things-but-not-people” way of donation will not contribute to social harmony and progress, but bring out negative nature of mankind and bring in new types of social inequality. Neo-philanthropy believes that philanthropy should not simply be a give-and-take business. Instead, it calls for emotional input, transmission of love and compassion, rebuilding and restoring of dignity, empowerment and public participation. Social innovation aims at promoting positive social change in its processes and outcomes. Volunteerism and social entrepreneurship are the thrust of neo-philanthropy.

YouChange aims to promote social progress through social innovation and work tirelessly for a harmonious society in which people stand at the center. YouChange’s mission and philosophy are also derived from this. To be specific, by discovering, supporting and advocating social innovation, YouChange’s mission is to resolve problems related to people in China’s rapid development in a more equitable and effective way, key problems caused by tensions between human hearts, between human beings and society, and between human beings and nature. On the one hand, YouChange helps aspiring people go out of poverty, broaden horizon, learn skills, cultivate self-confidence and become independent; on the other hand, it assists dedicated entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs and non-governmental philanthropic organizations in achieving their charity goals. It aims to find a new and Chinese-style path for non-profit organizations and help the emerging philanthropy in China become stronger and more mature.

Dear Friends,
 
There were many Chinese predecessors committed to “cultivate their persons, regulate their families, order well their states and illustrate virtues throughout the country”, but they did not have opportunities as good as ours. We are in the greatest change of China and the fastest change in human history. As product, service and wealth producers in the era of globalization, businesses are no longer Smithian or based on Taylor system. Nor should they take profit maximization as their ultimate objective. Only when they take social responsibilities with great love, wisdom and courage can businesses seize growth opportunities and cultivate inherent competitiveness, which may lead to sustainable development of human society. We are looking forward to the emergence of Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in China. They are well-known not only for creating wealth, but more importantly for taking social responsibilities. Their thoughts shine in the sky when they consider it a shame to bring their wealth to tombs.

In Chinese¸ YouChange means “good friends come together to achieve good causes.” Dear friends, if YouChange ideas and actions resonate and fit in well with your aspirations, you are welcome to join YouChange Entrepreneurs so that your companies will contribute to poverty reduction while expanding your business, the true glory in philanthropy. If you work in government departments, non-governmental or professional organizations, you are welcome to provide advices and suggestions from a strategic perspective of social innovation or social development, share with us your academic expertise, or work together with us in assisting the most vulnerable groups.

Last but by no means least, you are a friend of YouChange where you can find your home so long as you recognize our neo-philosophy and are willing to work together with us regardless of our differences in age, gender, ethic community, profession, occupation and background. I wish to extend a sincere invitation to you to work together with us in our common cause so that our pursuits will make better the spiritual and material worlds human beings live in; our efforts will further enrich the contemporary Chinese culture; our existence will help the chaotic world become more harmonious and realize the human ideal cherished by generations; and let the world be full of love.
 
Again, you are welcome to visit YouChange’s website.

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