Tea (and Brexit!) in the House of Lords


With Andy Koo, Chair of Zhejiang Wonder Public Foundation, and hosted by FIGS Patron Lord Michael Bichard, Chair of the National Audit Office

We were pleased to welcome one of our core Chinese donors, Andy Koo and his wife Rose, for a brief family visit to the UK in early January, and delighted that FIGS Patron Lord Michael Bichard was able to host them for a private visit to the House of Lords, with discussion over traditional English tea and scones, followed by a privileged chance to see the Lords debating Brexit!

FIGS was first introduced to Andy Koo CEO of the Zhejiang Wonder Import and Export Corporation, and of their charity Zhejiang Wonder Public Foundation (ZWPF), by Chernise Neo’s father (who is a senior manager with ExxonMobil in Singapore). ZWPF quickly made an initial donation to build a dormitory for Ibba Girls' Boarding School (IGBS), followed by a commitment to a generous annual donation of c. £72,000 per year for 6 years.

This brief meeting reinforced our long term relationship with this family, company and foundation. We were pleased and grateful to learn that in addition to continued support for FIGS and IGBS they will recommend us to other Chinese foundations and philanthropists, and also to the Chinese government who are potentially interested to invest in South Sudan’s infrastructure, education and health. 

Lord Bichard (current chair of the National Audit Office and former permanent secretary at the UK Department for Education and Skills) applauded FIGS for its persistence in supporting IGBS and the local community in developing Ibba Girls School as a beacon of hope for the future of South Sudan. He encouraged FIGS and ZWPF to sustain this support for the Ibba girls, and to focus also on the vocational and technical skills they will need to get jobs and take up their roles as leaders of their communities and of this country.    

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