BMW marks two years of Warm Heart Fund

09:02, September 06, 2010      

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I look to the place where the sun rises,

Strive to look for the light of life,

Surrounded by flower fragrance like wings

Children recited the poem Fragrance Spreading 7 Li written by teachers and students from the Wenchuan earthquake area as part of the two-year anniversary of the China Charity Federation BMW Warm-Heart Fund (WHF) celebrated in the Temple of Ancient Monarchs in Beijing on the evening of Aug 25.

About 300 guests including teachers and students from quake-stricken areas joined government officials, BMW dealers, BMW owners and volunteers to look back at the WHF program established in 2008.

As the evening got underway, a video took people to the starting point two years ago - after the devastating May 12 earthquake, BMW China and BMW Brilliance jointly contributed 10 million yuan to establish the China Charity Federation BMW WHF just a few weeks later.

The fund has since gathered the forces needed - including BMW associates, dealers, car owners and volunteers - to help in disaster regions and remote areas in China.

At its inception, like all charities, the BMW WHF team faced a most direct problem - how outside donors can bring tangible help to people real need.

After the organization was founded, a team from the fund and volunteers journeyed around three disaster-stricken provinces in western China to visit schoolteachers and gain valuable first-hand information.

Based on their findings, organizers founded the program's Teachers' Award Project.

In addition to providing financial assistance to outstanding teachers in the earthquake and remote areas, the project also provides systematic education training to teachers in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.

In the past two years, the program has helped more than 1,300 teachers and students in over 100 schools.

The auto company charity notes that its down-to-earth on-site visits and surveys "ensure that every aid project from the fund can withstand vigorous scrutiny".

The fund has now gone beyond direct charity to assistance in its "Light the Hope" mentor program.

Begun last year, the program makes connections between members of the foundation and children in remote regions, enabling volunteers to provide long-term companionship through telephone calls, short messages, letters and other forms of non-material aid.

Some 260 volunteers from Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Dalian and other cities have since paired with children in mountainous areas in Sichuan and Hebei.

In the evening, three of the program's "little pals" from Gucheng Middle School in Pingwu county, Sichuan province, presented gifts they made to their "big buddies" and shared their memories of the past year of companionship.

Colorful programs

To express their thanks to BMW's charity, teachers and students from Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces who attended the party presented a painting they created to Dr Christoph Stark, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China, and had dialog with him about their dreams.

"After coming to China, I have seen many young people realizing their dreams through hard work," Stark said. "I am glad to see that on the road to realizing dreams, BMW and Chinese society have together reaped the joys of growth."

"We have always taken to heart our social responsibilities," he said. "While pursuing our own development, we have given back to society, shared our success with it, and endeavored to let more people have the opportunity to realize their dreams."

Guided by a call for "virtuous actions, endless passion", BMW has also staged a series of activities for cultural promotion, educational support, environmental protection and corporate governance.

In the six years since it was launched, the BMW Children's Traffic Safety Education Program has benefited more than 320,000 participants around China.

From 2007 to 2010, the BMW China Culture Journey gathered together cultural experts, car owners and the media to visit cradles of civilization and relic sites, traveling over 10,000 km and visiting more than 100 intangible cultural heritage locales in a dozen provinces.

As part of the program, the company donated more than 4 million yuan to a range of endangered cultural sites.

This year, it launched its Green Tree Program to call on the members of BMW Warm-Heart family to participate in environmental protection by planting 667 hectares of trees.

Source:China Daily

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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