Jet Li to Assist Burma’s Earthquake Reconstruction Efforts

By Echo Hui 18 December 2012

Chinese movie star Jet Li is lending a hand to reconstruction efforts after an earthquake in Burma last month, according to an exclusive Chinese media report.

Li’s One Foundation charity will help rebuild three schools destroyed during the earthquake, Burma-based Chinese-language MMGP Media reported last week.

The news had not been officially announced on One Foundation’s website at the time of MMGP’s publication.

“We’re still discussing exactly how we’re going to provide support,” Jiang Yili, director-general of the charity’s Rescue Alliance, told The Irrawaddy on Monday. “We hope we can effectively help those children.”

One Foundation’s Rescue Alliance, which says it is the biggest nonprofit national rescue organization in China, was the first foreign rescue team to arrive at the scene of the 6.8-magnitude earthquake, which killed at least 11 people in central Burma on Nov. 11.

About 70 people were injured and more than a thousand people lost their homes in the disaster, while monasteries, pagodas, schools and even a hospital collapsed.

One Foundation’s aid will focus on schools that were seriously damaged and which host a large number of students, MMGP quoted the charity as saying. The schools will likely be in Thabeikkyin township in Mandalay Division, as well as in Shwebo and Kyauk Myaung townships in Sagaing Divison.

Li, an action film star who has appeared in “Lethal Weapon 4” (1998), “The Forbidden Kingdom” (2008) and “The Expendables” (2010), is expected to attend a ceremony after the rebuilding efforts, MMGP added.

“Schools are Myanmar’s best buildings, but they have been seriously damaged,” Jiang Yili wrote on his official Xinlang microblog during the group’s rescue mission last month, referring to Burma by its official name.

Jiang Yili did not confirm or deny details of the project on Monday, but said he would inform The Irrawaddy as soon plans were settled.

“The One Foundation is a charity organization and we have a rigorous process,” he said. “Right now we’re still going through the paperwork, but we’ll continue to put the projects forward.”