Rev. LAU Lap-mo
Chairman of C & M A Social Services Committee
It has been two years. The pandemic has affected livelihood and society, from personal and social life to work culture, forming a new way of community life. Face-to-face contact is replaced by communication over smartphones. Nevertheless, we can still see the elderly’s and families’ service needs through our community work, such as care support for the old and the young, counselling services and material delivery. All these required social service organisations’ support and care among neighbours.
I want to thank our colleagues at service centres who endeavoured to walk alongside our older adults, families and young children, supporting them through services to overcome adversity. When the epidemic was severe, we utilised online communication methods to contact service users and hold online groups and learning activities. It aimed to help our older adults reconnect with others to vent their boredom. Colleagues of nursery schools also continued their teaching despite the suspension of face-to-face classes. They adopted video conferencing to organise interactive activities for parents and children. When the epidemic stabilised, we maximised our service opportunity in compliance with the government’s guidelines and protective measures so that service users could directly access the centres’ support and receive service physically as soon as possible. We are grateful that service users received timely support and resumed their everyday life. It actualised our objective of caring for the old and the young and walking together with smiles.
Although regular services could not be launched fully due to the pandemic, this year’s average outputs could still render adequate support for and fulfil the learning needs of service users, parents and children. Meanwhile, the centres reviewed the service quality standards. They implemented policies and measures accordingly such that service users could receive high-quality services.
Regarding the governance of C & M A Social Services, I am honoured to be the chairperson of the Social Services Committee this year. Representatives from partnering churches and professionals have also joined us as committee members. We will lead the organisation to practice the principle: “In the Spirit of Christ’s Love, to preach the gospel, to provide wholistic care and to serve the community”. The two sub-committees, Service Development and Human Resources and Finance, reviewed the service development and the salary structure this year. While they ascertained the alignment between service development and organisational mission, they referenced the change in human resources in society and adjusted entry-level employees’ salaries. A one-off employer’s voluntary contribution was made to all our staff. All policies and measures are based on the Social Welfare Department’s Best Practice Manual.
Our Lump Sum Grant is enough to finance regular service expenditures, and our reserve level was stable. Regular check-up is conducted according to related policies. However, we still needed to raise funds for self-financed services. Thankfully, a territory-wide flag day could be held on 28 August 2021. Despite the pandemic, we recruited 1,650 volunteers to sell flags on the street. In addition to the online fundraising event, we received more than $1.4 million in donations.
The development of the pandemic wavers because of varying factors. Still, we trust in the Lord that He is the Cornerstone we can rest on with peace of mind. I wish you all good physical and spiritual health with God’s grace forever and ever.
(From Christian & Missionary Alliance Church Union of Hong Kong Ltd. 2021-22 Annual Report of Social Service）