Three alumni of the NUS Business School China Alumni Network (NUSBSCAN) were relishing a quiet, leisurely lunch in Jiangyou, Sichuan late 2008 when a “shock” literally hit them. It was a quake 5.4 on the Richter scale, in an area already ravaged by the infamous 12 May 2008 Sichuan Earthquake.
While almost everyone else in the restaurant ran off, Li Jian Hua (APEX-C 2003), Ma Bin (Chinese MBA 2000) and Yang Ou (APEX-C 2010) remained in their seats. The experience strengthened their resolve to achieve what they had set out to do.
The trio had just come away from the Sichuan Earthquake-damaged site of Fujiang Village Elementary School. Their mission was to find a suitable project to best help the quake-stricken families. They had, at their disposal, over RMB 700,000 which had streamed in from 76 generous alumni of NUS Business School after the quake hit.
The alumni had been exploring various options and this visit cemented their decision to rebuild the Fujiang Village Elementary School. They inked their intention in a letter signed between NUSBS CAN and the Sichuan Provincial Government.
Vice Dean Professor Ho Yew Kee, who witnesses the ceremony, siad, “We’re very heartened by the passion and compassion of our alumni. The School is very proud of them. They are successful business people and professionals who think and act for the needy in their society.”
Our alumni’s concern for society manifested beyond financial aid. Leo Zeng Yuan Min (APEX-C 2006), who signed the letter of behalf of NUSBS CAN, was instrumental in mobilising alumni to source for a suitable project. Several other alumni undertook the task of site research, field visits, discussions and feasibility proposals. When the project was finally identified, Leo invited a business associate to provide pro bono architectural design for the school. Leo explains his affinity for the project. “I used to work in Sichuan, and love this place and the people here.”
Jane Qin Yin (MBA-C 2003), another alumni closely involved in the project, said, “I witnessed the disastrous impact this earthquake imposed on our people; and also perceived the strength of those affected and the kindness of volunteers. From then on, I have always wanted to do something for the victims.”
Only such heartfelt resolve of the alumni could have made the vision a reality. And it is nothing new. In 2008, Prof Ho officiated the opening of NUS-Shatian Hope Primary School in Jiangxi Province, the first such project by NUSBSA CAN. Our alumni have clearly shown that they embrace and execute the principles of of corporate social responsibility as their guiding philosophy.
Milestones and Updates
- NUSBS CAN chose this out of 170 schools slated for rebuilding
- Letter of intent signed on 14 April 2009 – less than 1 year after the quake
- RMB 800,000 will be donated to rebuild the school
- The school provides kindergarten and primary education to 197 students living within a 5-km radius
- It employs 12 teachers
- It’s 510-square-metre will hold 6 classrooms, some staff rooms, and toilet facilities
- The school is expected to be completed in September 2009
- NUS Business School Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy will work closely with YMCA Chengdu to involve NUS students in helping the village school
More about the Fujiang Village Elementary School project
More about the previous NUS-Shatian Hope Primary School project
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