Jet Li as Philanthropist in Time Again!
Recently, I came across a feature story in Time Magazine, about the well-known Chinese movie star Jet Li (Li Lianjie) and his One Foundation. Different from other foundations which are either government-backed, such as China Charity Foundation, or established by wealthy individual entrepreneurs, the One Foundation is one of the few private foundations in China which has approval from the government to fundraise from Chinese citizens.
Jet Li decided to be devoted to the cause of philanthropy at
the height of his career. The reasons are kind of complex, however; the frightening experience during the 2004 tsunami in
Thailand did lead Li to seriously think about the spiritual elements of life
and death as he had been a Buddhist for many years. He believes that wealth and fame cannot bring
true happiness in life, but the lower a person put himself in order of priority, the happier he will become. In 2004,
Jet Li established the One Foundation, which not only symbolizes “One Big Family,” but also emphasizes the significant influence each individual can make if
he or she contributes even just 1 RMB. Li
hopes that the One Foundation would bring transparency and accountability into the China's
nascent nonprofit sector. Having Deloitte as his
audited firm and partnering with McKinsey, obviously shows his
nascent nonprofit sector. Having Deloitte as his audited firm and partnering with McKinsey, obviously shows his determination.
While the whole world is suffering from the economic
downturn, it still remains to be seen whether Li’s One Foundation can bring a
glimmer of hope into charity sector in China in 2009.
The Liberation of Jet Li