The Next Step With Joanna Lui-Hickox
As the daughter of Francis Lui and granddaughter of Lui Che-woo, Joanna Lui-Hickox was born into a family of philanthropists. Juggling between roles as the head of portfolio management, lifestyle operations & curation at Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG), founder of luxury lifestyle café CHA BEI™ and mother of her adorable baby girl, Joanna Lui-Hickox finds ways to give back to the community with GEG Foundation.
Following the footsteps of her grandfather, the founder of Lui Che Woo Prize, Joanna Lui-Hickox leads GEG Foundation to sponsor and support those in need through offering educational programmes and scholarships. She also initiated CHA BEI’s #ConsciousCommuniTea campaign last year, which aims to make a positive impact in society by running social and entrepreneurial events and workshops.
See also: How To Make An Impact That Lasts
In ‘The Next Step’ series where we pose six questions to Hong Kong-based philanthropic women about their philanthropic work, Joanna tells us how it all started, what motivates her, and her current and future projects.
How, and when, did you first get involved in philanthropic work?
I have always been involved with charity, though typically in a more low profile manner. It has been an essential part of the way I was raised. My family instilled the virtues of supporting and encouraging others, helping people in need, and considering the greater needs of the world since I was young–it probably started with simple contributions such as donating my toys at Christmas, and volunteering for community service. My father and grandfather have been of particular influence.
What are the causes you care about?
My inclination, personally, has always been towards both helping the elderly, and a love for young children, hence my university education focused on Child Development. As a mother now however, I do also worry about the world we are inheriting, and what we will be leaving for our children.
I am conscious that despite my awareness, we at a personal and professional level are still making far too little effort, and far too slowly, to mitigate let alone restore the damage we have done to the earth—and consequently ourselves as one of its many dependants. More recently, probably because of the nature of my work, the arts—all forms, and creative endeavours have also become of greater interest.
Which of your philanthropic endeavours are you most proud of?
The GEG Foundation sponsored and supported around 40 broadly different programmes, entities and events just in the past year. I’m particularly proud of some of the Foundation’s recent self-directed projects.
I keep tabs on three current ones in particular—one aimed at pioneering a Sign Language Deaf Education Programme with CUHK; one to develop a parenting education program specifically targeted at supporting shift workers with children between the ages of 2-7; and a Community Nursing Scheme that offers scholarships coupled with research on emerging health matters that hopefully leads to establishing a community nursing network. While these are not particualrly glamorous causes, I think they address very real and specific issues of current concern for people in the immediate community.
Through the window of CHA BEI, the recent launch of our ‘Conscious CommuniTea’ and its Conscious Living Series, we run events and workshops that range from social and entrepreneurial discussions that focus on sustainable lifestyle choices; family health and community; supporting local businesses and craft, as well as female professionals and entrepreneurs.
Lastly, while I am not directly involved like my cousin Jessica, I should mention how proud we are of the Lui Che Woo Prize for World Civilisation, founded by my grandfather, and all it stands for.
See also: 50 Philanthropists In Asia Who Are Changing The World
Why is giving back to the community important to you?
I am blessed and privileged to be in a position where I can follow in the footsteps of the more senior generations of the family, who are all still very much involved, to also give back to society, hopefully increasingly. While there certainly is a sense of responsibility to give back, the inclination is more natural—helping others is something I am personally enthusiastic and excited about. I feel fortunate to be part of our community, and am inspired by the efforts I see from others around us.
Can you tell us what are you working on right now?
We are working on developing more artistic and cultural related programs and events for the community in the short and mid-term at GEG Foundation, in co-operation with some world-class partners, as a follow-up to something we started this year in a royal exhibit exchange between China and Monaco, which included a collection of couture, jewels and heirlooms from Princess Grace.
What’s your next steps?
On a more personal level, we enjoy supporting other great causes that others are championing as well. We love learning about issues that are beyond our immediate scope, and if time permits, I’d consider personally participating in and supporting such efforts more actively.
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