New World Department Store China Limited (“NWDS” or the “Company”; stock code: 825.HK), one of the largest owners and operators of department stores in the PRC, has always made great efforts in fostering both the physical and mental health of the under-resourced children. As a result of the @Soul - Distant Calls cell phone acquisition campaign jointly organized by the Company, the Red Cross Society of Qinghai and My Soul Campaign Charitable Society between September to November 2013 as a part of the @Dream Sustainable Development Program, a total of 418 spare cell phones were successfully acquired through over 40 NWDS’ stores nationwide. All of the devices were donated to the left-behind children from four primary schools in Hainan Prefecture, Qinghai Province. The donation ceremony was held at the Second Perfect Primary School in Gonghe County, Haibei Prefecture, Qinghai Province on 15 April 2014. In addition to cell phone donation, NWDS also sponsored RMB40,000 on the cell phone charges for children to communicate with their parents living far away.
In recent years, the number of left-behind children in Mainland China continues to increase. In 2013, there were over 61 million left-behind children in villages across the country and 40,000 of them came from Qinghai Province. Lack of parental care and guidance could hinder children’s physical and mental development, therefore, the Company organized the @Soul - Distant Calls charitable campaign which made use of the Company’s nationwide stores, Weibo, WeChat to advocate the public to donate spare cell phones for Qinghai’s left-behind children to stay in touch with their parents. With massive support from the public, more than 400 cell phones including some brand new ones were gathered. The overwhelming results demonstrated the raising of public awareness on the left-behind children and recognized the Company’s efforts in sustainable development.
The President of the Red Cross Society of Qinghai said, “Red Cross Society of Qinghai has assisted the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese government in humanitarian work, focusing on the development and education of the left-behind children. This time we gained tremendous support from a caring company, NWDS, in the @Soul - Distant Calls charitable campaign to mobilize the public to help the left-behind children. We consider public participation as an endorsement to our sustainability works. We hope this charitable collaboration can help enhance public awareness and assistance to these children.”
Rebecca Woo, Corporate Affairs Director and Chairman of Sustainable Steering Committee of NWDS, said, “The success of the @Soul - Distant Calls charitable campaign relied heavily on the two NGOs, the Red Cross Society of Qinghai and My Soul Campaign Charitable Society, for their great support on beneficial group selection and logistic arrangements, as well as the keen participation of the public. Our strength is limited, therefore, we hope everyone can take part in the common goal of building a warm and safe living and learning environment for the left-behind children. In future, NWDS will continue to extend the belief of caring children and actively engage the public to help the under-resourced children in need.”