Ms. Helena To
100th Anniversary Thanksgiving
A hundred years ago, the local Chinese society was still under the influence of traditional feudalism, and the status of the two sexes was not equal. Four devout Christian women were called by the Holy Spirit in prayer to respond to the social needs of the time with the spirit of Christ. They had founded the Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association in 1920, inspired to build a society with gender equality and mutual respect by enhancing women's abilities and social status, so that everyone can utilize their talents, realize their dreams, and contribute to society. With God’s blessing and guidance, as well as the unity and hard work of previous directors, committee members, staff, volunteers and members, the Association has developed into a diversified social service organisation providing a wide range of services to different communities. For a hundred years, when facing various social changes and challenges, the Association has always responded to social demands in the spirit of Christ and fulfilled its mission. We thank Heavenly Father for his blessing to the Hong Kong YWCA, allowing us to witness His abundance of grace in our service. In the future, we shall uphold the mission of enhancing life with love and care, and by providing people-oriented services, we will strive for the well-being of society. I deeply hope that we will look to God with one heart, rely on His spirit, carry forward the spirit of Christ, and honor God and benefit others.
Inheriting Corporate Governance
Good governance plays an important role in organisational development. The Association has been actively improving her governance capabilities and is committed to promoting inter-generational leadership. In order to further strengthen corporate governance and inheritance to meet future changes, during the year Board of Directors established the Board Governance and Succession Taskforce to conduct an in-depth review of the board composition, its appointment and election mechanisms, and the training and development of new directors which led to later discussion and relevant recommendations. We also attach importance to leadership inheritance and cultivate the ability of young directors. This year, young directors were delegated by the Association to attend international conferences, including the YWCA World Council Meeting and Asia YWCA Regional Meeting where they exchanged ideas with representatives of YWCAs from various places on different topics, in return cultivate their international vision, and deepen their understanding of the YWCA Movement.
Voice for Women at International Conferences
As an international women organisation and a member of the world YWCA family, the Association has been making good use of the YWCA’s international platform to promote the YWCA Movement, and is committed to cultivating young female leaders with an international perspective and rallying forces to promote gender equality and respect so that women can give full play to their talents and live their brilliant lives. In November 2019, the Association sent an 8-member delegation composed of directors, young female volunteers and staff to attend the 29th YWCA World Council Meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, and exchanged ideas and learned with representatives of young women from all over the world. With the theme of "Young Women Transforming Power Structure and Promoting Gender Equality", women leaders from various countries shared their experiences and perspectives on promoting women participation and gender equality in conferences and workshops. At the workshop under the theme of “Young Women Leadership: Rise Up”, two young female volunteers of the Association were also selected to share with representatives from various countries their personal experience and growth after participating in the Hong Kong Women’s Voice "Glocal Y" Project. One of them also shared her life transformation stories on behalf of other young female leaders from other countries.
In addition, the Association sent four representatives in June 2019, including the director, young female volunteers and staff of the Association to participate in the Asia YWCA Regional Meeting held in South Korea. Representatives from 12 Asian regions discussed the progress of the women movement and social service experience of various YWCAs in Asia. In recent years, the Association has also made good use of online platforms to conduct online meetings with young women in the Asia-Pacific region and all over the world to express and exchange opinions on international women issues. I hope that in the future, we can strengthen the connection and unite the strength of various YWCAs from all over the world, and create more platforms and opportunities for showcasing women leadership and talents.
Joining Hands with Different Sectors during the Pandemic
In 2020, the COVID-19 has spread globally, and Hong Kong was no escape. At the beginning of the outbreak, epidemic prevention materials were in shortage and various social distancing measures were implemented. Some industries were hit by the epidemic and the livelihoods of citizens were affected. However, Hong Kong has become more caring amidst the epidemic. Our partners, different corporates, and sectors of society have joined hands with the Association to provide assistance to those in need, including donating masks, disinfection supplies and food to alleviate the urgent needs of the public, mobilizing volunteers to make and distribute anti-epidemic kits to those in need and sponsoring the Association to launch various emergency services to support the needs of different communities. I would like to thank every partner who walked with us and Hong Kong under the epidemic, and let us witness that every help, selfless sharing and sincere care have become every bright and warm light.
In the past year, our service has faced many challenges. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all directors, committee members, volunteers and staff for their faith, teamwork, and valuable support and guidance from all walks of life. Let us work together under the leadership of Heavenly Father to provide appropriate services to the public, and fulfill the service purpose of "life enhancement". In the future, we will continue to carry on our mission and serve the community. We hope that you can walk side by side with us and bring more love and care to the society.