Distrust swirls around charity

Updated: 2011-08-20 07:52

By Zhao Yinan (China Daily)

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 Distrust swirls around charity
Lu Xingyu and her father Lu Junqing, seen at a news conference in Beijing on Friday, respond to questions about the China-Africa Project Hope charity. Zhu Xingxin / China Daily

BEIJING - The public continues to question whether the manager of an international charitable schooling project involving at least 1.5 billion yuan ($235 million) is qualified to run the project, showing the public's deepened distrust of unsupervised charities in the country.

Lu Xingyu, executive chairwoman of the China-Africa Project Hope, has been under public scrutiny since netizens learned that the well-funded international project to establish 1,000 primary schools across Africa in 10 years is directed by a the 24-year-old woman.

Lu said that she has been in charge of promoting funds, maintaining foreign connections and organizing activities in the project, and that she has proved her capability for the position.

The Sino-African project is a charitable initiative begun last year that raises money ,mostly from members of the World Eminence Chinese Business Association, an elite club founded by Lu's father, Lu Junqing, in 2005.

The Hong Kong-registered World Eminence Chinese Business Association charges members registration fees and provides opportunities to communicate with government officials on forums, conferences and even sports activities it holds.

Lu Junqing said his daughter has been "unjustly treated" and that the public and the media have misinterpreted his daughter's sincerity in the charity.

A netizen going by the name "Laokalaole" said on her micro blog that she thinks the project is more like an elaborate "toy" a well-to-do father gave a spoiled daughter than a real charitable program.

Kong Ying, a graduate student in Beijing, however, told China Daily she supports the project because "no matter how it happens, charity should not be questioned".

"But it might be better if the project was managed by a professional who is experienced in organizing charitable events, instead of putting the money into the hands of a young girl," she said.

Aside from Lu's qualifications to manage the project, the need for a foreign program is being questioned when schools for migrants' children have recently been closed at home.

Since June, at least 24 schools for children of migrant workers in Beijing have been shut down, leaving more than 14,000 students without classrooms in the coming school year.


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