At Shangri-La, our hotels and resorts are proud to partner with local and national philanthropic organizations to recognize people who make a difference in their community. This January, Shangri-La’s Sanya Resort & Spa, Hainan, in partnership with the Jack Ma Foundation headed by founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma, welcomed 100 teachers to the Jack Ma Foundation Rural Teacher Award Ceremony to congratulate them for their positive impact on the children of China. Hand-picked from thousands of applicants, the compelling stories of the teachers from Yunnan, Gansu, Huizhou, Sichuan, Shanxi and Ning Xia regions shone a light on their positive experiences educating China’s youth. The resort also welcomed national and international celebrities including Jack Ma, film actor and producer Jet Li, Chinese actress and pop singer Zhao Wei and more.
For many of the teachers, it was their first time experiencing a vacation in Sanya. Knowing this, the resort team worked especially hard to ensure the trip was memorable. The team welcomed teachers with a special dance and amenities that reflected Hainanese culture. Dexter Cheng, general manager of the resort, presented the teachers with a stuffed animal gibbon to take back to their classrooms as an educational tool.
During their stay, the teachers experienced the Heart of the House Tour, in which they took a closer look into the hotel’s day-to-day housekeeping, energy conservation efforts and the resort’s CSR efforts including the on-site organic farm and mini-farm.
The vacation was held not only to celebrate the teachers’ achievements, but also to improve their abilities and skills as educators. During the trip, the teachers received professional development trainings, one of which was led by Jack Ma, and support funds to continue their good work.
At the concluding gala event, Jack Ma, Jet Li, Zhao Wei and the Foundation’s other board members walked the red carpet alongside the teachers before presenting the evening’s awards.
Performances by internationally renowned concert pianist Lang Lang and Mando pop singer Na Ying entertained the guests.
The resort’s recreation team also took to the stage with a special performance dedicated to the teachers. The performance included fire blowing, drummers, dance combinations and an acrobatic act.
Jack Ma personally expressed his gratitude to the teachers for their great work throughout China.
“China can survive without Alibaba and without me, but without the dedicated work these teachers put in, we could not make it,” said Jack Ma. “Rural China has more than 3 million rural teachers who directly impact over 40 million children. These children are our future!”
We’d like to thank the Jack Ma Foundation and our colleagues at Shangri-La’s Sanya Resort & Spa, Hainan for going above and beyond to make the teachers’ vacation a trip to remember.