"China Charity Prize 2006" was announced on March 19, 2007 in Beijing. Dr. Francis Chan, a board-member of China Soong Ching Ling Foundation won "The Most Loving Care Individual Prize" from over 500 candidates.
"I have a belief that I will dedicate my entire life to help those people who need my help", Dr. Francis Chan often says. On the awarding ceremony, he, aged 74 was so excited that he could not walk stably. All people worried watching him step up towards the stage as if it were a great challenge to him. On the way to the stage, he unfortunately fell slightly wobbled and we were breathless as we watched him quickly adjusted his step. He waved his hands, smiled at people, and a burst of applause was aroused.
However Dr. Francis Chan is a Chinese Canadian and he is also a great patriot. In November 2005, he made an important decision that he sold his villa together with the land of 40 acres in Calgary Canada and donated RMB20 million Yuan from the total proceeds 2.57 million Canadian Dollars (RMB20.49 million Yuan) to China Soong Ching Ling Foundation as an endowment permanently deposited in the Bank of China. Based upon his wishes, the interest generated annually from the endowment can be used to sponsor college students from poor families in China. Dr. Francis Chan had an unbearable hard time during his childhood which has a great impact on his whole life and it is also a driving force to encourage him to make his Belief come true.
Unforgettable Experiences in his Childhood
Dr. Francis Chan was orientated from Guangdong Province and born in Myanmar. After Japanese military occupation of China- Myanmar Road in 1942, Japanese soldiers started searching for and attacked upon Chinese people. If he/she were found, he/she would be killed on the spot without any reason. Dr. Chan and his family got no place to hide but rented a boat, floating on the water of Yinli Lake to escape from Japanese invaders. As a result, they were successfully hided and saved by the Buddhist monks from the nearby Temple and protected by Myanmar villagers around the Lake. And since then they had lived in the village till the surrender of Japan in 1945. This unforgettable experience is the hardest time for his family in his life and because of this, he has been determined to help others since his childhood.
The Villa of More Than 20-Years Memory
Dr. Francis Chan came to Canada in 1967. After graduation from medical school in Canada, he worked hard and became a famous physician in Calgary. In 1970, Dr. Chan and his wife bought a piece of uncultivated land of 40 acres and started thinking of building their own house. He personally designed and drew the blueprint, and deeply involved in the construction of the villa. Because of his efforts, three-storey house of 1500㎡ with a garage of 140 ㎡ was successfully built. He and his wife then moved in and spent their happy life for 26 years. One day, he said to his wife while looking at the villa which was full of his efforts, "We will sell our house to help Chinese education when we are aged". And to his surprise, his wife delightedly nodded her head. Just because of this promise, he undoubtedly sold the very house which was full of his memories as to make his contribution to Chinese education for his Motherland.
-- The Villa Sold and Donation Made to Show His Loving Care
Dr. Francis Chan sold his villa in 2005 and afterwards he paid two visits to China to search for a proper charity or public welfare organization to realize his "Belief" of helping college students from poor families. Having carefully studied and well-thought, he decisively donated the proceeds from the selling of his house and land (RMB20 million Yuan) to China Soong Ching Ling Foundation. For himself he bought an apartment with less than 120㎡ and moved in to enjoy with his rest of simple life.
"I have felt much comforted when I had completed my life-long wish of helping people who are badly in need of help. To me this is a great encourage", Dr. Chan said, "However western people always deal with their property according to his/her Will, i.e. after death, yet I don't follow the pattern and I do it while I am alive". When Dr. Chan went to China Soong Ching Ling Foundation to discuss about the donation, the Foundation suggested to name the Fund after his name or something to memory, but Dr. Chan politely refused and said, "I just want to do something what I can while I am alive to actually help people who are in need of help but nothing should be done for my own good. I am sure that the great concept of Giving the Best to Children of Soong Ching Ling would be a great concept to encourage to students. Therefore I strongly suggest the fund should be named after Soong Ching Ling's name".