One-on-One With Dr. David Harilela

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‘The search of the unsung heroes of the world’ That is what The One is about. Inspired by German doctor, Hendrik Wuebben who was dedicated in helping others before himself, The One was conceptualized and founded by Past District Governor (2011-2012) and philanthropist, Dr. David Harilela. We were very fortunate to sit together with Dr. David Harilela to learn more about the project, here’s how it went down.

Dr. David Harilela

What is The One?

The One is something that I really wanted to do. I was inspired by a doctor called doctor Wuebben who left Germany to south Africa to help people. He worked at a private hospital but discovered he couldn’t even help the patients without money. He was very frustrated because a few days later the people he turned away died, he came to Africa to save lives, he didn’t come to Africa to see people die. So Dr. Wuebben joined the UN and went to Namibia, and in hopes to open his own clinic to help people every day. Despite being mugged by the very people he saved, Dr. Wuebben continued to help people in his clinic day after day. I thought this was a very phenomenal and inspirational person much like Mother Teresa so I started The One, which is the search for the unsung heroes of the world.

 Ravindran David Harilela Dr Rajendra Dhamane and Anna Wu

Rotary International President KR Ravindran, Dr. David Harilela, The One 2016 Winner Dr Rajendra Dhamane, and Anna Wu


Service Above Self, The Rotary Club’s motto, How do you interpret this and how is it portrayed in The One?

When you just forget about your family, your children and your life, you don’t worry about anything, you just do it to make another person better, that total sacrifice, that is what The One is about, that is what Service Above Self means.  To me the heroes are the miracle makers, they don’t look at budgets, they don’t look at  “Can I do it?” “Do I have enough?” its total sacrifice.

Hari Morn Prakash and Rajendra

The One 2016 Finalists Hari Morn Prakash and Rajendra

Future plans for The One?

The One is a great cause, we started from zero. We are the first Hong Kong charity to go worldwide, in a sense through the connections of Rotary. The idea was just to bring all the heroes to Hong Kong and do the international competition, we get applicants from all over the world, but then I realized we couldn’t help the people in Hong Kong because when they compete with against the magnitude of the people looking after the lives of a million people or half a million people I felt I was failing somewhere. This is my home, I love Hong Kong, I want to do something for Hong Kong, and so I started The One Hong Kong last year, where the heroes in Hong Kong compete amongst themselves. We gave away 2 hundred thousand last year and this is an eternal commitment. When I do my projects, I look for people who are committed, like I am committed to The One for life, as long as I’m alive. The next step for me is to take this to all the countries of the world because if you can imagine we can find 2-3 heroes in every country of the world, what a great difference we can make in every society.

That is my vision that is the dream.

For more information on The One visit their website at