“Every Minute Counts” is the highlight of this year’s Charity Walk. Every step you take and every minute you accrue is a sign of love and blessings to benefit the needy in the community.
There are two targets for this highlight. When the accumulated walking time reaches the 1st Target (100,000 minutes), ICBC (Asia) will sponsor coupons/vouchers as “Gifts of Love” to 300 service users (including students, elderly and families). When the accumulated time reaches the Ultimate Target (210,323 minutes), ICBC (Asia) will double the gifts so that twice the number of needy people can be benefited.
We need your support for this meaningful event. Please join with your friends and relatives and keep the timer running!
Sharings from Caritas Units & Service Users
Caritas - Hong Kong was founded in 1953 by the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong. Over the past 68 years, Caritas evolved from an emergency relief welfare agency to a multi-service non-governmental organization catering for the needs of people from “womb to tomb”. Its special attention is directed to the needs and aspirations of the Last, the Least and the Lost in the community. Grounded in the spirit of “Love in the Service of Hope”, Caritas provides a wide range of services which enable people to develop themselves and to overcome the difficulties that life and circumstances have put in their way. The following are some sharings from Caritas units and service users:
Services for the Elderly
Caritas Jockey Club Resource and Support Centre for Carers Always be with you: Free from worries
Ah Man, aged 73-year-old, had called our Carer Support Hotline (3892 0100) since a year ago. She cried and expressed her stress on taking care of her 96-year-old mother. Social worker provided immediate emotional support and invited her to participate in our stress relief programme. At the very beginning, Ah Man felt hesitated to disclose her personal issue and refused to join our programme because she worried about her mother who stayed at home alone. Our social worker kept contact her while arranged the volunteer of our “Carers’ Garden: Free from Worries” to approach her and sent her the self-growth vegetables. With the persistent effort of our social worker and volunteer, Ah Man stepped out from her comfort zone and participated in our planting activity. She even brought the herbs back home and shared with her mother. Currently, her mother proactively encouraged Ah Man to relieve stress. Ah Man even joined our volunteer team to take care of the Carers’ Garden, hoping to encourage other carers through her personal experience.
Leung, Caritas Integrated Family Service Centre – Tung Tau (Wong Tai Sin South West)
Leung has a son with ADHD who always break the school rules in his primary school life. She has been scared receiving calls from the school and has even physically hit the son. Being introduced by the school social worker, Leung has joined the parental education group in our centre. She has learnt the different difficulties facing by parents and has gained a lot of support and encouragement which improve her relationship with the son. Leung is keen on giving a hand to other parents. Not only did she share her experience in parenting children with special education needs, she also helped other parents to take care of their children during classes. The voluntary services in our centre has built up her confidence, explored her interest on kids and even led her to a job in a kindergarten.
Johnathan, Living in the Supported Hostel is so enjoyable
I am Johnathan. I have been living in the Supported Hostel since 2016. I am so happy living here. I have gained new experiences through different activities like Caritas Bazaar, Special Marathon, Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo, Spring Reception, beach clams collecting, stargazing camp and exchange program to Taiwan. Besides, I also enjoy going out to use community facilities and joining community events like Hong Kong Book Fair, The Animation, Comics & Games Expo, watching movies and visiting the airport.
I started working in a fast-food restaurant in 2019. I have a lot of activities in the hostel during day-offs, such as doing hostel household chores, playing computer and video games, learning budget planning, playing piano, and colouring pictures.
Living in the Supported Hostel is so enjoyable.
Community & Higher Education Service
Li Hin Kwai, Caritas Bianchi College of Careers (Higher Diploma in Music Studies)
I discovered my interest in music since I was a little child. Music brings colour to my world. I hope my singing can touch people and bring hope to them.
As a special needed person, I am very grateful to Caritas Bianchi College of Careers (CBCC) for giving me the opportunity to study music. I would like to give special thanks to the teachers and staff who help me enormously for better adapt myself to the college’s study and life.
I was overjoyed to have received a scholarship sponsored by donors before. For me, this was not only a financial aid, but also an encouragement and comfort to my soul. Because of born blind, I need some auxiliary equipment to study music. The funding assistance helped me purchase relevant equipment for my study.
Pre-school Education & Child Care Service
Love Education : Shaping the Childhood
A little girl is about to leave Hong Kong with her family and attend primary school overseas. She is feeling anxious and worried. Her pre-school teacher invited the little girl to act as a “kindergarten teacher” and shared her primary school experiences with the younger kindergarten children. The little girl regained her confidence and positive attitudes. She has demonstrated her joyfulness and active participation in answering questions with the youngest. Moreover, the teacher suggested that she could write down all the interesting moments of her study life aboard and continue her role to be the “kindergarten teacher” and she agreed with glad.
It is certainly delightful to witness how the little girl achieved her greatest satisfaction by being a role model of her juniors. She has even adapted the challenges of the environment and faced the difficulties with courage.
Education with love in early stage is crucial and can shape children’s childhood and their future development.
Special Education Service
Successful Achievement - Connection between Children of Complicated Medical Case (CMC), Carers and the Society
To deal with the unexpected changes of the children’s illness, CMC carers have taken an unimaginably heavy burden.
“The utmost need of carers is not only resources, but also the opportunity of re-connecting with the society. It is a bridge connecting CMC children, carers and the society.”
Caritas Jockey Club Lok Yan School has been benefited by the generous donations from the society and support from the professionals. A “Caring Carers Program” was organised and supported by a group of doctors, scholars, nutritionists, Chinese Medicine Practitioners, professional chefs, yoga instructors, fitness instructors, music therapists and other community partnerships which become a strong backing to the carers.
In the Program, carers are no longer the passive receivers of the aid. They play the key role in the Program. They provide first-hand information for healthy life style research based on their personal experience. With the guidance and advice from the experts in various fields, the carers create and share their knowledge during the process of the Program. Eventually it stimulates their own potential while achieving the vision of helping others by helping themselves.
Vocational Training & Education Service
Wai Lo Ying, Caritas Ma On Shan Secondary School
Wai Lo Ying graduated from Caritas Ma On Shan Secondary School in 2020. She grew up in a single parent family in poverty. This harsh background did not hinder her from chasing her dreams. She was active in school activities and was awarded the Shatin Outstanding Youth in 2017. She has great interest in dancing and has won many awards in dance competitions.
She is very grateful to the principal and teachers of her school for giving opportunities to develop her potential and for offering her care and guidance. Although she lives her life with hardship, the school gave her a fruitful life and drove her to the dreams.
Vocational Training & Education Service
Cheung Yat Lam, Caritas Ma On Shan Secondary School
Cheung Yat Lam graduated from Caritas Ma On Shan Secondary School in 2019. He comes from a single parent family with low income. He suffers from dyslexia that led to dissatisfactory academic performance. This turned him to become a teenager with low self-esteem. He also has language disorder and is not good at expressing himself, which formed his passive character.
During the studies in the school, teachers taught him the importance of perseverance and self-improvement during adversity. He began to make good use of his strengths on long run and Sanda. Sometimes he thought of giving up during tough trainings but insisted when he recalled the encouragement from his teachers. He finally won many outstanding awards in the competitions.
Special Education Service
“Start All Over Again”
Everyone is unique and has hidden potential. Although some students have difficulties in adapting to the life in the mainstream schools, they are able to progressively abandon the old habits and make improvements after the nurture and quality services provided by the Special Education Service of Caritas - Hong Kong and eventually, they can “start all over again”.
Five of the senior high school students participated in the “Project Freshman” Scheme which was well organized by the Caritas Mother Teresa School. After having personal career planning and developing positive values and attitudes towards life, their hidden potential was unlocked and they displayed excellent performance.
Let the students show unlimited possibilities in their lives. Provide assistance to them while giving them room of development. It would reveal a strong lion which was hidden behind an ordinary looking stone. The students of the special school need these opportunities which will allow them to start a new chapter in their lives.
Ah Yin, Turning Gratitude into Action
My daughter had been diagnosed with autism when we have just moved to a new community. I was depressed and felt completely hopeless at that time.
But what made me feel touched was…
Having joined the Caritas SEN parent support group, I gained a fellowship which listen to my burden and give me valuable support. My mother-father-in-law also helped me to take care of the children which relieve my pressure in parenting.
Every touching moment makes me strong. I started to explore more community resources and face the different challenges with my daughter together.
I will keep on grasping the nettle regardless of the difficulties in the future.