Ms. Helena To
Enhance corporate governance to promote inter-generational leadership
Having established for over a century, Hong Kong YWCA will continue to uphold our mission through our service to honor God and benefit others.
Good corporate governance is the key to sustainable organizational development. To enhance corporate governance and promote inter-generational leadership, the Board Governance and Succession Taskforce has held several meetings in 2020 to conduct in-depth reviews and propose various suggestions on the Board composition, appointment and election mechanism as well as training and development, according to the Articles of Association and the Corporate Governance Handbook. Following deliberation and approval by the Board of Directors, several recommendations, including the establishment of the Taskforce for Training and Development of Board Members, have been progressively implemented this year. In addition to formulating a long-term training and development plan for the Board Directors and equipping the Board with expertise and diverse perspectives in line with the strategic development plan, the Taskforce has also actively promoted the understanding and recognition of the mission and core values of YWCA among the Board Directors, thereby establishing an effective and value-driven governance team. In order to further understand their knowledge and views towards the culture and values of YWCA, the role of the Board, and their training needs and expectations, the Taskforce conducted a survey this year, which findings has guided our future Board training and development direction.
Pass on the mission and values in unity
Hong Kong YWCA was founded by four Christian ladies who were inspired and moved by the calling of God. With the dedication to taking care of the needy ones in society, they studied the Bible and prayed together to seek God's guidance. In particular, they enthusiastically provided support with hospitality to those young ladies who left their hometown and travelled via Hong Kong on their way to study abroad. Meanwhile, the student association started to develop in several Christian girls’ secondary schools in Hong Kong and organized activities such as joint worship. With the establishment of Hong Kong YWCA in 1920, our accommodation services began and since then, the Association has been standing at the forefront to develop innovative services in response to the service needs brought about by the changes of the times and social development. Adhering to the aspiration of the founders, we believe that Christian faith, the mission and core values of YWCA are always the backbone of the Association and the original intention of our service, enabling us to fulfill the mission by developing various services over the decades and witness God’s love and grace. During the year, we have reinforced the integration of YWCA values in the training and development of Board Directors, talent selection, and staff induction program, etc. to pass on the unique YWCA culture. In the years ahead, we will continue to realize our mission by serving the needy with love, nurturing abundance in life, advancing women’s liberty and equality and striving to become a service pioneer in meeting pressing social needs, to manifest God’s blessings.
Praise the Lord at Centennial Anniversary
Looking back on 2020, the Association has welcomed its centennial anniversary amid the fluctuating COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, we cared about the pressure and difficulties experienced by our service recipients under the epidemic and were committed to helping them adapt to the new normal; on the other hand, we organized various centenary celebration events with a grateful heart, witnessing the Association walking hand-in-hand with Hong Kong for a hundred years. Despite the restrictions and uncertainties posed by the epidemic, I am grateful that the Board Directors, Committee Members, volunteers, staff and members of the Association demonstrated a collaborative spirit throughout. Their agility, creativity, and unremitting efforts exerted are appreciated. I would like to express my sincere gratitude towards everyone in making the celebration successful.
As we together revisited the past of YWCA and walked along the path of grace in various centenary activities, we reinforced the mission and values of the Association while conveying love and care for others. In the Centenary Anniversary Thanksgiving Celebration, we thanked God for His blessings over the past century, and pledged to inherit the devotion of the Association to serving the society with love. Meanwhile, we were honored to have invited local and overseas scholars, female leaders, and social welfare leaders to 100th Anniversary International Conference to share their experience and wisdom, with the vision of building a better world in solidarity. The enthusiastic participation of YWCA from all over the world once again demonstrated the spirit of unity of the YWCA family. During the “YWCA 100 Blessing Actions” activity, through volunteer services and resource sharing, we have gathered service units and volunteers to extend blessings and care to the community. Meanwhile, Fun Facts videos invited the public to learn about the dazzling, century-long history of the Association in a fun way. Echoed with the theme of “A Century of Grace and Love”, YWCA has been full of grace and blessings from God ever since its establishment 100 years ago. While we have developed close bonds with our service recipients and the community, we are also grateful for the care and affection from different stakeholders in the society.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our Honorary Presidents, Honorary Directors, Board Directors, Committee Members, members and volunteers for their continuous contributions. In particular, I would like to thank all staff of the Association for their solidarity and dedication in serving the community. Fruitful outcomes were achieved despite all the challenges and difficulties. Last but not the least, I also sincerely thank the government departments, our partners, enterprises, charity funds, and different sectors of society for their staunch support and guidance. I hope that YWCA can inherit the past and usher in the future with the blessing of our heavenly Father, thereby continuing to serve the community by carrying on the mission of the Association with love.