Heep Hong Society Establishes a New Manulife Children’s Resources Centre to Ease Waiting Pressure for Pre-school Special Education Services in Kowloon East
Heep Hong Society opens a new Manulife Children’s Resources Centre in Lam Tin today (30 May 2012) with an aim to ease the acute shortage in pre-school special education services in Kowloon East and provide early intervention and training opportunities for children who are waiting in line.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Director of Heep Hong Society Ms Nancy Tsang stated, “As at the end of April, over 6,300 children aged 0-6 were waitlisted for the government’s subsidized pre-school special education services and the number keeps on rising. Kowloon East sees the longest queue of over 1,500 children and they normally have to wait for at least one to two years. The new Centre targets to serve 1,000 children and parents each year.”
Mr. Michael Huddart, Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer for Manulife (International) Limited, echoed, “We understand that early intervention and treatment are crucial for children with special education needs. With the waiting-list of rehabilitation services keeps getting longer, Manulife is delighted to be able to work with Heep Hong Society once again in establishing this Resources Centre as a ‘first door’ to families who are desperately looking for resources to help their children. The opening of the Centre also chimed most appropriately with our 125th global anniversary.”
Dr Henry Au Yeung, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Heep Hong Society, added, “Thanks to the support from the Manulife Charitable Foundation and assistance from China Light and Power and the Social Welfare Department, we are able to set up a centre in Lam Tin and provide timely support to children during their golden training period and their parents who suffer from great stress.’
In a survey conducted by Heep Hong Society, more than 600 parents of children with special needs were interviewed. About 60 per cent of them said that they had experienced great or tremendous pressure when taking care of their children; and 70 per cent of the interviewees expressed various levels of agitations experienced during the waiting period such as nervousness, annoyance, confusion, worsened marital relationships, and even the thought of abandoning their children and committing suicide.
In addition to training and therapeutic services for children, Manulife Children’s Resources Centre also focuses on supporting parents by organising seminars, workshop and activities for both parents and children. The Centre is conveniently located in Lam Tin and provides training and therapeutic treatment to children with autism, language delay, dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). For more information, please visit Heep Hong Society’s website at www.heephong.org or call 2379 1091.