Medved-Po, Zuelligs among “Heroes of Philanthropy”
Former actress-model turned social entrepreneur Nanette Medved-Po, who sells bottled water to help fund classroom buildings across the country, landed on Forbes Magazine’s 2017 roster of “Heroes of Philanthropy.”
She is among the three Filipinos cited in this latest roster of 40 of the region’s noteworthy givers handpicked from 14 countries across Asia Pacific.
Likewise honored this year are cousins David and Daniel Zuellig, key movers of the Zuellig Family Foundation which trains rural governors, mayors and their staff in leadership and good governance.
For every year since 2008, the Forbes list features not only philanthropists who have made the news with their donations in the past year but also recognizes those with a long record of supporting worthy causes. Honorees include billionaires, business people and celebrities who are making a mark with their generosity.
Elsewhere in the region, this year’s list also includes Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming. Through his Yao Foundation, which has an annual budget of around $2.5 million, the former NBA star equips and trains students in sports at schools in remote areas of China with no physical education programs, Forbes reported.
Yao’s foundation also organizes local and regional competitions for these children that culminates in a weekend of playoffs, all-star events and a chance to meet Yao Ming himself. Yao is featured on the cover of the July issue of Forbes Asia.
Another notable honoree from China is Charles Chen, co-founder of Tencent, one of the leading Internet companies in the world. Tencent committed $320 million to improving education last year. This will fund the Yidan Prize to be awarded each year to support the most transformational ideas in education. After leaving Tencent in 2013, Chen established the Tencent Charity Foundation and gave $300 million to upgrade Wuhan College, a private liberal arts college in China.
Medved-Po, 46, is founder, chair and president of Generation Hope & Friends Of Hope. Generation Hope donates all profits from the sale of “Hope in a Bottle”-branded bottled water to Friends of Hope, a non-profit organization that builds classrooms around the country.
After setting up the venture in 2012, Forbes noted that Medved-Po had spent nearly $900,000 and sold almost nine million bottles, built 37 classrooms and improved the learning environment for more than 7,000 students.
Starting with only nine municipalities when its leadership and good governance program began in 2009, Forbes also noted tht Zuellig Foundation’s leadership and good governance program was now serving 640 municipalities or 42 percent of the country, aided by partnerships with the Philippine health department, the UN and the US government.
Forbes also reported that the Zuellig Group had contributed an average of $2.3 million annually over the last five years to the foundation.
“These cousins (David and Daniel) help steer the foundation, which has improved health care in poor rural areas, significantly reducing mortality rates for infants and mothers,” the magazine said.
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