On World Autism Awareness Day, observed annually on April 2nd, platforms under Alibaba Group introduced various philanthropic activities to enhance public awareness about individuals with autism.
In collaboration with Zhejiang Foundation for Disabled Persons, Alibaba Foundation launched a public welfare project to develop social organizations that can offer community-based and small-scale day services for mentally disabled individuals aged 15 years or older. This initiative aims to enhance the quality of life not only for these individuals but also for their families. In the first phase, the project intends to raise 1.5 million yuan ($217,683) and incubate ten such organizations.
Meanwhile, to raise awareness about the development of children with special needs, since March 2022, Alibaba‘s on-demand delivery platform Ele.me has been utilizing delivery boxes carried by their deliverymen in seven cities, including Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan, to display paintings from these children. This initiative allows the public to gain a deeper understanding of their unique perspectives and aspirations for a brighter future. Ele.me also participated in the “Ten Thousand Suns” public welfare project by organizing in-person art classes for over 10 children from two special education schools in Shanghai. Ele.me has also issued its first public welfare digital art collection featuring six calligraphy works by artist Yifei Lu, founder of the “Ten Thousand Suns” initiative. These pieces can be redeemed for free by users via the Ele.me app. For each redemption, Ele.me will showcase one extra artwork created by an autistic child on its delivery boxes as part of its commitment to supporting this community.
Yongxin Fang, President of Ele.me, has pledged to expand the platform’s public welfare community services. He aims to use his team’s enthusiasm and passion to inspire more people to support children in need.
As early as 2016, Alibaba initiated its focus on individuals with mental disabilities of all ages. The company’s XIN Yibai charity platform has since provided support to at least ten social organizations nationwide that cater to the needs of people with mental disabilities, which range from treatment to employment. In 2016, the “Goods for Good” Program began supporting a project by China Charities Aid Foundation for Children aimed at alleviating educational pressure on families with autistic children through the deployment of exceptional special education teachers. In 2017, a new project was launched to offer art intervention for families struggling to care for their autistic children and explore innovative methods of autism therapy. Over the past 7 years, the project has benefited more than 6,500 people.