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Messenger of Light

By Fan Feifei ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-11-26 09:46:07
Messenger of Light

Philanthropist Yu Pang-lin.[Photo/Xinhua]

The founder of the Yu Pang-lin Foundation has donated his entire fortune to charity, instead of leaving it to his children. The generous billionaire is by far the top philanthropist in China. Fan Feifei finds out his motivation and future plans.

Yu Pang-lin, a 91-year-old Hong Kong hotelier and real estate entrepreneur, has been named the most generous donor on the Hurun philanthropy list for five consecutive years. He says he wishes to continue his charitable works and to help the poor.

Yu has donated 8.2 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) to charity, making him the top philanthropist in China.

Messenger of Light

From Cape Town to Pole City 

Messenger of Light

Nobel prize winner's connections with China

He is the founder of the Yu Pang-lin Foundation, which contributes to several different causes, with a focus on healthcare, education and disaster relief.

Since 2003, the foundation has funded more than 300,000 cataract-removal operations in 18 provinces and autonomous regions across China, including some poverty-stricken areas in Qinghai, Gansu, Yunan and Guizhou provinces.

"I suffered from cataracts before, so I can understand the pain of losing light, and I know the happiness of restoring vision," Yu says. His personal experience was the motivation behind the "Pang-lin Sight-Restoring Surgeries" project.

These surgeries have also been carried out in more than 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Vietnam, Myanmar, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Cambodia.

Yu says in the next three to five years, the project hopes to carry out 300,000 more cataract surgeries in China.

Yu's efforts have earned him the nickname "Messenger of Light", and he is determined to continue his charitable works.

"I have donated my entire fortune to charity, I will not leave my money to my children," Yu says.

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