With the rapid socio-economic development and improvements to the living standards of people in China, philanthropy is becoming a significant supplement to the social security system, gaining widespread attention and participation. Shanghai, as one of China's economic and cultural centres, has a rich philanthropic culture. Under the Shanghai government's, and affiliated department's, guidance Shanghai's charity organizations have developed from just helping the less economic fortunate to improving education, healthcare, and environmental protection. Not just providing material support but also comprehensively improving people's current and future prospects.
As a leading financial institution in Shanghai, China Universal Asset Management seeks to express our core value of gratitude through our own social responsibility endeavours. We not only passively contribute to disaster relief and charitable projects, but have also established our own charitable programmes in which members of our staff are actively engaged. Thus far, our River∙Children program has been a highly successful programme bringing change to the lives of the less fortunate children in poor communities on the upper reaches of China's many river systems.
The purpose of the Shanghai China Universal Charity Foundation (the "Foundation") is to better support the harmonious development of society through promoting social welfare programs. The Foundation provides social assistance relief programs for the poor and disabled, supports students and teachers from less economically developed areas, and carries out a variety of other social welfare projects with the Civil Affairs Department. As a non-mutual fund, the Foundation operates in accordance with national laws and regulations as well as its Articles of Association to effectively utilize its funds. The Foundation accepts donations from domestic and foreign communities, businesses, and individuals.
Programs in which the Foundation is involved includes the River∙Children program, Tianfu Love scholarships, autism-awareness events, Life of Light – a regular activity of the Shanghai Communist Youth's Health and Happiness series, charitable construction projects like the Angel's Home orphanage for disabled children and Tianfu Fortune Libraries for 100 schools (including 20 for ethnic minorities in rural areas), and other causes such as disaster relief fundraising.
Where there are rivers, there are villages; where there are villages, there are children; where there are children, there is hope.
This is the simple idea upon which China Universal's proudest project—the River∙Children program—is based. The program aims at improving China’s rural village education system by constructing a school, training a team of teachers, and helping a group of children in Western China each year. Split into four major parts, each River∙Children project provides not only physical materials but also intangible and continuous support. The four major components of the River∙Children program are: Tianfu Elementary, Rural Teacher Training, Tianfu Compassion Library, and the Tianfu's Love Scholarship.
We want to provide rural students who often live far away from school with a stable and safe learning environment. Since the program started in 2008, we have helped over 3000 students at 7 different locations by building modernized boarding schools equipped with libraries and computer labs. Of the schools we've built, 2 have become central schools and 1 has become the best academically performing rural school in the area.
We recognize that the most important ingredient of a successful education is good teachers. Therefore, we recruit and provide initial as well as continuous training for the teachers we employ at our schools. We train teachers to use the latest technologies and teaching methods, and make sure they are well versed in a variety of subjects including English, computer science, physical sciences, finance, music, art, and psychology among others. Since the beginning of the program, we have trained over 500 teachers.
A key element of each Tianfu Elementary is the Tianfu Compassion Library. We emphasize books as the main window through which these children may experience a world outside their own. With the help of each school's administration, we are able to assign dedicated librarians who take care of an extensive catalogue of books including children's books, fables, history books, poetry, literary classics, scientific journals, and simple English books. Each location has on average 5 books per students.
The basic goal of the program is to provide hope, and that means not only alleviating hardship in the present but also paving the way for a brighter future. Through the Tianfu’s Love Scholarship, we wish to help financially impaired students who show great potential and economically strained teachers who show passion and dedication. Other than scholarships awarded, we have matched over 250 students with direct sponsors.
To bring awareness to the program, China Universal organizes volunteer trips to periodically visit Tianfu Elementary schools. Thus far, we have organized over 30 trips and welcomed over 310 volunteers, many of whom are China Universal staff to make a difference. If you are interested in joining upcoming trips, or would simply like more information, please send an email with the title "River∙Children Information Sign Up" to firstname.lastname@example.org. We take your privacy seriously; we will not share your information with anyone and will only send you emails regarding upcoming Tianfu Elementary visits.