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Heep Hong Society

Chief Executive Officer's Message

Peter AuYeung

Welcome to Heep Hong Society's website.

As Hong Kong battles through the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Heep Hong Society is continuing to provide quality services for children and young people with special needs and their families – no matter what the circumstances. We're also striving to bring innovative new approaches into our programmes and continually looking for ways improve our services. No man – or charity – is an island, and we wouldn't be so successful without the support of the many businesses, donors, institutions, volunteers and government departments that help make our work our happen. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to them, and to thank all my colleagues for their efforts and our parents for their trust (as well as the support they have shown fellow families).

Anyone who has spent any time around young children understands that development begins well before school – in fact, the years from birth to preschool are a golden period for learning and growth. This is why timely support is so important to the work that we do. In line with this, I was excited to launch our JC InnoPower: Care Preemie Parents last year. Through this programme, we provide premature babies and their parents with much-needed emotional support and practical assistance through care packages for newborns, written guides for parents, online seminars, and chat rooms where fellow travellers can find a friendly ear.

We also actively cooperated with different charitable foundations to provide subsidised psychological assessments for young children suspected of having developmental disabilities, thus ensuring they could access the preschool rehabilitation services they needed. More than 200 children benefitted from our work in this area, greatly reducing parental anxiety and stress as well as the time spent by children on assessment wait lists. The pandemic has been difficult for all of us. But for children with special needs and their families it has presented unique challenges. To explore these, we worked with the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong to survey families about the pressures they face. In light of their responses, we are producing an intervention kit to help those who are near breaking point and facing extreme stress.

Everyone wants their abilities to be valued – and people with special needs are no different. Heep Hong Society's top priority is to make good use of children's and young people's interests, assisting them to explore their potential and helping them to grow. Last year, we adopted a strengths-based model in mainstream secondary schools, bringing science and information technology into the classroom by incorporating activities as diverse as magic and drone programming. These education programs are specially designed to improve the interpersonal communication skills of children with special education needs (SEN). Our talent school also introduced drama and stories so that children could make choices about their learning that best suited their personal interests. An important part of our job is to provide employment support for young people with SEN. To do so, we're taking the lead in recruiting young adults into our different service units through the government's job creation program. In doing so, we're hoping to serve as a model for how other organisations interested in employing young people with SEN can achieve the best results. So far, young people involved in the programme have produced teaching kits for parents to purchase and have helped filmed graduation ceremonies – building their self-confidence and sense of self-worth, and contributing to society.

The pandemic affected our ability to conduct face-to-face educational activities, but it also inspired us to innovate. In this vein, we produced Heepflix this year, giving parents the opportunity to watch video clips with suggested parent–child activities, such as story time and educational games that they can choose to take advantage of while working from home. And in mainland China, we've moved to online provision of all training courses for those wishing to work in the special education. This has allowed us to significantly increase the number of courses we offer. Even rehabilitation workers and parents in remote areas can easily participate, meaning the benefits of our work can spread into more provinces and cities.

Next year is Heep Hong Society's 60th anniversary. Over the years, in good times and bad, our close-kinit team has done its best to nurture every little seedling to grow to its full potential. In the future, the Heep Hong team will adhere to our mission of 'inspiring individual potential, enhancing family cohesiveness, and promoting social integration' to support children and young people with special needs to thrive while contributing to a more harmonious and inclusive society. We hope you join us.

Rachel Leung
Chief Executive Officer
Heep Hong Society