“Rural-Net Works, LonelyLess” project received Outstanding Partnership Project Award
With the support from the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund, YWCA and A.S. Watson Group launches the “Rural-Net Works, LonelyLess” project (“the Project”) to serve elderly living in remote villages in the North District. We are honoured to receive the Outstanding Partnership Project Award in the Caring Company Scheme 2021/22.
Situated in Fanling, YWCA’s Ellen Li District Elderly Community Centre realises from its service experience that there are a lot of elderly living alone in the rural areas of the North District. The lack of community support and public healthcare services hinders their health management. Therefore, the Association initiates programmes in these areas, and invites A.S. Watson Group to be a strategic partner, which in turn leads to the award-winning “Rural-Net Works, LonelyLess” project.
With an extensive network of business connections, A.S. Watson Group provides diversified support to the Project, including health screening and consultation by pharmacists, nutritionists and Chinese medicine practitioners, electronic device workshop to help elderly keep in touch with their friends and family members. During the pandemic, A.S. Watson even donates rapid antigen test kits, masks and food coupons to the needy.
The cross sector collaboration between school, corporate and villages allows our partners to utilise their strengths to meet the needs of the elderly. Mutual trust is established through the matching of students and corporate volunteers with the elders. Cultural tours and festive events help promote urban-rural integration.
The Project has already served 27 villages and reached 2,800 people. The health and wellness of the elderly are generally enhanced. Some of the service users have been invited to be the “village satellite” and help develop a community network. Mui Gu, who lives in Tsiu Keng San Wai, is one of them. She noticed the singleton living next door was a little unsteady on his feet. Being worried about his health condition, Mui Gu volunteered to take extra care on him. She was the one who informed the Association’s social worker when the elderly was hospitalised after having a nasty fall. This example demonstrates that mutual support within the villages is crucial.