The China Disabled Persons’ Federation today announced the establishment of the Cheung Kong New Milestone Plan made possible by a HK$100 million donated from Mr. Li Ka-shing. The programme will be implemented over a 5-year period from 2000 to 2005. The Federation also reported the achievements of Mr. Li’s previous donation of HK$100 million from 1991 to 1995.
In 1991, Mr. Li Ka-shing and the Cheung Kong Group made its first major contribution to China’s disabled persons with a donation of HK$100 million. The “seed” that he planted with such compassion has achieved the following successes: 1.07 million cataract sufferers have regained their sight; the number of sight recovery surgeries performed each year has risen from 10,000 to 25,000; 40,000 people have received hearing aids; the visually impaired have taken a major step toward recovery; 60,000 deaf children have gained language abilities; 360,000 polio victims are leading new lives after surgery, and through a vaccination programme, there have been no new cases reported since 1995; 100,000 mentally disabled children improved their mental skills through training; 67 million pregnant women and babies have taken iodine supplements that prevent mental disability; and 30 provincial service centres for the disabled have been established. This initiative has benefited millions of disabled persons and has in fact promoted the wider development of services for the disabled.
At the turn of the new century, Mr. Li and the Cheung Kong Group has made another donation of HK$100 million to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation under the Cheung Kong New Milestone Plan, which aims to ease the demand for educational training and rehabilitation services. From 2000 and 2005, the Plan will help establish a system of distribution to supply artificial limbs to 60,000 handicapped people in rural areas. It is hoped that by 2015, any one who needs an artificial limb will be able to receive one. The founding of the Beijing Hearing and Language Recovery Technology School will train teachers to help young children recover their hearing and language abilities. Poverty stricken blind children in 12 provinces are given the opportunity to attend school; their attendance rate will be raised from 40% to 80%. Service centres for the disabled will be set up in 664 impoverished prefectures to serve 15 million disabled. 35,000 blind masseurs will be trained for gainful employment. Over 10,000 people have already benefited from the Cheung Kong New Milestone Plan in its initial year.