Grace Tan--Improving the lives of rural women 09-29-2005 13:52

Imagine the scene - an arid remote rural village in central China. There, Grace Poi Chiew Tan, a Malaysian-Chinese, spends her time training the village women, challenging their thinking beyond their social boundaries and daily responsibilities. When she finishes, there are always tears in every woman鈥檚 eyes, and a new hope is found. Touched by the people and these experiences, Grace Tan has dedicated her work as Chief Representative for Badi Foundation to improving the lives of rural women in China.

Badi Foundation is a non-profit international organization established in China鈥檚 Macao Special Administrative Region in 1990. Since Grace joined the Foundation in 2001, she has restructured the organization and established its China Office in Beijing from scratch. She has strategized, designed and managed projects including planning, implementation, and course materials development as well as internal recruiting, personnel training and fundraising. With a firm belief that rural women have great potential to better their lives, Grace and her colleagues have helped more than 3,000 participants and over 200 villages in West China鈥檚 Shannxi, Gansu and Yunnan provinces.

Before working for Badi Foundation, Grace was a businesswoman for 18 years and also volunteered her service with many non-profit organizations. In 1995, she represented Malaysia to take part in the Fourth World Women Conference held in Beijing. This visit was the beginning of her and her family鈥檚 connection with China. Three years later, Grace returned to China and worked as business consultant and later, as a foreign expert for the United Nations Development Program. Now her husband and three children are all living in Beijing. In their spare time, they take part in Badi Foundation鈥檚 training programs in impoverished and remote villages in China. They say that the whole family has benefited a lot from these programs.

Imagine again - one day when you are faced with the opportunity to improve the lives of other people, will you take it no matter how difficult it might be? In this episode of 鈥淯p-Close鈥, Grace and her family provide us with an inspirational answer - when you give, you鈥檒l gain, maybe not in fortune or fame, but in many other different ways.

-- Written by Chai Haoran


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