This year, Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong marks the 115th anniversary of its establishment. This momentous milestone is reason to celebrate and indeed, our hearts will be jumping for joy all year. We are grateful and humbled that our Association has been able to build such a strong foundation in Hong Kong, and that we have grown and blossomed through the years and decades. We thank God for these incredible blessings.
The YMCA has always attached great importance to nurturing the young members of our society, and to creating an environment which is conducive to youth development. To broaden the international horizons of our youth, the Association has actively established exchange partnerships with other YMCAs around the world. In the past year, we have sent about one hundred of our youth members on international internships; while in the same period welcoming a number of overseas delegates from global YMCAs who assisted with our international cultural exchange programmes.
Helping the underprivileged unleash their potential and re-enter the workforce is also very important to the Association. In recent years, we have initiated several social enterprises – the ”New Creation Depot”, a restaurant, and “YM Balloon” – a balloon art specialty store. These enterprises provide on-the-job training for underprivileged people, including the parents of single families, youth with learning difficulties, physically handicapped people, the elderly and others.
In addition, the Association continuously cares for the mental, physical and spiritual needs of our service targets by offering a range of services which are specifically suited to their needs. To this end, our Kowloon Centre began offering clinical physiotherapy services last year. Guided by the concept of holistic rehabilitation, we provide comprehensive, high-quality physiotherapy services. The Wong Chuen King Student Development Centre was also established last year, providing training which targets the needs of special education students through a multi-disciplinary team. Specifically aimed at middle-aged individuals who retire early, the Association launched a new programme helping these individuals find ways to plan their retirement, develop their personal interests, invigorate their bodies and serve their communities.
As we celebrate this important anniversary, we will strive to continue to build a better community and glorify God through the YMCA ministries, by providing the highest-quality and most suitable services to people of different ages and with different needs all across Hong Kong society, throughout this year and long into the future.