Passing on the mission of “Enhancement of life”
The Association was founded to witness the love and compassion of Christ. Over ninety years ago, Chinese young women frequently travelled via Hong Kong on their way to study abroad. Several warm-hearted Christian ladies who understood their needs received them with hospitality in Hong Kong. They often gathered to pray and study the Bible, and later founded Hong Kong YWCA in 1920. Established for almost a century, the Association has been upholding its founding mission amid various social changes. We remain committed to enhancing the whole-person development of individuals, serving the community and advocating a caring and just society, with our faith in Christ. Generations of YWCA fellows have passed on the Association’s core values and devoted themselves to serving the society for its betterment. It is my pleasure to take up the role of President following Mrs. Patricia Ling to join hands with all of you to fulfill the mission of life enhancement. I sincerely hope that in the days ahead, the Association will continue to follow the Lord’s footsteps to show love and care, and be a blessing to all in His presence.
Grooming young women leaders
As a long-established women’s organisation in Hong Kong, the Association endeavors to advance its women-centered services to empower women to give full play to their strengths and contribute in the workplace, community and family. Carrying the theme “Showing the youth power”, this year’s 3•8 YWCA Day encouraged all sectors of the community to collectively eradicate gender stereotypes so that young people can fully develop their potential and boldly pursue their dream. Besides sharing by the guests, survey findings were released and drama was performed. As a pioneer in women’s service, the Association has always placed strong emphasis on the nurturance of young women leaders. Since 2004, the young women leadership training programme Women’s Voice has been launched with a series of leadership training and overseas exchange activities organised. Participants not only exchanged their views on different gender issues, but also developed their independent thinking and problem solving skills. They were equipped with heightened gender awareness and a global vision. To further reiterate our initiatives in promoting women to speak out and play an active role in policy advocacy, the training programme was subsequently renamed Glocal Y to accentuate the principle of “Think global, act local”. Young women leaders with local commitment and international perspective have been groomed to drive for change and work together for women’s advancement.
Fostering a caring culture
The Association has always been dedicated to providing the community with people-oriented services on Christian love. In the same spirit, we care for the personal development and well-being of all our members, volunteers, staff, committee and board members of the Association. A caring and supportive working environment was promoted where they can build their capacity and realise their potential. Since the establishment of “Y’s Unity” taskforce in 2012, we have stepped up effort to strengthen the cohesiveness among board and committee members as well as staff. In addition to the enhancement on family-friendly policies, the Health Master Award was hosted to promote the importance of self-care and work-life balance whereas the Y Award Scheme was launched to commend staff members who have truly lived out the spirit of YWCA in four domains, namely “Young”, “Wisdom”, “Commitment” and “Association”. Besides, to enhance the organisational culture of the Association, the organisational culture survey was conducted this year for the second time to examine staff’s perception of their work conditions and experience. By organising activities such as thanksgiving gathering, founding day prayer meeting and service visit, communication among board and committee members as well as staff is fostered for building closer ties.
Marching toward the centenary
It has been almost a century since the founding of the Association in 1920. Looking back on the every step we have made, we have again and again witnessed the lived experience of life enhancement. While we strive to cater for the needs of community at the forefront by adapting to the evolving social policies and environment with an innovative approach, we never leave our mission behind. In the coming year, we will enter the centenary of the Association, which is an important milestone in our history. I would like to thank all parts of the Association who have been actively involved in the preparation for multiple celebration activities. I earnestly hope that the Association will continue to embody love and care and devote selflessly to manifest the spirit of the centenary to the public.
With God’s grace, we have attained significant achievements in various services over the past year. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all board and committee members, members, volunteers and staff for their commitment and contribution. I am also grateful to our friends and partners in different sectors for their support and recognition. Our concerted effort has borne fruit and bestowed upon us an abundance of accomplishments. We believe that lives are strong. Be it seeds, young seedlings, plants with green foliage or blooming flowers, all have the capability to grow and thrive in different environments. Looking forward, we shall continue to embrace Christian faith and nurture lives with God’s guidance. I genuinely hope that we can stand by each other to offer warmth and support on the journey toward a flourishing life.