年报

Annual Report
2016 - 2017

introdution

About the Founder
Mr. Robert Yet-Sen Chen (1929 -2003)

Mr. Robert Yet-Sen Chen was born at the beginning of China's new Republic, survived the civil wars and the Sino-Japanese War, lived on four continents, and established a thriving international business enterprise. Through it all he never forgot his roots, his boyhood years in rural China. He dedicated much time, energy and financial contributions in the later part of his life to helping the less fortunate in his home village in Qidong, Jiangsu Province, China.

Mr. Chen was born in 1929. At the age of 14, he left his hometown to study in Shanghai. In 1948, he left China for Hong Kong and eventually went on to attend university in England. In 1957, Mr. Chen returned to work in the family business in Hong Kong. He established the company's presence in West Africa by setting up factories in Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Like many of his generation, Mr. Chen experienced personal loss, war and hunger in his youth which was to prepare him for the rigors and challenges of doing business in uncharted territories. His positive outlook on life and his uncanny ability to see to the core of issues, coupled with his unfailing diligence, contributed to the ultimate success of his personal and professional endeavors. His diligence and sound financial investment strategies paid dividends for the family business.

The elder, Mr. Chen Zao Men, taught his son about the importance of philanthropy - of giving - from an early age. The Chen Zao Men College in Hong Kong was the first charitable project supported by the Chen Family in 1972, and the genesis of a tradition of community service. Mr. Robert Chen built on this legacy of good works by building and supporting six schools, a community hospital, and undertaking much-needed public works in the family's hometown of Qidong. His lifetime of philanthropic work culminated with the creation of the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation in October 2003, prior to his unexpected and premature passing on November 29, 2003.

Mr. Robert Chen was a successful businessman, a caring family man, a generous benefactor and a respected citizen. Compassionate and generous, he cared deeply about educating the younger generations in whom he saw unfulfilled potential to excel. His spirit lives on in the Foundation that bears his name.

ABOUT US

About us

Established in 2003, The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation is a hybrid charitable institution with a strategic focus on improving early childhood literacy, through the development of libraries and reading programs. The Foundation also supports experiential out-of-classroom programs which aim to improve personal development of children.

Geographical Interest

Geographical Interest

The Foundation is a grant-making institution that supports organizations for innovative, cost effective and high impact programs in Mainland China and Hong Kong.

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

To nurture the potential of the next generation by building, supporting & sustaining innovative approaches that enhance learning & personal development.

  • Supporting relevant local organizations and people to achieve capacity building

  • Introducing best practices or new ideas

  • Scaling up successful projects

  • Encouraging the dissemination of innovative ideas

  • Assisting with people resources in libraries

  • Promoting quality literature

  • Supporting life skills training

Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee
  • Co-Chairman
    Mr. James Chen
  • Co-Chairman
    Mrs. D’ANJOU-BROWN Cynthia Louise
    (Up to January 2017)
Treasurer
Mrs. Daisy Chen
Member
Mrs. Su Chen
(From April 2016)
Member
Mr. Guangshen Gao
Member
Mrs. Justina Leung
Member
Mr. Alan Wang
Chief Executive
Ms. Jennifer Ho
(Up to December 2017)
China Special Program Manager
Ms. Cindy Qin
China Grants Manager
Ms. Shelly Lu
Hefei Program Assistant
Mr. Charlie Xue
Administrative Secretary
Mrs. Elaine Chin
(Up to November 2017)
Administrative Secretary (Part Time)
Mrs. Blesila Tse
  • Co-Chairman
  • Treasurer and Member
  • Ex-officio Members
    • Co-Chairman
      Mr. James Chen
    • Co-Chairman
      Mrs. D’ANJOU-BROWN Cynthia Louise
      (Up to January 2017)
    • Treasurer
      Mrs. Daisy Chen
    • Member
      Mrs. Su Chen
      (From April 2016)
    • Member
      Mr. Guangshen Gao
    • Member
      Mrs. Justina Leung
    • Member
      Mr. Alan Wang
    • Chief Executive
      Ms. Jennifer Ho
      (Up to December 2017)
    • China Special Program Manager
      Ms. Cindy Qin
    • China Grants Manager
      Ms. Shelly Lu
    • Hefei Program Assistant
      Mr. Charlie Xue
    • Administrative Secretary
      Mrs. Elaine Chin
      (Up to November 2017)
    • Administrative Secretary (Part Time)
      Mrs. Blesila Tse

message

Message from the Chairman

Welcome to the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation’s 14th annual report

2017 has been both a challenging and exploratory year for the Foundation.

Our challenges relate to the uncertainty with China’s recently overhauled foreign NGO law. To be prudent, we did not invite any new grants from China-based NGOs until the operating environment became clearer. This however gave us the opportunity to re-allocate our resources to review the impact of selected grantee programs that we have supported. We believe this is crucial -- not only to steer our future grant-making direction but to also enable the Foundation to become an exemplar in an era where there is a rising demand for charitable organizations to evidence their social impact.

We engaged an independent consultant to conduct a grant program review in 2016 and the findings were encouraging. The results show the Foundation’s role as an ‘engaged’ grant-maker has been instrumental in helping both start-up and grassroots NGOs to pave ways for future sustainability. Secondly, the Foundation’s unique approach of ‘rigorous first and flexible later’ has enabled us to create a network of like-minded partners to implement projects that resonate our core value of reading for pleasure. The Foundation is confident that with these promising findings, together with our deep relationships with peers and stakeholders our investments have borne fruit. We hope to resume our China-based grant programs in the near future to support highly impactful projects that promote play and early childhood literacy.

Our Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance (SSHRA) 26 partner schools are anticipating an exciting year ahead. As a follow up from the grant program review, we are planning to do a similar review for SSHRA – which falls under the Foundation’s Special Programs. Our Board has mandated that the results from this review will be instrumental in shaping our strategic plan in replicating SSHRA in other parts of China. We strongly believe that after 10+ years of experience in growing SSHRA in Hefei, we are now poised to scale up this unique model so that more children, parents and schools can benefit from our mission to bring reading for pleasure to all.

Our work with Collective Impact Hong Kong has progressed well. The Foundation’s support of this collaborative and innovative approach to bringing early childhood educare to Hong Kong low income families is now in its second year. I am proud to say that its efforts have been steadily moving forward. Further detail is presented in later sections of this report.

In line with our advocacy work, we are pleased to announce that the Foundation commissioned book titled ‘Comprehensive and Compelling: The Causes and Effects of Free Voluntary Reading’, co-authored by Dr. Stephen Krashen, Dr. Sy ying Lee and Dr. Christy Lao, was published in the US and Taiwan. The findings demonstrate the importance of inspiring a love of reading through the self-selection of books – simple, but powerful. We highly recommend all parents and educators to read this as it serves as a blueprint for the success of future generations.

Last but not least, on behalf of the staff, the Board and my family, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Cynthia D’Anjou Brown, my Co-chair for the past nine years. In fact, she has served as a Consultant and Director of the Foundation since the very beginning and was instrumental in shaping, guiding and steering the Foundation – much of our success can be attributed to Cynthia. Her insights and network have been invaluable. Our strong governance and discipline to attaining domain expertise is attributed to her. Cynthia had already extended her retirement from the Board – at our insistence – now it is time to farewell this truly respected leader and a dear friend.

Cynthia – it has indeed been a great pleasure and my personal honour to work with you. Thank you from the CYSFF family – we miss you.

2018 looms large and will bring many new horizons to the Foundation. I look forward to reporting new achievements and successes as we seek to engage; continuing to build our domain expertise and collaborating with those who can further the cause.

James Chen

Chairman, The Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation

MEMORIAL ESSAY

In Memoriam Professor James Henri,a non-Chinese devoted to education in China

The Foundation lost a good old friend on 4 March 2018. Professor James Henri, our Reading Projects Consultant, succumbed to illness at the age of 65. The sad news struck so suddenly that we at the Foundation are still unable to get over it.

Professor James had been Reading Projects Consultant of the Foundation since 2007. Back in 2004, the Foundation decided to focus on subsidizing and assisting in reading for kids and library development. To enhance the Foundation’s understanding of these areas, expert support was required. At that time, Professor James, who was teaching at the Faculty of Education of The University of Hong Kong, was highly respected in the area of Hong Kong school library administration, having assisted the Education Bureau in setting up a training system for teacher-librarians and trained up the first batch of full-time school library administrators. The discussion process leading to the appointment of Professor James as a Consultant of the Foundation was remarkably smooth, not only because both parties shared the same views on education and reading for kids, but also because we were deeply impressed by Professor James’s easygoing personality and great sense of humour.

With his support, the Foundation started to robustly promote reading and library development in Mainland China. In 2007, he and other consultant researchers jointly submitted the Report on the demonstration project for the development of reading habit among children through libraries in farming villages in China to the Foundation. It confirmed for the first time the Foundation’s mission in respect of reading projects, and the newly constructed project model laid a solid foundation for the implementation of the project. Guided by the said Report, the Foundation has never ceased looking for partnering institutions which share a similar vision, and over the years the Foundation has supported more than 80 reading and library projects. In most of these projects, Professor James made the point of visiting the subject local schools in person, providing them with professional suggestions for improvement and showering them with words of encouragement.

Hefei, China is the city to which Professor James paid the most visits. He witnessed the establishment of the Stone Soup Happy Reading Alliance and its growth from 6 to 7 member schools at the beginning to 26 member schools nowadays. In Hefei, he organized and led a training course for teacher-librarians, being the first systematic and advanced training course ever conducted for school library administrators in China. The teachers who completed the training course have now developed into major driving forces behind the Alliance’s work in promoting school library development. Looking back, whenever Professor James put forward a new idea or proposal, some would dismiss it as absurd or wishful thinking, while others might doubt whether they would be competent enough for the proposed task. But it was precisely these bold, innovative ideas that kept educators in Hefei clear and confident about what was good education, always placing the kids’ needs at the very centre of educational attention. Nor, for that matter, had the principals’ impression of Professor James changed much over the past decade. “His appearance hasn’t changed much; more importantly, his childlike innocence has never changed a bit.” “The things he most enjoys doing at school are watching the kids in class, chatting with them, and taking photos with them as mementos.” Indeed, the photos he took with kids can be seen on the culture walls of almost all of the Alliance schools.

At every lecture he delivered, he aimed to stimulate everyone to think and re-think: what is school education about? What role can the school library play? What are the old-fashioned rules and systems that need to be removed or revamped? The concept which we all remember most deeply is the need, as Professor James repeatedly emphasized, to build “a school within a library” rather than “a library within a school”. “Reading is not just an activity to be carried out at school on a Wednesday afternoon. It should be embedded in the school’s cultural environment.” This is the educational objective that Professor James had tirelessly promoted over the years, and is also a change that he hoped would occur in the education system of China.

Professor James’s departure is a tremendous loss not only to the Foundation but also to school education in general. All of us at the Foundation would like to take this opportunity to pay our heartfelt tribute to him, a close friend and partner of the Foundation. Guided by his ideals in education, the Foundation will continue to put in its greatest effort to promote reading at school and school library development, in the hope of witnessing more changes in education throughout China.