December 4, 2000
Mr. Li Ka-shing and his Group companies Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited and Hutchison Whampoa Limited recently donated HK$60 million to the China Disabled Persons’ Federation for the Cheung Kong New Milestone Program. This follows a HK$100 million donation made by Mr. Li in 1991. The previous donation helped 1.63 million disabled persons to receive rehabilitation services, including 1.07 million cataract sufferers to regain their eyesight.
This program will be carried out from 2000 to 2005. Its aims are:
– Provide immediate occupational training and medical help for disabled persons
– Promote welfare for the disabled Encourage disabled
– Encourage disabled persons to develop self-confidence, self-reliance and optimistic attitudes
– Heighten society’s awareness of welfare issues for the disabled
Cheung Kong New Milestone Program comprises four sections:
1.Make artificial limbs widely available Set up 200 artificial limb installation stations around the country and train 400 technicians to make 10,000 artificial limbs available and to benefit 40,000 people within six years
2.Train teachers in language skills for deaf children Establish the Beijing Institute of Audiological and Speech Therapy to train 500 language teachers for deaf children in six years
3.Assistance for schooling of blind children Set up education institutions for blind children in 12 provinces; train 3,000 teachers of the blind; assist 25,650 blind children from poor families to attend school and raise their school attendance rate from 40% to 80%
4.General service centers for the disabled in poverty-stricken regions Help 200 poverty-stricken prefectures around the country to set up general services centers to provide all types of services for over 3.7 million handicapped persons
5.Blind masseurs training service Responding to unemployment problems for the blind, this program aims to train 35,000 blind masseurs and masseuses to serve society’s needs
Mr. Li Ka-shing is a keen supporter of education and medical care. Since the implementation of this program, over 2,200 disabled persons have been able to receive artificial limbs at just one-tenth of the normal cost. Furthermore, of the more than 5,500 blind persons who have received training, 95% have found employment and their quality of life has improved as a direct result. Construction of the Beijing Institute of Audiological and Speech Therapy has also been completed and admissions will commence soon.