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Taiwanese vegetable vendor philanthropist wins Philippine award

2012/07/26 11:36:48

Taipei, July 26 (CNA) Taiwanese vegetable seller Chen Shu-Chu, named in 2010 as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of the year, has won recognition again by winning the Manila-based Ramon Magsaysay Award for her philanthropy.

Chen was recently announced as one of the six individuals to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award, which the foundation describes as among the highest civil honors in Asia.

She is being recognized for "the pure altruism of her personal giving, which reflects a deep, consistent, quiet compassion and has transformed the lives of the numerous Taiwanese she has helped," the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said on its website.

A seller of vegetables in a market in Taitung County, eastern Taiwan, Chen -- out of her modest living -- has donated some NT$10 million (US$331,656) to help launch a children's fund, build a library at a school and an orphanage, as well as give financial support to three children.

Established in 1957, the annual Ramon Magsaysay Award considers itself to be Asia's equivalent of the Nobel Prize. It celebrates the memory and leadership of the third Philippine president, according to the foundation's website.

The award is given to individuals or organizations in Asia that manifest the same sense of selfless service.

This year's awardees include nominees from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. The award ceremony is slated for late August.

(By Elaine Hou)