Rev. Alan CHAN
Chairman of C & M A Social Services Committee
Looking back on C&MA Social Services (CMASS) development, it can be traced back to the 1950s. When churches were established, various services were developed alongside, for instance, refugee relief and the establishment of free schools. In the 1970s, C&MA planted churches in new towns and applied to the Government for commencing social services in new housing estates, such as study rooms, elderly centres and child care centres. In the 1990s, CMASS’s community services grew gradually, so C&MA Church Union (CMACU) established the “C&MA Social Services Central Administration Office” in 1990, which was renamed as “C&MA Social Services” (CMASS) in 2003. Thirty years passed in a blink. Our services have been extended with the transformation of society and the continuous investment of resources by the Government. We currently have ten Government-subvented service units, including four Neighbourhood Elderly Centres and six nursery schools. At the same time, in response to the rapid development of society and the ageing trend of the population, we have four self-financing service units to serve the elderly, children and families. Also, given the gaps in services and service demands, we continue to implement time-limited services and the Government’s scheme on community care service vouchers for the elderly. Churches have also started different caring ministries in response to the needs of different groups and districts.
Here I thank our colleagues for their diligence in fulfilling the mission “in the spirit of Christ’s love, to preach the Gospel, to provide wholistic care, to serve the community”. In the past few years, we have taken “holistic health” as the service development direction, and this year, under the influence of COVID-19, the development of health services has been more prominent. The epidemic situation was so volatile in the past year that we had to maintain social distancing and other protective measures in our services. Nevertheless, our colleagues’ care for the community was not distanced, and innovative means were used to provide materials, emotional and spiritual support for the elderly, children and parents.
CMACU has appointed the “Social Services Committee” to supervise and monitor CMASS’s work in response to the service development and the public’s expectation for transparency in service organisations. The nursery school management committee has been managing our six nursery schools since its establishment in 2005. The Social Services Committee has also set up two workgroups for service development and human resources and finance in recent years, which enhance the transparency and effectiveness of the organisation’s governance and help implement SWD’s recommendations in the Best Practice Guidelines. The workgroups have effectively supported the organisation’s governance and human resources and financial management. Meanwhile, we prudently manage our resources and flexibly use the lump-sum grants and reserves to build quality teams according to service staffing needs. Considering service development, we recruited nurses this year, and the quality and quantity of the service team are generally improved.
Regarding the fundraising for our self-financing centres, we thank God for another opportunity to hold a territory-wide flag day on 12 December 2020. However, we were unable to arrange volunteers to sell flags on the street during the epidemic. Nonetheless, we could still receive more than $800,000 of donation using online means, which inspired us all and encouraged us to continue providing appropriate services.
(From Christian & Missionary Alliance Church Union of Hong Kong Ltd. 2020-21 Annual Report of Social Service）