“I feel strongly that although there are many differences between China and the United States in terms of culture and other aspects, we have a common goal-to strive for the welfare of children. There is almost no barrier between us.”
Xu Yongguang is the founder and executive vice chairman of the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF), an organization promoting youth development in education, science and technology, culture, sports and welfare. The CYDF is one of China’s most influential non-profit organizations for youth development.
Xu also initiated Project Hope, which mobilizes public resources to provide financial aid to children whose families cannot afford primary education and to improve the education conditions in poverty-stricken areas. By the end of 2003, Project Hope had helped 2.6 million poor children continue their schooling, built 11,226 Hope primary schools, and sponsored 13,000 rural teachers to receive professional training.
Since he was an Honoree for World of Children, Xu has been active in establishing the China NPO Network, which provides professional training, organizational assessment, forums, research and symposiums for nonprofits. He has recently started two new projects—The Migrant Children Sponsorship, a new youth development program of Project Hope which helps to provide schooling for children of poor migrant workers in the cities, and Action Red Ribbon, an AIDS awareness and prevention program targeting young people in the hope of stemming the spread of HIV in China.
Looking back on his experience as an Honoree, Xu values his memories of the time he spent getting to know the children and their mentors at the Hannah Neil Center for Children. For more information, please visit www.cydf.org.cn.