The foundation was founded in 2006 by Jackson Wijaya Limantara (as 黄杰胜 in Chinese) grandson of Mr. Eka Tjipta Widjaja (黄奕聪 and Huang Yicong as in Chinese spelling), founder of Sinar Mas Group, and Olivia Yu（虞蘅）. The young couple donated their wedding gifts to support the cause of starting a nonprofit organization in the name of their grandfather in China. With the endowment of RMB20 million, some of which came afterwards from Sinar Mas Group, the Foundation was acknowledged as a nonprofit organization from Ministry of Civil Affairs in May of 2010.
The Widjaja family’s charity work can be traced back to its business entry into China in 1992. Sinar Mas Group, APP China has brought cutting-edge paper-making technology and equipment, as well as the new industrial image of sustainable development. Meanwhile, it also passes down the family’s generous giving in terms of family heritage and corporate social responsibility.
APP China’s philanthropic footprint can be seen in rural areas and across China from Beijing Olympics in 2008, Shanghai World Expo in 2010 and other state events to the post-disaster relief work of SARS in 2003, Southern Snowstorm in 2008, Wenchuan Earthquake, Yushu Earthquake and Ya’an Earthquake, Ludian Earthquake in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014 respectively, as well as other similar disasters. The givings also include scholarships and grants to preschools, elementary schools, high schools and universities. In addition, APP China frequently engages in community development work in different parts of China.
Huang Yicong Foundation inherits the philanthropic sentiment from the corporation and the family, aiming at supporting China's philanthropy, helping the disadvantaged, appeasing the young and the old, and building a better society. Its vision is to support the development of China's philanthropy and charity work, assist the needed, help the elderly and children, and build a harmonious society". Its mission includes actively participating in innovative education programs, poverty alleviation and disaster relief as well as supporting various programs in scientific research, sports education, medical treatment and environmental protection. Over the years the Foundation promotes the development of philanthropy, organizes voluntary services, and devotes itself to the public interest and charity in line with the development of China in three programming areas as follows:
- assisting in the equality of education;
- implementing and funding programs to enhance capacity among college students on philanthropic practices;
- promoting urban and rural integration.
Its grants attend to providing more on the soft support and immaterial input to the needed. Meanwhile, innovation and long-term development are paralleled to strengthen the effects of the programs. Over the years, the Foundation is gradually known to the Chinese philanthropic circle through some flagship programs such as "APP Internships at NPOs", “Huang Yicong College Scholarships on Philanthropic Achievement”, “One Plus One Fund in Western Region”, "Preschools in Rural Villages", "the Joy of Reading Project", “the Torch Program”, Yicong Capacity Building Summer Camp for Highschool Students”, etc.
Each project incorporates the core value of the Foundation. "APP Internship at NPOs", that provides job opportunities to college students in Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing and Pearl River Delta areas, encourages the students to work as full-time interns in local non-profit organizations during summer and it offers them an opportunity to discover spiritual values of life. “Huang Yi Cong College Scholarships on Philanthropic Achievement”, funded in multiple universities nationwide, specifically reward those who have philanthropic contributions as well as high academic performances. “One Plus One Fund in Western Region”, which integrates employee volunteers and school programs in remote areas, provides a platform for corporate staffs to participate in helping the children improve their nutritional condition directly. “The Torch Program”, co-working with two NPOs in Shanghai and Shenzhen respectively, helps the physically challenged people with their job skills. "Sanlin Homestead in Shanghai", a program cultivated since 2008, helps the community to carry out a variety of environmental and social activities all year round.
Effective programs cannot stand alone without good management. The Foundation pays high attention to its effectiveness and efficiency, along with accountability and transparency. The Foundation discloses relevant information through its website and social media such as WeChat on a timely basis. The practice has made the Foundation rank high, in terms of transparency with the listings by China Foundation Center (CFC), a prestigious civil organization that helps the foundations improve their operations and monitors their quality in China.
By the end of 2019, the Foundation has made a total donation of over 71 million RMB.