The Next Step With Tansy Lau-Tom
An avid philanthropist, Tansy Lau-Tom wears many philanthropic hats. She is one of the governors of the Wu Jieh Yee Charitable Foundation, which partners with social enterprises, charities and schools to work on elderly care and education, and was on the board of literacy charity Bring Me A Book Hong Kong until 2016. As an animal-lover, Tansy is also a keen supporter of animal charities, including Hong Kong Dog Rescue, Animal Asia and The Orangutan Project.
But the organisation that is closest to her heart is EcoDrive, a local NGO that she co-founded with 10 other inspirational women, focusing on sustainable living and fighting single-use plastics in Hong Kong. From educational film screenings to plastic-free campaigns, EcoDrive helps build awareness for environmental issues to inspire actions working towards a greener future.
See also: Introducing EcoDrive Hong Kong
In ‘The Next Step’ series where we pose six questions to Hong Kong-based philanthropic women about their philanthropic work, Tansy 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?
When I was a young child, I used to flip through my father’s National Geographic magazines and look at pictures of nature and animals. I remember seeing an article about the Jane Goodall Institute and how people can adopt these chimpanzees that were saved from poachers. I begged my mum to pass me my lai see money, sent it to JGI and “adopted” a chimpanzee.
Since then, I kept on getting updates about “my” chimp and started to realise that as an individual, we can all help to make a difference, near or far. My family has always taught us to have compassion and empathy for others, and take action to help.
What are the causes you care about?
I care about many different causes, such as elderly care, childhood literacy and education. But the ones that are closest to my heart are environmental and animal issues.
See also: 10 Women Who Are Shaping Hong Kong For The Better
Which of your philanthropic endeavours are you most proud of?
All of the charities that I worked or working with have been wonderful, and I am proud of everything we have done so far. The non-profit organization, EcoDrive, which I co-founded with 10 amazing ladies, focuses on educating the public and raising awareness on the reduction of single-use plastics in Hong Kong.
See also: 5 Eco Apps For Green Living In Hong Kong
Why is giving back to the community important to you?
We are all part of the community and citizens of the world. I strongly believe that seeing someone do good will inspire others to do good as well. It is very important to educate our next generation by being role models and instil the right values in them by volunteering, taking actions and caring for others.
Can you tell us what are you working on right now?
EcoDrive continues to work with schools and corporations to organise environmental documentary screenings, talks and provide possible solutions to drive for a behaviour change on the reduction of single-use plastics. We are planning a series of events and projects in 2019, so stay tuned!
What’s your next step?
People do not regard environmental issues as an urgent topic because they do not see people or animals dying in front of them. However, it is a pressing issue and we only have a short window before it is too late. My next step is to collaborate with the different charities that I work with and continue to raise awareness on the topic to bring a bigger impact.
See also: 12 Ideas For An Eco-Friendly Wedding
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