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“It is not only a problem of lack of resources, but also a result of outdated policies, uncoordinated strategies and misplaced priorities.”

Fu Tak Iam Foundation Editorial Board

 

Hong Kong is one of the world’s wealthiest cities. Ironically, more than 1.37 million people in Hong Kong are living below poverty line, in real terms that means a single person with a monthly income of HK$4,000 or below, according to the latest Poverty Situation Report. Living cost is rising fiercely; the average waiting time for public housing is as long as 5.5 years. Unresolved issues of housing, health prevention, mental health and so on bring frustrations to the grassroots. Pessimism is running throughout the city.

 

As a philanthropic foundation set out to improve the quality of life for all, especially the deprived, we see that many needs in the society remain unattended. Two years ago, we set foot in Kwai Chung by establishing the “Warm Shelter” and leasing out units to 4 NGOs at a subsidized rent to support establishment of new services. Two years down the road, we are glad to see the organizations have settled down and are filling some of the service gaps.

 

Nonetheless, there is still a great deal to be done for the population in the area. According to the population census, Kwai Tsing district has the third highest percentage of working poor and the lowest education level. The prevalence of family violence is also at top three among all districts. 

 

 

Population Characteristics of Kwai Chung

(Data source: Social Welfare Department, Hong Kong Poverty Situation Report 2017, Census and Statistics Department)


  1. Lowest education level: 7% had education level at primary or below

  2. Family violence at top three: 9.2% of total reported cases in Hong Kong

  3. 3rd Highest % of working poor: 40.6% of the poor households are working poor

  4. 4th highest number of single-parent households in poverty (7%)

  5. High dependency on sole working member (average household size: economically active member ratio =2.6:0.6)

  6. 3rd highest poor population with disabilities: 12.8k; poverty rate 31.9%, twice higher than the general poverty rate

  7. Large elderly population(65+): 3rd highest in HK

 

As we come closer to the issues, we are more convinced that it is not only a problem of lack of resources, but also a result of outdated policies, uncoordinated strategies and misplaced priorities. For example,

 

  1. Slow development of ‘outreach’ service (i.e. outreaching approach) to identify the truly needy,

  2. Few evening or night sessions to serve the working poor to enable necessary access to services,

  3. Educational workshops which inadequately address the issue of IT literacy of the disadvantaged middle-aged groups.

  4.  

 

Service gaps are also an indirect consequence of soaring property price. The lack of affordable venues poses huge difficulties for NGOs to open new services without government subvention. Meanwhile, the Government initiatives are always only in terms of money or food allowance which hardly create sustained or empowering impacts.

 

How can philanthropic foundations encourage paradigm shift in the way we serve? Firstly, we consciously learn from frontline workers to better understand the root issues behind. Secondly, we carefully choose projects that can answer to the needs of the deprived and bring sustained impacts to the community. And lastly, we deliberately commit ourselves to longer-term funding support for these projects to enable service consolidation.

 

As a start, we have extended support to three projects in Kwai Chung in Mid-2018 to serve the working poor families, namely “Against Child Abuse: Kwai Chung Child Protection Centre”, “Caritas: Sustainable Mutual Support Community for the Low-income Families”, and “Health in Action: Health Management Project for Working Poor Families”. It is our honor to partner with them---the capable and passionate leaders and frontline workers who support our initiative.

 

In particular, in the upcoming 3 years, Health in Action will expand the existing multidisciplinary health team to set up a new health centre in Kwai Chung which also provides mobile health services. It is featured in the article story of this issue. I hope that you will share the same appreciation as we do. The other Kwai Chung projects will be introduced in the following issues.

 

Read more about Kwai Chung Projects >>

 

Read more about Warm Shelter >>

 

 

Fu Tak Iam Foundation Editorial Board

 

Hong Kong is one of the world’s wealthiest cities. Ironically, more than 1.37 million people in Hong Kong are living below poverty line, in real terms that means a single person with a monthly income of HK$4,000 or below, according to the latest Poverty Situation Report. Living cost is rising fiercely; the average waiting time for public housing is as long as 5.5 years. Unresolved issues of housing, health prevention, mental health and so on bring frustrations to the grassroots. Pessimism is running throughout the city.

 

As a philanthropic foundation set out to improve the quality of life for all, especially the deprived, we see that many needs in the society remain unattended. Two years ago, we set foot in Kwai Chung by establishing the “Warm Shelter” and leasing out units to 4 NGOs at a subsidized rent to support establishment of new services. Two years down the road, we are glad to see the organizations have settled down and are filling some of the service gaps.

 

Nonetheless, there is still a great deal to be done for the population in the area. According to the population census, Kwai Tsing district has the third highest percentage of working poor and the lowest education level. The prevalence of family violence is also at top three among all districts.

 

 

Population Characteristics of Kwai Chung

(Data source: Social Welfare Department, Hong Kong Poverty Situation Report 2017, Census and Statistics Department)


  1. Lowest education level: 7% had education level at primary or below

  2. Family violence at top three: 9.2% of total reported cases in Hong Kong

  3. 3rd Highest % of working poor: 40.6% of the poor households are working poor

  4. 4th highest number of single-parent households in poverty (7%)

  5. High dependency on sole working member (average household size: economically active member ratio =2.6:0.6)

  6. 3rd highest poor population with disabilities: 12.8k; poverty rate 31.9%, twice higher than the general poverty rate

  7. Large elderly population(65+): 3rd highest in HK

 

As we come closer to the issues, we are more convinced that it is not only a problem of lack of resources, but also a result of outdated policies, uncoordinated strategies and misplaced priorities. For example,

 

  1. Slow development of ‘outreach’ service (i.e. outreaching approach) to identify the truly needy,

  2. Few evening or night sessions to serve the working poor to enable necessary access to services,

  3. Educational workshops which inadequately address the issue of IT literacy of the disadvantaged middle-aged groups.

  4.  

 

Service gaps are also an indirect consequence of soaring property price. The lack of affordable venues poses huge difficulties for NGOs to open new services without government subvention. Meanwhile, the Government initiatives are always only in terms of money or food allowance which hardly create sustained or empowering impacts.

 

How can philanthropic foundations encourage paradigm shift in the way we serve? Firstly, we consciously learn from frontline workers to better understand the root issues behind. Secondly, we carefully choose projects that can answer to the needs of the deprived and bring sustained impacts to the community. And lastly, we deliberately commit ourselves to longer-term funding support for these projects to enable service consolidation.

 

As a start, we have extended support to three projects in Kwai Chung in Mid-2018 to serve the working poor families, namely “Against Child Abuse: Kwai Chung Child Protection Centre”, “Caritas: Sustainable Mutual Support Community for the Low-income Families”, and “Health in Action: Health Management Project for Working Poor Families”. It is our honor to partner with them---the capable and passionate leaders and frontline workers who support our initiative.

 

In particular, in the upcoming 3 years, Health in Action will expand the existing multidisciplinary health team to set up a new health centre in Kwai Chung which also provides mobile health services. It is featured in the article story of this issue. I hope that you will share the same appreciation as we do. The other Kwai Chung projects will be introduced in the following issues.

 

Read more about Kwai Chung Projects >>

 

Read more about Warm Shelter >>