Close supervision and expert guidance Friday, March 20 2009
The Homes for Hope project will use onsite supervisors, guidance from a steering committee and expertise offered by other charities as the disaster-relief effort switches to its next phase of rebuilding homes in Sichuan.
The campaign, which aims to rebuild 1,000 houses and infrastructure in two villages devastated by the earthquake, will send one or more experts to manage the construction.
Instead of handing out cash, the project instead will use the donations to buy construction materials in phases.
A steering committee to monitor the project and oversee the fund was set up early this year and is chaired by Bank of East Asia chairman David Li Kwok-po.
Other committee members include Allan Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Holdings and Ocean Park, SCMP Group chairman David Pang Ding-jung, National People's Congress deputy Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, former KPMG partner Valiant Cheung Kin-piu and Hui Kuok, managing director and chief executive of SCMP Group.
Committee members will also speak on behalf of the project.
Vivian Chun, project manager of Homes for Hope, said measures would ensure all the funds created the maximum benefit for the earthquake victims.
"It's almost one year after the earthquake. We'd like to call for more people to join us, giving homes and hope for the homeless."
Formally launched last night, the charity appeal has already captured attention from some of the city's corporate organisations.
Kyran Sze, managing director of architectural firm Aedas, said it would organise or sponsor activities linked to the project over the coming months.
"It is the architect's mission to build. There are so many things Aedas can offer for the rebuilding of Sichuan through the Homes for Hope project."
Sino Group, another donor, would raise funds between now and August by organising a series of programmes in its shopping malls, including at Olympian City 2, tmtplaza, Citywalk, Gold Coast Piazza and Island Resort Mall.
The group's executive director, Daryl Ng Win-kong, said:
"We believe that the SCMP Homes for Hope project will play an important role in the rebuilding of communities and lives in Sichuan, and we are honoured to participate in this meaningful initiative," he said.
One of the project's big fund-raising events is an auction dinner to be held on May 12, the one-year anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake. Sotheby's will hold the hammer for the event.
Sotheby's Asia chief executive Kevin Ching Sau-hong said: "A roof overhead is something badly needed by Sichuan victims now. We feel honoured to do our share in this project."
Pop singer Coco Lee, who has been invited to perform at the gala dinner, was glad to be involved in the project.
"The SCMP Homes for Hope project is such a meaningful project, I hope everybody can render their full support to this project," she said.
The South China Morning Post will run regular reports to update the progress of the project as well as changes in the local people's lives. And, homesforhope.scmp.com has been set up to follow every aspect of the charity campaign.