Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong


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YMCA 2019 July Perspective


Cover Story

Cover Story
Transforming Spaces, Transforming Lives
Transforming LivesHave you ever considered that living in a tiny, cramped apartment could be the cause of irritable moods, poor parent-child relationships, low self-esteem, and even problems with social skills? To address this issue and help disadvantaged families develop harmonious family relationships, some time ago Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong launched the “Space Transformation” programme.

By joining forces with the business sector and interior design professionals, the Space Transformation programme works to optimise the living environment for residents of subdivided flats in Yau Tsim Mong District, aiming to create an optimal living environment for everyone in the community.

Two years ago, Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong’s Jordan Centre collaborated with Union Bancaire Privée (UBP), now being one of our Y-Care corporate partners, to kick off the Space Transformation programme. Ms See Man Yan, our Coordinating Secretary, recalls that “In 2015, we began to notice the adverse effects of living in subdivided housing. It was apparent that the psychological development of children living in these cramped conditions, including vital developmental aspects like their self-esteem and social skills, was being stunted. We decided to collaborate with the business sector to improve the living environment of families in need, while at the same time strengthening their family bonds through our family services, in the hopes of creating a more positive environment for child development.”

Transforming LivesIn addition to having the full support of UBP, the programme also received a significant contribution from an architect team called “Comma" and teams of other volunteers, with a total of 33 low-income families benefiting over the programme’s two-year run. Jackie, a representative of UBP, remarks that “we talked to an 11-year-old child from a low-income family, she told us that the poor living conditions made her not feel like to stay at home. But after the transformation of her living space, she now has a designated area for doing homework; and she is happy with her new cosy home. Even the smallest contributions can make an impact on society. This programme has helped realise the dreams of the underprivileged and this gave us a great sense of satisfaction.”

Holly is one of the many beneficiaries of the Space Transformation programme; and she is thrilled with the results. Taking about her home before the transformation, she says that “I used to think I was organised since I stored everything in bags and hung them on the bedframe. The problem was, after a while, they got covered in dust and the flat still looked messy, no matter how hard I tried to be organised. There was no space for the children to play, and their toys were everywhere, not to mention the fact that they had to crouch on the floor to do their homework. Living in a subdivided flat put me under a lot of pressure.”

Transforming LivesBrian, a lead designer from Comma, said that “While Hong Kong is a developed city, there are still 200,000 to 300,000 people living in subdivided flats. As an architect, I believe that I should use my professional abilities to improve the living standards of these people; having designated areas for eating and doing homework is important for every family. The space transformations we put in place were quite challenging, as they had to take place while people were living on-site. I’m glad that we had so many volunteers.” One of these volunteers was Mabel, a Form 5 student. Despite having no experience in renovation work, after understanding the needs of the beneficiary families, she was able to source materials and used furniture online for them.

To learn more about our Space Transformation programme and how you can help, please call 2841 1411.



What’s New
Vote the CYMCA’s Super GoldenAge senior volunteers today!
Super GoldenAge senior volunteersA group of volunteers from our Chai Wan Elderly Neighbourhood work hard to provide emotional support to senior citizens in the neighbourhood as well as serving them home-cooked meals and fresh bread donated by a local bakery. This team of senior volunteers, called the “Super GoldenAge Volunteer Team” has been nominated for the Spirit of Hong Kong Awards hosted by the South China Morning Post. Let’s vote for them and honour these unsung heroes! Please click here to make your vote count on or before 31 July 2019.

To vote:
  1. Click on the link
  2. Scroll down until you reach the image of the Super GoldenAge volunteer team.
  3. Click the circle underneath the image to select the team and vote!

The final results will be announced at the Spirit of Hong Kong Awards Ceremony, which will be held on 12 September. The list of winners will also be published on the SCMP website around 19 September.


Activities Highlights
Balloon twisting programme brings joy to all
Balloon twisting programmeThe Hang Seng – YMCA Balloon Twisting Programme for Special Educational Needs Students 2018-2020 recently entered its third year, and so far over 400 students with special educational needs from primary and secondary schools have benefited from the programme. In a new twist, this August, students from the programme will participate in the International Balloon Art Competition held in Taiwan. This competition is not only fun and empowering; we hope that the participants will learn skills that will help them integrate into the community.

Meanwhile, a team of 13 primary students was invited to a Hang Seng Bank staff event, communicating with the public through a workshop and balloon art demonstrations and building their social skills at the same time. What’s more, these students and a team of Hang Seng Bank volunteers will also take part in the “Hang Seng-YMCA Balloon Twisting Programme Community Exhibition Day” which will be held in Phase II of the Fortune Mall in Tin Shui Wai on 2 August. The event will feature games booths, free balloons and a balloon twisting workshop. Everyone is welcome to join us!

The Hang Seng-YMCA Balloon Twisting Programme Community Exhibition Day
Date: 2 August 2019 (Friday)
Time: 1pm to 4:30pm
Venue: Phase II, Fortune Mall, No. 12-15 Tin Yan Road, Tin Shui Wai.
Enquiry Number: 2217 8813 (Mr Tang/ Ms Wu)


YMCA Y-Care partner awarded for serving the needy
Y-Care partner Our Y-Care Bronze partner Hong Kong Hachiban Limited has been working with us to serve the needy in the community since 2016. This year, their efforts were rewarded when they received a Community Caring Shop designation from the Community Caring Shop Recognition Scheme Awards 2018-19, presented by the Social Welfare Department. Hong Kong Hachiban Limited was commended specifically for their active participation in volunteer services.

We hopes that more commercial partners will join our Y-Care CSR Scheme in the future, helping us promote the spirit of volunteerism in Hong Kong to allow even more people in the community to get the care and help they need.


Discover YMCA Channel
Highlights of the Sunlight Unplug Day
Sunlight Unplug Day video


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