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YMCA 2018 June Perspective

21-06-2018
Realising Love by Realising Dreams
Cover story
Realising Love by Realising Dreams
We all have dreams or desires that we wish could come true. Some of us might wish ourselves owning property or running a business, others might dream of being a doctor or a famous singer. The dreams and aspirations of the poor and the vulnerable are generally quite different though – they could be as simple as tracing a long-lost relative, finding shelter on a rainy day, visiting the Peak, experiencing what driving a bus is like, or even just being given a friendly greeting.

Often, the things that underprivileged people desire are simple and easy to achieve, and they can also have life-changing impacts for them. As the Bible tells us, “it is more blessed to give than to receive”; but are you willing to give up your valuable time to volunteer and help those less fortunate than yourself realise their dreams?

Realising Love by Realising Dreams Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong’s ”Realise Love Realise Dreams” project has been successfully running since 2012, recruiting volunteers and raising funds to help for making people’s dreams come true. So far, the project has helped 50 eligible individuals, including a young man with severe hearing impairments and other disabilities. We arranged for him to visit a KMB bus depot and act as a bus captain for a day. We also gave an ex-mentally person a subsidy for a one-year English course to give them more opportunities; and provided grants to senior residents in rural areas which they used to repair the doors and windows of their homes to help ensure their safety.

Ms Fong Kam Yung is one of the project’s beneficiaries. For her, the memories of her experience – being taken to Victoria Peak – are as vivid as if they had happened only yesterday. “I'm 97 years old and I hadn't been to the Peak for ages. With my limited mobility, I don’t know how I would have got there. I'm so grateful for all the assistance I received – the volunteers were so thoughtful, they even had a bag standing by when they heard that I sometimes get carsick.”

Realising Love by Realising DreamsWe often associate volunteering with helping others, but the fact is, when we help others we also help ourselves. Po Ying volunteered with the Realise Love Realise Dreams project to help seniors trace missing relatives in their hometowns. She told us that, “In comparison to the one-off volunteer activities in senior homes, helping the elderly trace family members they have not seen in years makes a significant contribution to everyone’s lives. This work means a lot to me too and it has really changed my perspective.”

Po Ying previously helped Ms Lam, a 92-year-old lady, reconnect with her brother in Xinhui, and the 90-year-old Ms Ng reconnect with her niece. “The reunion was emotional and incredible; despite her relatively poor memory, Ms Lam instantly recognized her brother, even after living apart from him for 40 years. A tearful embrace between the long-lost siblings followed and there were tears in my eyes too”, Po Ying said.

She continued, “In fact, I was initially assigned to assist three seniors with tracing their families; however one of them passed away during the process. Even so, the deceased man successfully reconnected with his lost relatives over the phone before he was hospitalized.” Through helping seniors get in touch with their faraway families, Po Ying has realized that life is short and that we should cherish every moment and every opportunity we receive.

Po Yin is now regularly involved in volunteering, believing that “we all have a busy schedule, but many of us still feel empty inside. The truth is that volunteering leads to greater personal satisfaction. Even if you do it just once a week; it makes a difference. Helping yourself by helping others through volunteering is not a cliché – it’s a fact.”

If you would like to take part in this meaningful project or if you would like to apply for assistance, please click here to learn more about the Realise Love Realise Dreams project.

 

What’s New?
R-Day breakaway experience
全港3D打印比賽Millions of us live our lives in this modern city, rushing headlong through the day and, whether we are adults or children, facing daily pressures from our family, work and school lives. So how do we rejuvenate? Some people choose to sleep all day during the weekends, others play video games or listen to music. Often though, soon after returning to work or school, we feel the same way. The truth is, to permanently ease our pressures, we must first learn the right attitude. And we have some good news for you: Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong is about to launch a series of activities that will teach people how to relax and rejuvenate! Click here to learn more and stay tuned for more details!

 

Flying Classroom 2018
Flying Classroom 2018Have you ever taken a helicopter ride? How about a plane journey? Are you thinking of joining the aviation industry after you graduate? Well get ready for take-off! As long as you are in Form 3 to Form 6, you are eligible to participate in an annual event jointly organised by Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong and the Aviation Club. The Flying Classroom 2018 event will give participants the opportunity to learn about aviation and experience the incredible fun of flying.

Please click here for event details.

Online registration
Registration deadline: 1 July 2018
Enquiries: Please contact Mr Siu on 2727 5445 or by WhatsApp at 9804 8964

 

Activities Highlights
No Plastic Bottle Day
No Plastic Bottle DayNo Plastic Bottle Day is a yearly campaign to help for raising public awareness about the increasingly severe problems created by plastic bottles. An event was held on the day at Lok Fu Place. The theme for this year’s event was “No Straw – Enjoy Your Drink” and the objective was to encourage people to stop using plastic drinking straws and carry a reusable water bottle with them. A number of special guests were invited to share their views on the environmental and health benefits of using less plastic, including Professor Jonathan Wong Woon Chung MH, a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University’s Department of Biology; Mr Tsang Hiu Yeung, a registered Chinese medicine practitioner at the Hong Kong Baptist University Chinese Medicine Clinic; and Ms Yau Mei Ling, a nutritionist.

We also provided cold beverages for people in the community and encouraged people to bring their own water bottles. To further reinforce the message of No Plastic Bottle Day, this year we are also running the No Plastic Bottle Challenge, which will hopefully motivate more people to live a plastic-free lifestyle.

Click here to learn more about the No Plastic Bottle Challenge and to discover some fantastic summer drink recipes!

 

Organic Green Experience Day
Organic Green Experience Day Last month, Hang Seng Bank, one of our Y-Care Corporate Partners, sent a corporate volunteer team to take part in an ecological farming trip. Thirty-five children from ethnic minority families, low-income families, and newly-arrived families took part and enjoyed organic meals and relaxed in a beautiful natural environment. Both volunteers and children came to understand the importance of living a green lifestyle and made a commitment to protect the environment during their visit.

 

Global YMCA Updates
Obrigado São Paulo YMCA! The beginning of a long-term relationship

 

Global YMCA UpdatesIn the spirit of further expanding and deepening cooperation with the São Paulo YMCA in Brazil, this April, we launched a bilateral staff exchange programme. After Marco Aurelio Guimaraes, staff leader at the São Paulo YMCA, completed his visit to Hong Kong in May, our colleague Danny Lai, who is in charge of our Bridges Street Centre, embarked on a return exchange to Brazil.

Danny will spend one month at the São Paulo YMCA, mainly involved in sports and recreational services. He will gain new knowledge and experience and share his expertise and insights in this field with local YMCA staff, members and volunteers. So far, Danny’s visit has been very active and he has been leading many activities, like a children’s swimming festival, rope training and group sports activities. Danny was also part of the organizing team for this year’s YMCA World Challenge event which took place on 2 June, where almost 100 São Paulo YMCA members had a great time taking part in a street running activity.

Danny will return to Hong Kong at the end of June, which will mark the end of the bi-lateral staff exchange programme for 2018. We feel this is a strong start to this relationship and that many new opportunities for cooperation and exchange between both YMCAs will now be possible. The experience and knowledge that both Marco and Danny have gained this year will certainly be reflected in the services provided to our members in the future.

 

Discover YMCA Channel
The Realise Love Realise Dreams project’s “Fix Up the Home” initiative
Fix Up the Home video

 


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