To Vietnamese labour hero Le Van Kiem, there is nothing more satisfying than providing a helping hand to people in need. “I have seen and been involved in wars in my country and this has taught me a life-long lesson to believe that there is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
This passion to help the less fortunate is a very special quality and Mr. Le stands out as a shining example of a man who has devoted the rest of his life to philanthropy. Turning seventy years old soon, the Vietnamese entrepreneur is also very passionate about golf. He owns two golf courses in Vietnam and Laos respectively and is also committed to helping the development of junior golf in the ASEAN countries.
For his commitment to golf and charity, the Asia Pacific Golf Group has elected to honour Mr. Le with a special award –The Asia Pacific Philanthropy And Golf Personality Of The Year Award for 2014.
“Mr. Le fully deserves the award because what he has done so far represent acts that have never been done by anyone involved in the golf industry in Asia,” said Mike Sebastian, chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific Golf Group, the owner of the Asian Golf Awards programme.
To date, Mr. Le has given away more than US$40 million to charity and he has also pledged US$25 million to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish The Vietnam Health Fund.
Earlier this year, American billionaire Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft cemented a deal with Mr. Le to set up a Vietnam Health Fund.Both Mr. Gates and Mr. Le have agreed to jointly commit US$50 million over five years with Mr. Le donating US$5 million annually and The Gates Foundation matching each donation dollar for dollar.
“We are delighted to be working with Bill Gates on this worthy project which will benefit many people in Vietnam who need help with health care,” said Mr. Le.
“What Mr. Gates has initiated in Vietnam will most certainly result in more Vietnamese people coming forward to help improve healthcare for our people,” Mr. Le explained. And he went on to add, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
Mr. Le will be honoured at the 2014 Gala Awards Banquet that will be held in conjunction with the 2014 Asia Pacific Golf Summit that will be staged at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore.
Asia Pacific Golf Summit www.golfconference.org