The Yao Ming Foundation was established in June of 2008 by international NBA Star Yao Ming in response to the devastating 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China on May 12, 2008. An 8.0 earthquake is the equivalent to energy released from 790 nuclear bombs. More than 8,000 schoolrooms and 185 schools were destroyed during the earthquake.
The Yao Ming Foundation has so far committed to rebuilding five schools in the earthquake region. The new earthquake resistant schools will provide top level education for more than 1000 students, many of whom will also board at the schools.
The Yao Ming Foundation is partnering with The China
Youth Development Fund (CYDF) to distribute the funds and provide day-to-day oversight for the rebuilding projects. CYDF is a non-governmental non-profit organization in China that provides assistance to disadvantaged children and has helped to fund the construction of more than 9,000 primary schools in poverty-stricken regions. None of the schools built by
CYDF were destroyed during the earthquake. Schools receive matching contributions from the local government to help ensure community support.
The Yao Ming Foundation also supports additional educational opportunities in the US and China.
Yao Ming and Ye Li have committed to paying the Foundation's administrative costs so that 100% of any contribution from the public is directed to the charitable cause.