The Next Step With Cindy Yeung
While many may know Cindy Yeung from her role as the chairperson and CEO of Emperor Watch and Jewellery, one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious retailers founded by her grandfather, her aesthetic side is just as remarkable as her corporate success. As the creative director of her namesake high jewellery brand Nuò by Cindy Yeung, she is a certified gemstone expert with a passion for jewellery design and rare stones.
At the helm of the family business, Cindy follows the footsteps of her father and grandfather to give back to the community through initiating charitable initiatives within the company, partnering up with charities such as Plan International, Chi Heng Foundation, and Project We Can to improve the education and health conditions of underprivileged children around the world.
In ‘The Next Step’ series where we pose questions to Hong Kong-based philanthropic women about their philanthropic work, Cindy tells us how it all started, the importance of educating the next generations, and her current and future projects.
How, and when, did you first get involved in philanthropic work?
Since I was very young, I have been heavily influenced by my father Dr. Albert Yeung that we must lend a hand to those in need whenever we could. So to me and my siblings, philanthropic work is something that’s almost intuitive to us while running our respective businesses.
My father founded the Emperor Foundation, an organisation that promotes education in mainland China in 1997, which our whole family supported and devoted ourselves to. In 2008, he founded the Albert Yeung Sau Shing Charity Foundation, focusing on elderly and hospice services in mainland China. Inspired by his selfless endeavour, I decided to spearhead Emperor Watch and Jewellery’s own charity efforts as well.
What are the causes you care about?
While my father is especially keen on helping elderly in need, the cause that’s very close to my heart is underprivileged children throughout the world, especially in Asia. As children are dependent on their families and caretakers, many of them are often left helpless in underdeveloped regions.
Children are like gemstones. If they can enjoy their well-deserved rights and opportunities, they can become invaluable jewels in the future. I believe in the potential of the children despite their deprivation, just as how gemmologists who see beyond unpolished stones and know that they can turn into shiny gems if given the opportunity and right conditions. My goal is to help underprivileged children build a better future for themselves by improving their living conditions, personal well-being and most importantly, education.
Which of your philanthropic endeavours are you most proud of?
Instead of one specific project, I think I’m most proud of our long term endeavours in supporting underprivileged children, and motivating our staff to actively participate in their own ways.
Since 2010, Emperor Watch and Jewellery has sponsored Plan International’s “Because I am a Girl” project, and I have become an ambassador for the project to promote children’s rights and equality for girls all over the world.
We also started supporting Chi Heng Foundation in the same year, offering help to children affected by AIDS in mainland China. In 2015, we signed up as a long-term supporter to Project We Can to provide opportunities and care to disadvantaged students, so they are empowered to pursue higher education and future careers.
Why is giving back to the community important to you?
It’s something that runs in my family. Aside from my father’ influence, my husband Alfred Cheung was a beneficiary of Plan International when he was at a young age. As a family, we are forever thankful for the charity’s enormous support and have been avid supporters of Plan International for years.
I truly believe having a big, charitable heart is something that should be passed on from generation to generation. My father inspired me, and now my husband and I inspire our children. And as the leader of my company I wish to inspire my colleagues, and in turn they will inspire their families, too. Each and every one of us can be the driving force towards a community with positive values and harmony where we help one another.
What’s your next steps?
We will continue to work very closely with Plan International, Chi Heng Foundation, and Project We Can in different ways to support local and overseas children and youth. We are working on some charity collaborations right now so stay tuned!
See also: 50 Philanthropists In Asia Who Are Changing The World
'The Next Step’ series is brought to you by R. SANDERSON London, a maker of precious, one-of-a-kind women shoes and accessories. Its creations exude timeless elegance and exceptional artistry, distinguished by the unique hand-gilded 24-carat gold leaf heel and iconic “Pebble” that is instantly recognisable by its artistic expressiveness.