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Improving education one school at a time

Beneficiaries of China Overseas Holdings’ various community initiatives.

A PROPERTY, construction and property management company, China Overseas Holdings Limited, was established in 1979 in Hong Kong. From 2005, the group has utilised its position and success in planning and design, construction and management, to donate funds to support the construction of China Overseas Hope Schools in the poverty- stricken areas of mainland China, and to date, has made donations to 12 China Overseas Hope Schools via its China Overseas Charity Foundation.

The community care and outreach programmes championed by China Overseas Holdings Limited have been designed to respond to the needs of the community and the primary impetus based on the business of the company.

Additionally, the group incorporated its CSR Committee in 2008 under the moniker China Overseas Charity Fund Limited with the slogan "The Sea has no Limit and Love has no Boundary", outlining its blueprint for future community building focusing on three areas namely, education development, environmental protection and poverty relief.

China Overseas Holdings Limited champions the vision that every child should have the chance to live and participate in an accepting and integrated society. To accomplish this, it donates exclusively to the Hope Schools as well as working together with various NGOs such as TREATS from Hong Kong.

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To date, the group has donated more than HK$156 million to the community. This has gone to help the poor and victims of disasters, as well as the promotion of education and the well-being of recipients.

The response to these initiatives has been positive and has met with favourable reception from members of the public, garnering the group recognition in the form of China's Outstanding Charity Contribution Award, Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility Award, Hong Kong Corporate Citizenship Award, and the 5 Year Plus Caring Company logo by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

At China Overseas Holdings, the management is keen to honour its responsibilities as part of its good corporate citizenship initiatives, having actively participated in various charities and environmental protection activities in Hong Kong and Macau.

To achieve all this, the group believes that the support and participation of senior management, is essential for the effective implementation of CSR. In the light of this, it established a CSR committee in 2008 which is responsible for the overall planning and supervision of the group's sustainable development. The corporation also regularly reviews and reports its findings to the president to ensure that the policies and measures are carried out.

This committee includes the management members of the group's departments and subsidiaries. It formulates and coordinates the CSR policies and related work of the group and subsidiaries, and carries out annual summaries and reviews, and reports to the president on the progress of work.

The group has established a clear vision with corresponding management guidelines covering five areas of CSR, namely, corporate governance, the environment, employees, community engagement, and product responsibility.

A China Overseas Hope Schools Donation Guideline has also been established in order to ensure that the donation process follows standard operating procedures.

Measurement of the results of the group's Hope Schools is accomplished via the collection of data detailing the number of teachers, as well as participation rates of students, number of classes, and the graduation status of the students.

Public recognitions, awards and feedback from stakeholders are also other measurement tools.

The group believes that communication is vital for gaining a deeper understanding of stakeholders' views through which CSR issues have been identified. This enables it to gain a better understanding of opinions and expectations to help the company to set its policies and determine the issues to be focused on.