Awed by the World

Hand in Hand 20.10 launches in the Shanghai Expo 2010 to kids’ delight

Issue: Jun 2010

CapitaLand President & CEO, Mr Liew Mun Leong, introducing Singapore Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew
CapitaLand’s President & CEO, Mr Liew Mun Leong, introducing Singapore Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew to 11-year-old Tao Chun Yu at the Singapore Pavilion where the little girl presented an embroidered tea bag from Yunnan to the Guest of Honour

Tao Chunyu is a small girl with big ambitions. At 11 years old, she is already hoping that she could be a doctor when she grows up and find a cure for AIDS. Tao comes from a poor village in Yunnan province where her family of four collects resin for a living.

This bright little girl, from CapitaLand Simao Hope School (CapitaLand’s first school built in China), was one of the privileged few selected to welcome Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the official launch of the Singapore Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010. She also had the opportunity of a lifetime to present the living legend with an embroidered tea bag from her hometown.

For a brighter future

Tao was one of the 2010 underprivileged children picked to visit the Shanghai World Expo 2010 between May to August this year as part of CapitaLand’s “Hand in Hand 20.10” campaign. The aim of this campaign is to inspire these children to strive for a brighter future.

The event was launched together with the official opening of the Singapore Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010. CapitaLand is an official supporting partner of the Singapore Pavilion.

The “Hand in Hand 20.10” campaign marks 20 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China and CapitaLand’s 10th anniversary.

kids enjoyed jumping up and down
The kids enjoyed jumping up and down the trampolines, which activated the changing of the images of Singapore as they jumped

The first 150 of the 2010 children were wide-eyed when they got to the Expo grounds. Most of them have never travelled out of their own provinces.

"The children were awed by so many new experiences at the Expo. In the Singapore Pavilion, for example, the kids were mesmerised by the hi-definition video that was being played and were fantasised by Singapore's tropical plants and flowers. They were also immensely attracted to the hi-tech movie show about Australia's development in the Australia Pavilion."

Big Brothers and Sisters

Big Brothers and Sisters
Many volunteered to chaperone the kids on their exciting journey
The “Hand in Hand 20.10” campaign has generated much interest amongst the Chinese public, authorities and corporate entities. In the run-up to the launch of the campaign, CapitaLand set up booths at over 100 CapitaLand properties across 40 Chinese cities to recruit volunteers.

“We were greatly encouraged. The response was overwhelming! More than 3,500 signed up to fill the 1,000 volunteer positions required,” said Ms Tan Bee Leng, General Manager of the CapitaLand Hope Foundation.

The first batch of 150 volunteers, comprising both members of the public and CapitaLand staff, successfully guided the children on their visit to the Expo.

“All the volunteers were very proud to take part in this event. CapitaLand’s ‘Building For a Better Future’(为明天) is a very good charity platform for many people to take up social responsibilities together. We hold a simple view that we will feel very happy if we can play a role in helping these needy kids learn and enjoy the events,” said Li.

Li understood well what the small gesture would mean for those underprivileged kids as he came from a poor village in Sichuan Province himself.

“Without the help of many people, I would not have had a chance to go to university and find a job in the city after graduation. I empathise with the kids’ study conditions and know what this unique chance to visit the Expo means to them. I feel privileged to be able to lead them in the tour and have a chance to encourage them to study hard,” he shared.

Sharing the vision

Sharing the vision
Pavilions, airlines and other commercial entities also shared CapitaLand’s vision in making this experience memorable for the children
Many corporate entities and government bodies also shared CapitaLand’s vision for the “Hand in Hand 20.10” campaign and have come onboard as partners.

China Eastern Airlines, for example, offered a hefty discount on the airfare, despite the peak season, to about 600 children and 100 volunteers. Shanghai Top Institute of Information Technology has also provided accommodation at its students’ hostel while CP Foods offered their premises for meals for the children and volunteers.

The pavilions were also in on the action. The Singapore Pavilion, Australia Pavilion, Malaysia Pavilion, Thailand Pavilion, The Philippines Pavilion, Indonesia Pavilion, EU Pavilion and Belgium Pavilion have granted the visiting children VIP treatment with priority entry.

“We are grateful that other pavilions have joined in our vision. Their magnanimous gestures have affirmed what we are doing and will continue to do to better the lives of the children in China,” said Tan.

Children presented a letter of appreciation and a tea bag from Yunnan to the representative of the Indonesia Pavilion

As a gesture of their appreciation, the children presented the representatives of these pavilions native Pu-er tea bags.

Hand in Hand 20.10 campaign
Raffles City Shanghai, one of the city’s largest malls, played host by providing complimentary movie tickets, books, food and beverages to the visiting children

Away from the Expo, the kids were also treated to a tour of Raffles City Shanghai, one of the city’s largest malls. Several Raffles City Shanghai tenants, including BreadTalk, Peace Cinema, G-Shock, Hi Donut, and Fresh Juice played host by providing complimentary movie tickets, books, food and beverages to the visiting children.

“We spent two unforgettable days in Shanghai and had an invaluable experience here. When we go back to our hometown, we will continue to study hard so that we can contribute to society in the future,” says Ren Xufang (任旭芳), Grade 5 student from CapitaLand Muchuan Green Hope School.

It sure looks like the “Hand in Hand 20.10” campaign has already begun to sow the seeds of hope in the lives of these kids - that they can strive for a better future for themselves and the world.

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