Press Releases

School starts for Project Define participants at Xinjiang University

19 September 2014

(Xinjiang, September 19, 2014) The first classes organized by Project Define at Xinjiang University were started this morning.  Forty women village officers from the Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Uyghur arrived at Xinjiang University to begin a training program lasting six days. A special guest of the ceremony was Ms. Marjorie Yang, chairman and chief executive of the Esquel Group who led the way in the 1990’s to invest in the Xinjiang region. Her presence and her address at the ceremony was a great encouragement to the program and all its participants.

Project Define was launched by the Li Ka Shing Foundation with a donation of RMB 20 million in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and supported by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee and the All-China Women’s Federation. The project is being implemented in the provinces of Hunan, Shaanxi, Xinjiang, Guangdong and Guangxi from 2013-2016.  The project is expected to benefit 3,850 women village officers and 500 grassroots civil servants. Seed grants will also be provided to 800 rural community projects that advance education, environmental protection, and community welfare, benefiting approximately two million villagers. The project leverages advanced technologies in ICT and e-learning platforms to develop sustainable learning resources as well as provide 300 women village officers with tablet computers/smart devices to enhance their self-learning capacities.

In Xinjiang, Project Define will provide training for 500 women village officers and 50 grassroots civil servants. Among these participants, 100 of them will each receive RMB 5,000 in seed grants which will be applied towards serving 100 different villages. Approximately 40 participants will receive a tablet computer or smart device. Xinjiang is populated by many ethnic minority groups, which means that a high proportion of women village officers are ethnic minorities. To ensure the effectiveness of the training sessions, ethnic minorities are divided into smaller groups to receive instructions in their respective ethnic languages. Of the 40 participants from the Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, eight belong to the Hui ethnic group, two to the Kazak group, one to the Uyghur group and 29 to the Han group. During the six days of training, participants will be schooled in leadership skills, advanced technologies, rural economic development, rural community care, project management as well as seed grant project development. The training will greatly enhance the confidence and leadership abilities of women village officers, and build their capacity to serve and develop rural economies.

About the Li Ka Shing Foundation

Established in 1980 by Mr. Li Ka-shing, the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) has three strategic focuses: nurture a new culture of giving; support education reform initiatives; and advance medical research and services. Mr Li considers the Foundation to be his “third son” and has pledged one-third of his assets to it.  With initiatives spread over 19 countries, LKSF supports projects that promote social progress through expanding access to quality education and medical services and research, encouraging cultural diversity and community involvement. Since its inception, LKSF has granted over HK$15 billion, approximately 90% of which benefit projects in the Greater China region.

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