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Chief Executive's Report

 

Ms. Yvonne Yeung

Deepen YWCA Movement and speak out for women

Stepping into the centenary milestone, we have set goals and directions for the next five years according to the “Bold Steps” Strategic Plan 2020-2025 while keeping the aspirations of our founders in mind.

 

As a women-oriented organization, the Association has always been actively promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, leadership and inheritance. We also enhance Christian ministry and cultivate our members and volunteers to put YWCA Movement into action by responding to the important elements of Christianity, women and members/volunteers in our diversified social services. In March 2021, our Board Directors, Committee Members, young leaders and staff participated in the online meeting and retreat camp of the 65th UN Commission on the Status of Women. By jointly studying different global women's issues, inter-generational leadership was fostered. Besides, under the planning of Glocal Y, the Centenary International Youth Forum themed on “Gender Equality in the 21st Century – Cyber Violence against Women” was organized, where speakers from Japan, Korea and World YWCA shared their valuable opinions. Participants from different countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, and the Americas exchanged ideas and made initiatives from the angle of gender equality and an international perspective.

 

Extra effort was placed this year in nurturing the YWCA Movement at staff level to help our service departments grasp its meaning. For example, various training and exchange programs were organized to enhance integration of the YWCA Movement into our services. The optimization of staff orientation program has also helped our new staff understand the spirit of the YWCA Movement in an interactive way. Adopting the theme of “Hold on to the Faith, Pass on the Mission and Move Forward” in our gospel work, we invited pastors and scholars to give testimonies in sharing sessions and prayer meetings in order to cultivate the atmosphere of Christian faith.

Service innovation and enhancement to address social needs

Infant, children and family service

The Association always strives to help families discover their positive energy and promote the healthy growth of infants and young children with the strength-based intervention model. We also support new parents and their families in overcoming challenges brought by changing social environment, family structure and functions. We are delighted to have succeeded in bidding to operate an aided standalone child care centre in Tin Shui Wai, serving families with children aged 0 to 3. It also helps unleash women’s labour force and encourage their social participation. Meanwhile, our educational psychologists and Y Seeds Wellness Service launched a pilot project of first-tier support services in kindergartens in Tin Shui Wai, providing training services to children suspected of having special educational needs (SEN), their parents or carers, and teachers for timely identification and intervention.

 

Service for SEN children and youth

The Association has continued to provide multi-disciplinary and diversified “family-based” rehabilitation support services for SEN children and youth, to facilitate their adjustment in different developmental stages, improve parents’ emotional health and family relationships, and encourage public acceptance and social inclusion. In response to class suspension and the new normal of “learning at home” under the pandemic, the Association actively supported the needs of SEN children and their families, including offering training materials, instructional videos, and online homework guidance to assist parents in performing home training and learning, as well as providing them with parenting and emotional support. Through different youth employment projects, we also enhanced the employability of SEN youth and prepared them for employment. Besides, the Association has developed professional SEN training materials based on years of service experience. This year, we have launched the “Y SENse Online Store”, where teaching materials accompanied by instructional videos produced by our staff are available, hoping to support teachers, social workers and families in need while sharing experiences with the sector.

 

Youth engagement and development

As young people become increasingly aware of social affairs, the Association is actively exploring innovative and professional services in the realms of social roles, development opportunities and social connections to promote their meaningful social participation. During the epidemic, the Association led young people to extend care and deliver anti-epidemic supplies to low-income grassroots families, elderly singletons and doubletons. To promote inter-generational harmony, activities such as “Life is Beautiful Online Musical” and “Cross-Generation Online Concert” were organized to encourage interaction between young people and stakeholders of different age groups in society. Meanwhile, entrusted by the Education Bureau, the Association launched the External Consultancy Services of Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET) Pilot Scheme for secondary schools in Hong Kong to provide teachers and parents of participating schools with professional training and consultation, with the aim of cultivating students’ diversified perspectives in career planning and helping them master the job skills needed. 

 

Elderly and primary healthcare service

The Association endeavors to promote the physical, psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing of the elderly and nurture their abundant lives. We encourage them to unleash their potentials, pass on experience and live an autonomous life. Through the “Plan & Go” Program, we helped individuals aged 50 or above understand their own interests and abilities, set retirement goals, and serve the community. Meanwhile, the Association was funded to establish a new service unit to promote the adjustment to retirement among married couples and strengthen their family support and resilience. To enhance primary healthcare and self-health management capabilities, the North District Health Centre (DHC) Express was set up. Services include disease prevention education, basic health risk assessment and chronic disease management. We hope that with our existing services in the district, the synergy effect will allow the Association to support the needs of the elderly and their family members in a more strategic and comprehensive manner.

Promote the application of technology

In order to foster the organizational capacity building amid the advancement of technology, the Association promotes the application of technology in three areas, namely optimization of network and equipment, application of big data, and enhancement of staff’s ability in the application of information technology (IT). In view of the impact of the epidemic over the past year, “working from home” and “mobile office” have become the new normal. Hence, the Association has improved the security of IT infrastructure and its capability for supporting remote working so that our staff can safely access the organization’s data, systems and services remotely and get fully prepared for possible contingencies in future. 

 

In view of the growing demands for social services, the administrative efficiency of the Association needs to be improved and adapted accordingly. Funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Association has launched the Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) System to integrate administrative processes and further enhance the administrative management and capacity building by promoting effective use of resources. We hope that this project can play a pioneering role in the sector by demonstrating how social service organizations facilitate service development and optimize the use of resources by taking advantage of technology. The Association has also been funded to establish a cross-agency collaborative platform for “On-site Pre-school Rehabilitation Services” (OPRS), and the preparation is in progress. With the advancement of technology, we believe that there are more possibilities and room for service development, social innovation, management procedures, etc. We will actively equip ourselves to keep pace with the times.

 

After a century of development, the Association has become a diversified social service organization serving people in need with love and care of Christ. The Association is going to start a new chapter under the “Bold Steps” Strategic Plan. I hope that people from all walks of life will continue to support us to fulfill our mission in the future.