BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- As Hong Kong-based Television Broadcasts Limited announced the death of 107-year-old Run Run Shaw, its honorary president and media mogul, on Tuesday, media outlets were flooded with messages praising the philanthropist who donated billions of yuan to spread education in China.
While remembering Shaw, we should also learn from the way he ran charity organizations, said a column in Beijing Youth Daily. Although Shaw's charity organizations have worked in almost every province of China since 1973, they have seldom been involved in disputes or scandals, which is rare in these times.
Shaw did most of his charity work to spread education through his private foundation in Hong Kong. According to the regulation of the foundation, a program has to first pass the evaluation of experts to seek its help. The procedure has ensured that the money donated is used on long-term rather than short-term projects.
Besides, with the cooperation of education authorities, Shaw's foundation also requires that higher education institutions provide at least one-third of the amount they receive as donation for a project. By clarifying the responsibilities of the colleges receiving donations, the foundation also prevented the misuse of the donated money.
Shaw and his foundation have set a brilliant example for charity organizations on the Chinese mainland to follow. China has seen rapid increase in donations over the past few years, but many of the charity programs are not running as smoothly or efficiently as they should have. At times, conflicts between local governments and charity organizations emerge for lack of coordination and understanding. In this context, charity organizations and beneficiary institutions both have a lot to learn from how Shaw's foundation and education authorities cooperated with each other.
In 2002, the philanthropist set up the annual Shaw Prize for excellent global scholars. The prize is aimed at honoring people "who have recently achieved significant breakthrough in academic and scientific research or applications, and whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on mankind", regardless of race, nationality, gender and religion. That best sums up Shaw's idea that education is for and should benefit all.
"Shaw buildings" all around China are the best testimony to the concern of the philanthropist. His name will endure through the ages, and hopefully more people will emulate his deeds.