Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hong Kong -- First (half) Day

We arrived at the hotel from the airport (the Mariner's Club) at 1:00 and ate lunch. We were shown to our rooms and at 3:00 we were back on a bus to head to two welfare service units.

There are 400 welfare service units in Hong Kong started by the Anglican Church. The Social Service Department of the church coordinated work within the parishes and missions to coordinate services.

Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (the Anglican Church in Hong Kong -- 3 dioceses and one missionary area.) ....doing justice and loving kindness is the hallmark of their work in the social service arena. Everything from child care centers to centers to provide work and income for mentally ill and mentally handicapped.

Putting Christ's love into service.

The Providence Garden for Rehab, which we visited today, is a 13 story building with a total flooor area of 20,000 meters squared. It provides various forms of service from mentally ill persons including long stay care at the facility, currently housing 700 people.

The professional team -- over 350 members of the staff, which is multidisciplinary -- art, music, medical, social worker, nurse, dispenser, physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, heath worker, and support fromthe Chaplain and congregation.

Spiritual development as service direction and goal for them is to follow the spirit and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Providence Garden -- Grace harvested in abundance, with a focus on the fruits of the spirit -- spiritual, mind and body.

They have a social enterprise which is a restaurant where the members are trained to work. In addition they have a bakery where they are taught baking and produce cookies and breads (delicious!)

Funding historically came through the churches. From the 1970s most of the income of the welfare council is from the government -- the total expense is about 8 billion HKD per year. 70 percent of the money comes from the government. Less than 10 percent are private donations, the rest is from social enterprises such as the restaurants and bakery and art. The government trusts the church to do the best work, and has historically trusted them.

The body/mind/spirit model is holistic, working with the members here, and this is the only facility that does so out of 16 other facilities recognized and certified by the government. They have regular church services for the members -- 60 members here have been baptized. The members of St. Peter's church become the godparents of the members here. When the members attend the service, it is the time when they are most attentive -- they sit peacefully and attentively to the service. They understand!

In 2016 they will celebrate their 50th anniversary.

We then toured the rest of the building -- here is a meditation/prayer room for the staff (well, part of the room!) The facilities are immaculate, and the detail to care looks outstanding. The members there earn money by producing goods such as cross stitch items, totes, art work, etc. which are sold on the premises as well as in outside shops that work with the center.

We then went to Good Kitchen -- which was started by Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council, sponosred by Henderland Land Group

Mission -- Transform life and live in abundance. They employ those who are hard to be employed, such as women who have never had experience working and pay them a living wage. The uniform color is orange is an energetic and happy color -- what we hope our customers can feel.
Love the Earth protect the environment. Recycle pallets into display carts, build floor to ceiling windows and use environmentally friendly materials. Also, use non-fire cooking kitchen -- using use of fuel, and less noise for hte cooks.
Love the Earth Protect the Environment -- saving water as well as they were recognized in second place as a energy saving out of 4,000 companies reviewed!
Healthy Diet Ethical Consumption -- seasonal ingredients, local and organic ingredients, lless salt and oil, and no MSG. They have an in house dietician.
Social innovation and spirit of partnership -- collaborate with other Social Enterprises, and promote social innovations and mutual support. Cooking classes for children.

It was a long day, but so worth it to see two of the social service agencies that are in place in the Anglican Province of Hong Kong -- two very different agencies, working for the health and welfare of the people of Hong Kong.

I leave you with some pictures of our adventures today.

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