Zhang Jianmin, secretary-general of the China Women's Development Foundation, shares her insights on the Amorepacific charity in Shanghai. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
A free checkup for breast and cervical cancers for underprivileged women spanning three years has received positive social return on investment, according to a joint report published by China Women's Development Foundation and Amorepacific, the South Korean cosmetics company behind the initiative.
The evaluation has taken into people's awareness of the diseases, the actions to undergo physical examinations, the financial and medical access to patients and their post-surgery recovery, the company said at a press conference in Shanghai.
Social return on investment is a method for measuring values that are not traditionally reflected in financial statements. It is a matrix of measurement used more to evaluate the general progress of certain developments that imply both the financial and social impact the corporation can have.
In the case of Amorepacific, each one yuan ($0.15) spent in this philanthropic project can churn out 1.52 yuan worth of social impacts, indicating a positive spill-over effect to the general wellbeing of women and the society, the report said.
Dubbed "Make Up Your Life," the project was launched in South Korea in 2008, when it was initially designed to help women diagnosed with cancer.
Amorepacific has invested 8 million yuan in total in the past three years in funding the cancer-screening services, an effort that has also managed to leverage a total 6.81 million yuan that was sourced from local authorities and other agencies.
The initiative has provided free examinations for 54,000 women in China, 44 of whom were suspected or confirmed with cervical cancer and five with breast cancer. In addition, nearly 200,000 women benefited from health lectures offered by experts.
"The social welfare program has effectively helped raise awareness of such diseases for women in remote counties and villages where medical resources are scarce. With enhanced awareness, they can take early action for disease screening and prevention," said Zhang Jianmin, secretary-general of the China Women's Development Foundation.
It also restores patients' confidence through multiple innovative activities to proliferate relevant knowledge. Efforts include regular charity sales, charity running programs, and classes teaching skin care and makeup skills dedicated to those who have undergone surgeries.
"Women remain our most important customers, and caring for women has always been our unchanged original purpose," said Charles Kao, president of Amorepacific in China. "The assessment of the current initiative has set the stage for designing future programs in a more scientific and systematic manner."