Professional Dancer -Ching
“This is my last Child Sponsors’ Day. I would like to say thank you and dance for Po Leung Kuk and the Sponsors.”
Yu Tin Ching (Ching) has resided in Po Leung Kuk’s dormitory (also known as “the House”) since 2 years-old. The shy little boy would only sit quietly aside in the beginning, even the in-house staff could hardly notice him. Fortunately, he got his chance to shine on stage. Whenever Ching danced, the invisible boy stole the limelight and became the “dancing king” among the children in the House. Ching loves dancing since he was small. He originally taught himself by watching online dance tutorials. However, it is difficult to master the basic skills or make further progress through self-study. Luckily, Ching met with another dancing enthusiast, Ms. Cheung, in Primary 4. Ms. Cheung discovered the talents of Ching, she initiated him into dance trainings and practices, as well as arranged him to participate in various stage performances of the Kuk, such as the Child Sponsors’ Day, so as to build up his self-confidence gradually. Ching dreams of becoming a professional dancer. He hopes to learn more dancing techniques from dance schools, but stepping out from the comfort zone of the House and the expensive tuition fee made him feel confused about his future. “Do you really want to be a Dancer?” Ms. Cheung reassured Ching and let him finally made up his mind. Later with the help of Ms. Cheung and social workers, Ching received financial assistance from “Angels for Orphans” programme of Po Leung Kuk, and started learning jazz dance and street dance at professional dance schools. At the last Child’s Sponsor Day of this 18-year-old boy, Ching decided to express his gratitude to the Sponsors by delivering his best dancing performance before leaving the House. After DSE, Ching targets to enter The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to further develop in dance studies and achieve his dream as a dancer, “I wish that one day, I can come back to the House as dance tutor, and contribute to the Child Sponsor’s Day.”
Mr. Lai, The Sponsor
“I just want him to know, there is still someone in the world that will always visit him and care about him.”
The idea of sponsoring children and helping needy has taken root in Mr. Lai’s mind since he was little. The chance did not arrive until he became a special school teacher. When he realised even kids with special needs might not be able to seek enough attention and care at home, this triggered him to put the idea of supporting child sponsorship into action. In spite of successively making donations to different organisations, Mr. Lai finally chose to sign up for the Child Sponsorship Programme of Po Leung Kuk. Mr. Lai wants to be more connected with his sponsored child through regular one-hour visits, and particularly desires to bring positive influence to the child by his engagement and emotional support. The Kuk’s Child Sponsorship Programme offers an opportunity to make his wish possible. Over the past year, Mr. Lai has already paid visits for over 40 times and maintained this habit on a weekly basis. On the visiting day, Mr. Lai brought with him a box of chocolate milk to the Home for girls, which is a little gift Mr. Lai promised to Ying (Mr. Lai’s sponsored child). A box of chocolate milk may not seem like much, but for Ying, this invaluable gift indicates the love and care from Mr. Lai. All of his dedications will help Ying to rebuild and establish a happy childhood.
Sum Miu, Welfare worker
Comprehensive residential care services bring colors to children’s life
Comprehensive residential care services bring colors to children’s life. “Why do the children need to be suffered at such a young age? Every child deserves proper care.” Po Leung Kuk offers a variety of residential care services to children with family difficulties. One of them is the “New Comers’ Ward” at the Headquarters, which is the only gazetted place of refuge in Hong Kong providing urgent and short-term residential care for children who are under family crisis. It is common that children would feel nervous and anxious when they entered the new environment. The support and companionship of our frontline caregivers are therefore important to create the warmest shelter for the children. Sum Miu is one of the welfare workers who has been working in the Ward for 3 years already. She has looked after more than 300 children with inadequate family care due to sudden family crises, divorce /decease /imprisonment / hospitalisation of parents, or child abuse. “Sometimes police rang the doorbell at 2 or 3am and brought the kids around. The top priority at that time is to prepare sufficient food and bed to meet the children’s physical needs.” Emotional support is another crucial duty of the staff. Sum Miu pointed that the Ward has set up the “Golden 2 Hours” system. Each new-coming child will receive exclusive child care by a specific staff as their ‘Buddy’, who will answer their concern for living in the Ward so as to soothe their anxiety. Emotional and behavioral problems are often found in the Ward’s children with complicated family background. It requires substantial effort to open up their hearts and educate them. “Patience is the key. For instance, if they were in temper, we will teach them to clench their fists, stand aside and try to calm down. Afterwards we will explain the reason to them and solve the problems step-by-step. I hope the children can leave with the knowledge learnt from the Kuk and develop the proper attitude to get along with people.”
The Walking Miracle
It is hard to believe she is diagnosed with rare disease which leads to developmental delay and affected her mobility few years ago.
Watching such a lively little girl Olava keeps running and jumping at the field, it is hard to believe she is diagnosed with rare disease which leads to developmental delay and affected her mobility few years ago. Olava was referred to Po Leung Kuk Yuen Long Early Learning Centre in 2014. By the age of 3, Olava was still unable to stand and walk, she could neither smile due to oral-motor disorders. With the help of the caring and patient Centre staff, Olava received various trainings. The Centre’s physiotherapist targeted to strengthen her gross motor skills for the first year such as arranging balance practice on a wooden bench for her. After long-term effort, Olava made a progress from easily fall to successfully taking her first step after six months of schooling. Olava’s mother was amazed at the moment. Her worry about Olava would need to use wheelchair for the rest of her life was vanished at once from now on. Eventually, Olava could even dance on the stage, and was selected to deliver the speech on behalf of the graduates. The growth of Olava brought lots of mixed feelings to her mother. She sent the Centre staff a customized album to express her gratitude for the encouragement and support they encountered over past 4 years, and show her appreciation to the staff by turning Olava into an adorable girl with a happy and fulfilling childhood.
Happy Clown project
“It makes life more exciting when you make others happy.”
Clown is the symbol of happiness. They hope to create smiles to people, which is also the wish of a clown - Choi Chun(蔡珍). Since joining the “Happy Clown Team” formed by members from the 8 elderly centres under Po Leung Kuk last year, the life of the 63-year-old lady has been full of laughter. 5 years ago, Choi Chun’s husband became immobile after a sudden stroke. He could hardly get out of the house and Choi Chun needed to stay home most of the time to look after the patient. A turning point came when Choi Chun was introduced to the Happy Clown project at the Po Leung Kuk Elderly Centre. She joined the team as volunteer clown and discovered her passion in “plate spinning”. Her husband noticed all the hard work she put into every practice. He fully supported her path to volunteering and let her pursue her interest. Choi Chun said, “Although he never speaks out, he always supports me by his action.” It is proven by her husband’s full attendance whenever Choi Chun has performance. The transformation of the other half surprised Choi Chun. Her husband became more willing to go out of doors and more outgoing. Sometimes, Choi Chun brought along her husband to the clown trainings. After several visits, he started to get familiar with others. They also went to visit singleton elderly together. Experiencing all these changes and seeing the big grin spreads across his face again made Choi Chun eventually feel like lifting a burden off her shoulders. As a Happy Clown, Choi Chun took part in the flash mobs at the shopping malls among different districts in Hong Kong, as well as the performances invited by the community centres, primary and secondary schools. Spreading the happiness to other seniors and children on stage has brought Choi Chun with enormous satisfaction. Happy Clown has made her life more colorful.
Story of Sing
There is a saying, “Children are angels of parents.” If your children have attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), will you still regard them as your “angels”?
“Can’t you control your kid?” Stampy Wan is a child with ADHD. It always made his mother feel embarrassing whenever Stampy Wan was accused of behavioral problems in public. His status also upset the principal and teachers at school. But instead of treating Stampy Wan as ‘difficult student’, they tailor-made a practical counselling programme for him with love and care. Ms. Wong, teacher of PLK Women’s Welfare Club Western District Fung Lee Pui Yiu Primary School, has met with Stampy Wan since he was primary 3. Flashing back to the beginning, Stampy Wan did not even want to greet her, but Ms. Wong softened him up by her smile every day. Ms. Wong also fostered communication with Stampy Wan’s mother and gave her advice, such as guiding her to nurture Stampy Wan the sense of responsibility by assigning different tasks to the child. Moreover, the school offered various opportunities to empower Stampy Wan to be his best, for instance, unlocked Stampy Wan’s artistic talents through learning 3D printing. Stampy Wan’s performance improved gradually under the help of the principal, teachers and school social workers. He was more adapting to the primary school life in higher grades, became socialized with other classmates, and achieved outstanding academic results. Stampy Wan’s mother believed that the key for such an achievement is “love”. Principal Chung Mei-Chun agreed that their tactic is to encourage rather than discourage. Teachers also felt contented and inspiring to the growth of Sing. Their love, care and respect to the child let him feel being valued and understood, and became a respectful and considerate child in return. The behavioral problems in lower grades finally disappeared, and he also learnt the way to cope with others. Sing is now graduated from the primary school. His mother is greatly thankful to the efforts of every single staff. “Maybe it’s not a big deal for the teachers, but what they do has actually changed a person’s life. To be exact, it affects two persons. If not getting support from the school, both Sing and I will definitely go crazy.” The essence of education is all about empowering children to navigate their own way. It is truly reflected on the teaching of PLK Women’s Welfare Club Western District Fung Lee Pui Yiu Primary School. Wish all angels in the world can also find the way to their dreams.
Watching the children grow up happily makes my work meaningful.
25 is simply the golden age of everything, some people work hard for their career, while some people are getting prepared to form their own families. But for the 25-year-old Cheung Ka Fai, he is already the “dad” of 14 boys. This Cheung Ka Fai is not the renowned actor we see on screen. He, dubbed as “Cheung Sir”, holds a Master of Social Work and is the “parent” of the Po Leung Kuk’s dormitory in Children Section, responsible for taking care of 14 “sons” regularly. Cheung Sir needs to take care of 14 boys aged between 6 and 18 living in one of the Kuk’s dormitory. Every day, Cheung Sir the “dad” needs to wake up his sons for school, ask them to brush up and get dressed, make them breakfasts, tidy up, pick them up after school and teach them homework. But his role is not only limited to “dad”, when he got along with children in secondary schools, he treats himself like their “brother”, who can chit chat and joke around with them, or confide in each other, and built up their relationship in a comparatively casual way. Cheung Sir is also like a “tutor” in after-school care class, guiding them to study and finish their homework in the self-study periods. During weekends, he then turned himself into “fitness coach” to train up their physique and supervise them to do more exercise. Being the parent of the dormitories need to work long hours, but the wish of spending more time with the new generations has triggered Cheung Sir to move from a student discipline teacher in secondary school to the big family of Po Leung Kuk. Children living in the dormitories cannot receive adequate cared for by their families due to various family problems, and often lack father’s care during their growth. Therefore, Cheung Sir hopes to give them care and love by the identity as a “dad”. He also mentioned that each child has a unique background underlying different family issues, it is necessary to adopt different tailor-made approaches to get along with each child, so as to establish relationships with them, gain their trust and give them a sense of security; but at the same time need to ensure everyone is being treated equally, in order to let them realise the common standard in dealing with serious problems. Helping the children to understand themselves, explore their dreams, discover their ways of life, and among all to learn to be a good boy, are all the meanings for him to be a “dad”.
A Mother of 70 Children – Mrs. Chan, Parent of Small Group Home
“If I can teach a kid to be good, there will be one less bad people in the society.”
This belief has driven Mrs. Chan to be persevere in providing meticulous care to 70 children in the Small Group Home of Po Leung Kuk no matter rain or shine for 23 years. Mr. and Mrs. Chan are the “parents” of the Kuk’s Small Group Home. They rendered home life and residential care to children who are in need of out-of-home care due to family difficulties at the Small Group Home. The couple accompanied them in every festival. They cooked the kids a big meal in Christmas, or brought their “sons and daughters” to the flower market during Chinese New Year…… Recalling her road to become a full-time “mom”, Mrs. Chan said, “The news often report that many kids are led astray because of family problems. When I occasionally read the Po Leung Kuk’s advertisement about parents recruitment for the Small Group Home, I found this job so meaningful and want to contribute myself to raising up good kids for the society.” Mrs. Chan does not ask for any rewards from her “sons and daughters”, she feels contented as long as they grow up kind and healthy. “One of them is now a boss of his own logistics company.” The couple’s excitement is beyond words whenever talking about the achievements of the children. On the other hand, their “sons and daughters” are also very well-behaved. They often sent their “parents” with surprising gifts, for instance, their hand-knitted scarfs and own drawings at the reunion dinner on Chinese New Year’s Eve. The little goodwill from the children always motivates Mr. and Mrs. Chan to keep up their commitment as the parents of Small Group Home.
The General Attendants of the Po Leung Kuk Kindergarten-cum-Nursery - Auntie Fan and Auntie Kwan
When I am committed to the job, I find myself is like their mother. Despite the toil, it is still a wonderful thing to watch the kids growing day by day.
Who is the most unforgettable person in your few years of kindergarten life? Teachers? Classmates? Or if you can remember, the General Attendants who made relentless effort to prepare your diets and clean up the kindergarten premises? The work of Auntie Fan and Auntie Kwan, the General Attendants of the Po Leung Kuk Kindergarten cum Nursery, is just like any other attendants with the same duties, they are always the earliest staff arriving the school. Before lesson starts, they need to clean up all classrooms and teaching aids to ensure everything the toddlers touch are clean. After students coming back to school, they need to assist the chef in making refreshments, take the kids to toilets, as well as get the children to sleep and cover them with blankets during nap time. Auntie Fan and Auntie Kwan both joke about their roles are just like the kids’ mothers. Full-time kindergarten students need to spend almost whole day at school. Therefore, their development and growth greatly rely on school education, in which General Attendants can fill in the gaps to the tasks that teachers do not have time to manage, such as leading the students through toilet training, tutoring them how to use chopsticks or washing hands. All the trivial tasks performed by the General Attendants create a more comfortable learning environment for the children. Even though the work is busy, Auntie Fan and Auntie Kwan are still satisfied with their jobs. It is because witnessing children’s growth is a beautiful thing for them.
First school track cycling team in Hong Kong
Injury can’t stop me from cycling. It is where my passion lies.
The road to pursuing dreams is paved with perseverance and unremitting efforts. 3 years ago, 3 cycling enthusiasts from Po Leung Kuk Ho Yuk Ching College, joined the “Light Up Your Dream” project of the school. They spent 3 months to submit the proposal about setting up the track cycling team in school. Unfortunately, the result is unsuccessful due to the manpower and financial constraints of the school. Instead of giving up, the students almost spent all of their pocket money in promotional video shooting and the purchase of equipment. Mr. Sow Chai Leung, Student Development Officer, was moved by the passion of the students. He proactively searched for different resources and finally obtained enough funding from Po Leung Kuk and School Fund for the establishment of the first school track cycling team in Hong Kong. At the beginning, the racing result of the team was unsatisfactory. They even encountered vitriolic criticism from the audience when they were one lap behind their rivals. In response to the criticism, the cycling team keeps training even harder. Accident inevitably happened on one of the team player, Koo Pak-Hin, during a training. He sustained abrasion over half of his body and suffered from short-term memory loss, while his clothes were torn and the helmet was cracked. He was sent to hospital and took a month for recovery. The injuries and family opposition after the accident did not hinder his aspiration in track cycling. His perseverance finally paid off when he obtained the relevant qualifications. At present, Pak-Hin has been selected into the “Future Star” Programme under the Hong Kong Sports Institute and strives to enter into the Hong Kong Team. Up till now, the cycling team has more than 20 members. The team has gone to a short promotional film shooting about cycling safety earlier with Ms. Lee Wai-Sze Sarah, dubbed “Cycling Queen of Ngau Tau Kok” and Track Cycling Olympics Bronze Medalist. It brings great encouragement to the members for cycling along with their idol. They hope that they can team up with her side by side on the world stage one day.
Nostalgia tuck shop
Hong Kong oldies, Green Spot orange juice, Two Girls Florida Water, watermelon ball, rotary dial phone…… An array of memorable selections embodies the golden age of 60’s and 70’s, now can be found in the nostalgia tuck shop of Po Leung Kuk Yuen Fung Po Ti
Nostalgia tuck shop is set up for the aged rehabilitation service users. Elderly generally starts ageing at the age of 60. However, the decrement of seniors with intellectual disabilities even goes beyond normal. They may experience the deterioration of cognitive ability, memory and hearing function early since 40-50 years old. In view of the service need of these ageing service users, the nostalgia tuck shop is decorated like the old tuck shop in 1960-70s, featuring with the collective memories of their good old days, such as junk box; vintage capsule vending machine; rotary dial phone; retro snacks and candies like White Rabbit creamy candies, haw flakes or Cola gummies. Some of the collectibles are gathered from the vintage stores or donated by the parents, while part of them are second-hand items from the Kuk’s recycling unit. Our occupational therapists will treat the nostalgia tuck shop as treatment room. By stimulating the use of long-term memories through listening to old songs, playing vintage games and sharing the childhood stories, the special features attempt to enhance users’ ability to expressing oneself, improve their emotions, and train their fine motor skills, so as to reduce their sufferings from cognitive decline.