Executive Director's Report (2020-2021)
Dear all HAC supporters,
It’s been an unforgettable year in 2020-2021! COVID-19 caught us all off guard and our routines were all affected severely as all the schools had to suspend classes and many grassroots’ parents were hampered by under-employment or unemployment. Our society was overshadowed by anxiety and fear. However, funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust’s Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency fund, the “Stay Strong, the Captain Health!” project rolled out in March to strengthen the resilience of young children and pacify their emotional disturbances that were stirred up by the sudden outbreak of the pandemic. This project broadcasted brand-new storytelling videos and organised a design competition of surgical masks and other protective gears. Further, a total of 4,500 sets of children pop-up theatre education kits were given to the public. In addition, we were grateful to receive sponsorship from Hang Lung Properties to launch a Food Assistance Scheme to relief the financial burden of 1,500 families suffered from sudden unemployment or income drop. Total 3,000 food packs with nutritious necessities together with parent-child storytelling workshops and drawing classes were given to support them both by tangible and psychological means. We must express our gratitude for the Li Ka Shing Foundation’s funding in support of ReadEmpowers. It was another HAC’s emergency work that aimed to encourage reading during the pandemic difficult times. A total of 1,028 underprivileged children from HAC centres and 29 primary schools participated. Online picture books reading platform, parenting education webinars and cash allowances were delivered to ease their pressing needs.
To facilitate children’s continued learning during school suspensions, our staff and volunteers started weekly broadcasting storytelling, live or recorded, since last February. Over 100 storytelling and hand craft videos had already been published so far with over 87,000 views. This year marked the 7th year of collaboration with Dr. Annis Fung, Associate Professor of Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences in City University of Hong Kong, for the “Read to Change” evident-based project. In December 2020, a press conference was organised. Major media commended its research findings of Storytelling Intervention as an effective means of reducing children aggressive behaviours by 40% and so on. Besides, we kept developing new program initiatives such as: partnering with the Hong Kong Museum of History in a “Graham Fireboat “project to publish a new picture book and storytelling activities, and being appointed by the Education Bureau to produce learning and teaching resources on Value Education for Primary Schools.
HAC had 66 media coverage including the columns in Hong Kong Economics Time and E-Campus that promotes children education of positive mind through storytelling. We are committed to enhance our service quality continuously. Certain major staff training programs were run to sharpen ourselves. It included the “Applying Drama-in-education into Children Storytelling Groups for Emotion Management” and the workshops for Strategic Planning and Visioning and Leadership Development by Harrison Assessment for the Middle Management.
We stringently implemented the captioned (Level One) to have regular reviews of the usage and reasonable level of Lump Sum Grant Reserve at the board meetings. As at 31st March 2021, the Provident Fund Reserve for non-snapshot staff of the Social Welfare Department’s Lump Sum Grant subvented services unit was $248,319. It was included in the Lump Sum Grant Reserve which had a balance of $1,036,344. It is projected that the Provident Fund Reserve will be $230,000 at the end of the 2021-2022 financial year. The Reserve is to be used for provident fund contribution for non-snapshot staff. To better utilize the Reserve, HAC planned to enhance the employment terms of staff and so on.
Indeed, we get reflection from compelling stories that are usually full of challenges and its characters need to overcome countless challenges before them breaking through to be heroes or heroines. When we look back at our real life in a positive light, we had gone through certain difficulties in the past year. From this, we learnt to be resilient to crisis, built up healthy life habits and cared for the people in need, and eventually enhanced ourselves holistically. Along with our adventure, we are so grateful to have support from (listed in no particular order): Social Welfare Department, The Community Chest, Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, A.S. Watson Group (HK) Limited, A.S. Watson Industries, Hip Hing Construction, Vibro (H.K.) Limited, Vibro Construction Company Limited, The Tokio Marine and Fire Insurance Co. (HK) Ltd, Wah Fung Computer Services Limited, Computershare Hong Kong Investor Services Limited, Orientop Limited, UDomain Web Hosting Company Ltd, Web Host Limited, Anway Limited, Sky Connection Limited, Seedland International Limited, Seedland Educational Charitable Foundation Limited, Hasbro Far East Limited, Eagle Property Management (CP) Ltd, Eagle Asset Management (CP) Limited, Oxford University Press (China) Limited, Deacons, Hang Lung Properties Limited, Mitsubishi Electric (Hong Kong) Limited, W. L. Gore & Associates (Hong Kong) Limited, Christine M Koo & Ip, Solicitors & Notaries LLP, etc.
Last but not least, we wish you all that, no matter whether it’s sunny or rainy outside, remember to make our day! Stay positive and patient, for the rainbow is coming soon.