When the pandemic hit in 2020, OneSky for all children struggled to balance urgent increased need with limited resources. Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) stepped up with senior staff even donating their salaries for the cause.
For OneSky and the children it serves, their kindness was a shining light at a very dark time.
It followed a decade and a half, during which BPEA has been a true friend to OneSky and to Asia’s children. It’s a relationship that started with helping China’s left-behind children.
BPEA Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Cordes explains:
Q. How did BPEA first make a connection with OneSky?
Before even beginning a formal philanthropy program, BPEA began supporting the OneSky Guangzhou location. That support started around 15 years ago, and the relationship with OneSky has only broadened and deepened since, making OneSky a core long-term component of the BPEA philanthropic program.
Q. And what was it about OneSky’s work that interested you?
When we first visited the Guangzhou location we started to understand the vast need for children left behind. We then began supporting just that one facility, which was close in proximity and where we could go and see the results every year. But as the organization grew and evolved into a teaching and development organization, providing the software to complement the hardware often in place throughout China, we understood the power of the new model and the vastly increased reach and ability to help as many children as possible.
Q. With the opening of the OneSky centre, how do you think OneSky can best help Hong Kong? What are Hong Kong’s current and future challenges?
The opening of the Hong Kong centre, which was directly supported by our founder and CEO Jean Eric Salata, was a critical next step in the organization’s development, centering the organization while also creating a facility to help those in need in Hong Kong. It is easy for people to forget that while Hong Kong is a city with significant resources, there still are many children and families with significant unserved needs. The Hong Kong center is a tremendous step to help meet those needs and be a pillar of the community.
Q. OneSky was amongst those benefiting from BPEA’s assistance during the COVID crisis – what was it so important to BPEA to step up and provide help?
Given the severity of the crisis, senior members of our team gave up their salary, and we created a specific Covid relief fund. The first place we looked to help was within our core philanthropy program. In the case of OneSky, the needs were clear with significant extra costs required for critical cleaning and protective equipment.
Q.Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Our philanthropy program has a specific focus on underprivileged children, particularly in the areas where we work and live. It has been so meaningful to us to support OneSky all these years and watch it grow and evolve and greatly improve the lives of children.