Rev. LAU Lap-mo
Chairman of C & M A Social Services Committee
In 2022-2023, we saw a turning point in the pandemic when the government announced lifting the mask-wearing requirement on 1 March 2023. It relieved everyone, as it meant the epidemic was defeated, and services could gradually resume normal!
I want to thank colleagues of service centres who, during the past three years of the pandemic, have done their best to provide support services to our elders, parents and young children, which actualised the goal of this year’s service theme, “Caring for and Journeying with All Ages with a Smile”. As the epidemic situation stabilised, we are delighted to see service users’ lives return to normal!
The pandemic still influenced our services this year. Still, we could operate flexibly to meet the support and learning needs of service users, parents and young children and achieve the average service outputs as in the past. At the same time, the centres reviewed and implemented relevant policies and measures according to Service Quality Standards so that service users can receive quality services. The Social Services Committee (the Committee) visited King Lam Neighbourhood Elderly Centre and Fu Shan Nursery School in February 2023 and appreciated their good service quality and service recipients’ positive feedback!
Regarding the Organisation’s governance, I continue to serve as the Chairman of the Committee this year. We also had service unit partners, church representatives and professionals joining as committee members to lead the organisation “in the spirit of Christ’s love, to preach the Gospel, to provide wholistic care, to serve the community.”
In July 2022, the Committee organised a retreat to set the direction and strategy for the Organisation’s future development. In addition, the two functional sub-committees, “Service Development” and “Human Resources and Finance”, continue to assist the Committee to manage the Organisation effectively. We continuously reviewed our service development and remuneration structure as required by the Best Practice Manual issued by the Social Welfare Department. The Human Resources and Finance Sub-Committee made timely recommendations to the Committee to enhance human resources policies and management, including reviewing the remuneration discussions for frontline staff and launching a new incentive scheme to address the difficulties in hiring frontline staff. Regarding Children Services, we formulated the School Management Committee’s (SMC’s) Constitution in September 2022 to provide the SMC with more reference to enhance its governance effectiveness in managing the six nursery schools.
We regularly review and carry out measures according to the recommendations from the Enhancement of Lump Sum Grant Subvention System, including the five-year reserve projection proposal and specific suggestions for the Holding Account. The Organisation’s Lump Sum Grant Subvention can cover the cost of regular services, and the status of reserves is stable. However, there is still a need to raise funds for self-financing services. Thankfully, 2,349 volunteers helped with the Flag Day on 29 October 2022. Although the pandemic affected funds raised by selling flags on the streets, we eventually received donations of $1.57 million with the aid of online fundraising. These funds will be allocated to self-financing services to provide more support and activities for the community.
We are very grateful to our Heavenly Father for his guidance in promoting Assistant General Secretary Ms Ng Yin-hing as the new General Secretary for Social Services in November 2022. With her extensive professional knowledge and experience in social services, we are confident that she can lead the Social Services Committee to reach new milestones with all service units. At the same time, we thank Mr. Lau Kwok-wah, former General Secretary for Social Services, for his loyalty to the Organisation over the past 14 years and his contribution to its steady development.
In the future, we will continue to provide quality services and support to the community and further improve the quality and efficiency of our services. We will continue to pay attention to and respond to the needs and challenges of the community to ensure that our services can adapt to the changing times. Even as society and the environment change and evolve rapidly, Jesus will always be our rock. May all of you be healthy in your body and soul with the Lord’s everlasting grace!
(From Christian & Missionary Alliance Church Union of Hong Kong Ltd. 2022-23 Annual Report of Social Service）