Marriott International has pledged more than RMB13 million (over US$2 million) to Yao Foundation, a charity organisation that works towards fostering children’s education in rural China.
Marriott has signed a three-year co-operation agreement, effective January next year, with the educational charity, which was established by Chinese former basketball superstar, Yao Ming. Marriott has committed a further RMB8 million for the establishment of four new Hope Schools, provide supporting resources and organise three basketball seasons for all the Hope Schools established by Yao Foundation.
Since 2013, Marriott has donated more than RMB5 million to Yao Foundation, established two Hope Schools in southwestern China and supported two Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Seasons.
At the partnership signing, Yao Foundation also introduced their “Let’s Build Hope Together” campaign, an initiative, which also provide children in rural China with more educational opportunities.
“Our collaboration with Yao Foundation resonates with the core values of Marriott International that have sustained our company for more than eight decades – We open doors to a world of opportunity. Together with Yao Foundation, we strive to keep on creating opportunities for the children in rural China. Providing education is the key,” said Simon Cooper, president and managing director for Asia Pacific Marriott International.
Marriott International has also encouraged its associates to donate books to establish small libraries in the Marriott – Yao Foundation Hope Schools.
The first two school projects of Marriott International and Yao Foundation have made great strides. The second school project is in Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province, China, located at 4,000 meters above sea level. All its students are from the families of farmers or herdsmen nearby, mostly Tibetan Minority. Marriott International and Yao Foundation are going to rebuild its teaching buildings, set up a computer lab and a small library to provide its 180 students a better study environment.
The first project, the Lu Zhou Marriott – Yao Foundation Hope Primary School in Sichuan Province, has already been completed and has helped more than 9,000 rural Chinese children along the way. Funding by Marriott International was also used to build a new earthquake-resistant five-storey teaching building for the school. The school provides education to 678 students and 100 kindergarten children in its local community.