Saturday, March 01, 2008

Join Jet Li One Foundation Project

The “Red Cross Society of China Jet Li One Foundation Project” (One Foundation) was founded by Red Cross ambassador Jet Li. Under the umbrella of the Red Cross Society of China, the Jet Li One Foundation Project works independently to pursue its charitable mission and agenda. Embodying the Red Cross’ spirit of humanity and philanthropy, we believe that in helping others we will also find our own happiness. Our goals are to provide—to the best of our ability—prompt and efficient relief to victims of natural disasters, as well as to help youth coping with mental health issues.

According to published government reports, few other countries suffer damage from natural disasters to the extent that China does. Each year, on average, 200 million Chinese are affected by natural disasters and many thousands lose their lives; 3 million refugees require relocation, aid, and shelter; 4000 hectares of farmland are destroyed; 20 million hectares of land are damaged; 3 million homes are damaged or destroyed. In 1998, the total economic damage caused by natural disasters in China was 307 billion RMB. In 2005, the damage was 242 billion RMB. And every year, the number of disaster victims who require aid and assistance totals nearly 60 million people.

The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that depression will become the second leading cause of global disability burden by 2020. In China, mental illness is becoming a leading cause of death. Nationwide, 30 million youths suffer to some degree from mental health issues. It is estimated that 16% to 25.4% of all college students struggle with some form of mental illness, which hinders their ability to focus on their studies and lead normal lives. As a result, the number of college students taking temporary leave or dropping out altogether is increasing every year.

Given these realities, the Jet Li One Foundation Project’s objectives are twofold. First of all, we are working to develop a more preventative approach towards disaster relief. When natural disasters occur, our goal is to provide aid and relief as quickly and efficiently as possible. At the same time, we are focusing our attention on adolescent mental health issues, as there are currently no other philanthropic agencies in China that address this particular problem. Our future rests with our children. Their healthy growth and development should be our highest priority. Because the situation has become so serious, we can no longer stand on the sidelines—we must act now.

We believe that: “1 person + 1 dollar + 1 month = 1 big family”. If each person donates at least one dollar each month, our individual donations will be transformed into a much greater fund. When we combine our charitable strength, we can make sure that the most vulnerable members of our global family will receive the help they need right away.

All donations received will be deposited directly into the account of the Red Cross Society of China, earmarked for use solely by the Jet Li One Foundation Project. The Red Cross will disburse funds to provide emergency aid and assistance to natural disaster victims, and to provide counseling and treatment to youths suffering from mental illness through the “Sunshine In Your Heart” project. The Jet Li One Foundation Project will oversee all expenditures to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of donated funds for their intended purposes. We invite the media and general public to help supervise this process.

There is only ONE Earth. Each of us has only ONE life. We share the planet, and that makes us ONE global family. By helping others, we are also helping ourselves. Together we can overcome any challenge or difficulty.

Note: All facts and statistics based on published reports provided by the Red Cross Society of China.

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