2018 amfAR Award recipient Cathy Lee is a passionate philanthropist with a particular focus on children’s causes, specifically child welfare and initiatives that help the underprivileged. She is also a devoted supporter of the arts.
Cathy became the first Asian Patron of Save the Children in 2016, joining Princess Anne, Princess Viktoria de Bourbon de Parme, and Princess Basma Bint Talal in promoting children’s welfare around the world. She was instrumental in establishing and seed funding the charity’s “Children’s Emergency Fund,”a vital resource for saving young lives during emergencies. Cathy also dedicates her time to personally visiting and understanding how Save the Children’s programs are transforming and saving lives globally. Her focus this year will be on the “Adolescent Initiative” in Laos, which seeks to empower ethnic minority girls and women so they can enjoy healthy, safe, and dignified livelihoods. Its key aspects include economic empowerment activities for young women and a “Young Mother’s Livelihood Summit” to build a support community for women.
Cathy assumed one of her first philanthropic roles in 2007, as Goodwill Ambassador of the Chi Heng Foundation. Chi Heng provides comprehensive care and support to over 20,000 AIDS-impacted children in mainland China, with education being the main focus, and gives these children a strong sense of community and belonging. Cathy and her husband Martin were acknowledged by former US president Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative Asia Meeting for their involvement in Chi Heng and for funding a remarkable three-year tertiary education initiative for teenagers.
Along with being an Advisory Board Member of Hong Kong Red Cross, Cathy devotes much of her personal time to the arts. She holds fundraising and board roles at both The Hong Kong Arts Centre and The Hong Kong Museum of Art. She has been the Chairperson of The Friends of The Hong Kong Arts Centre since 2012.
Cathy’s 11 years of experience with the AIDS community has made her a staunch believer in amfAR’s work, not only for its support of medical research, but also its role in education and removing the stigma and prejudice associated with the disease. Cathy is a firm proponent of dispelling myths surrounding AIDS and believes a cure will be found in the near future.