Giving back to a giving community

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 December, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 December, 2004, 12:00am

For the sixth consecutive year, the World Children's Fund has donated $100,000 to Operation Santa Claus.

Chairman Joseph Lam Tsun-mo presented the cheque to South China Morning Post group editor-in-chief David Armstrong yesterday.

Dr Lam said a belief in giving back to the community had been the driving force behind the fund's continuous support of Operation Santa Claus, which is co-organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.

'We are great believers in giving back to the community that helps raise our funds. Hong Kong is one of the communities that helps us to successfully raise money for needy children,' he said.

Dr Lam was born in Hong Kong but raised in the United States.

He said the fund was committed to Operation Santa Claus and its yearly donations had become a tradition.

'When I am in my wheelchair, my son can continue doing Operation Santa Claus,' said Dr Lam, pointing to his son, Stephen Lam, who accompanied him to present the cheque.

Dr Lam said he hoped the donation could help Hong Kong's needy children.

'Our mission is to help needy children around the world. There are needy children in Hong Kong as well as in Africa and in other parts of the world. Our donation of $100,000 is small when compared to [the total amount raised], but we feel as long as it's used to help needy children, it already fulfils the golden mission of our charity,' he said.

Dr Lam said the fact that Operation Santa Claus had changed its focus from one charity to 12, a practice begun last year, meant that more people would receive help.

'I am glad that this donation is kind of spread around from just one charity to 12. It means more children get blessed and help. And more charities that are not normally big and famous also get some press coverage. This is what these charities need. They need visibility,' he said.

Set up in 1993, the children's fund works through a global network to help rescue needy children who are abandoned, distressed, endangered, exploited and homeless. The fund has an office in Hong Kong. With donations from 12 countries and regions including Hong Kong, the fund extends its helping hands to children in 26 countries such as Afghanistan, China and North Korea.

Africa is its focus. 'There is a tremendous need [in Africa],' Dr Lam said. Apart from building children's homes and orphanages, the fund also runs aid projects tailored for different countries.

Total raised so far: 2,519,782