Channel News Asia

Zhang Ziyi to use funds from Cannes charity drive to build children’s shelter

June 02, 2010

DEYANG: Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi appeared on Tuesday during a charity event in Deyang, a town in Szechuan, China, to announce that work has begun on a proposed centre to protect the town’s orphans and vagrant children, reported Chinese media.

A magnitude 8 earthquake had orphaned many children and destroyed a number of schools in Deyang when it struck Szechuan in 2008.

Zhang revealed that construction of the centre will be funded by the proceeds of her fundraising drive in Cannes two years ago, which amounted to approximately US$400,000 (S$565,000).

“After two years of hard work, this project is finally underway,” said Zhang while choking back her tears.

The actress had been plagued by scandals last year when some people claimed that she did not donate as much as she had pledged, and deliberately delayed donating the money she had collected to the relevant charities.

However, she told reporters that she had since put all this behind her and expressed that all the pressure and problems she faced previously was worth it as the project would be a great help to the town’s children.

“Home gives us a roof that shelters us from the wind and rain. It is a place where we can cry when we become exhausted or get hurt… I cannot imagine what it feels like to be homeless,” she said tearfully.

“Although we cannot give them (the orphans and vagrant children) a real home, we can shelter them from the wind and the rain, and provide them a desk and a chair with which to get an education.”