I write to invite you and your family members to participate as volunteers to provide a free English tutorial service to the poor and needy teenagers in Tin Shui Wai (TSW), the so called City of Sadness in HK. This is the second Intake of a noble project initiated by Class 1971 WYHK this year and is endorsed by Father Deignan, Father Stephen Chow and both Principals of WYK and HK. Their recommendations are at Attachments 1 to 4. The second Intake will start in mid-September this year and since we are expanding our project to cover even more needy students, we need even more volunteers to help.
According to Wikipedia, TSW “acquired a rather dubious reputation in Hong Kong for being an area where numerous serious family and social issues, including domestic violence, mental illness, and suicide occurs….. …….. Tin Shui Wai is prone to family tragedies because of its remote location, limited employment opportunities, and high density of public housing estates. Some would also argue that the large number of new immigrants from Mainland China in the area, struggling to adjust to the different cultural and social dynamics of Hong Kong, also contributes to the problem.” While the HK Government has committed to improve and provide more services to its residents, there is always a gap between supply and demand.
As WY graduates, we uphold the ‘Men For and With Others’ spirit to serve others and help the needy in society. Given the situation in TSW, we consider it worthwhile to provide a free tutorial service there to help teenagers in Forms 2 to 4 whose parents are receiving public assistance and therefore cannot afford to send their kids to private tutorial classes even if they are promising but are academically behind standard because of lack of proper guidance and support at home. We do not aim to produce outstanding students, but help deserving teenagers in TSW to improve their grades, guide them to become responsible citizens and hopefully lead them to climb the social ladder like us. Our objectives are to give back to society what we have taken from it and spread the Jesuit spirit and WY education to the lowest self-esteem and most needy group of teenagers in HK.
Discussions with principals and social workers in TSW have confirmed that there is a strong demand for English tutorial service after school. We have, therefore, earlier this year recruited 15 Wahyanites and their family members and friends to offer from April onward 12 classes of free English tutorial service for a duration of 8 weeks. More details of the Service and Mode of Operation are at Attachment 5.
A review at the end of the last Intake showed that all participants considered it a big success and many of the 80+ students would like us to continue. While most tutors are willing to stay on, we are now recruiting additional tutors, substitute tutors, head teacher, administrators and supporting staff who are willing to offer around 30 hours of their time from mid-September to mid-December (hopefully two and a half hours a week) to help run this free tutorial service and take turn to serve the teenagers. They can either offer their service free or if they need, a travelling allowance of $100 can be claimed for each service visit of not less than 2 1/2 hours to TSW.
We prefer to make it an exclusive Wahyanite project, if possible, and therefore we would like to invite your participation before we consider opening these positions to outsiders. If you are interested, please let me know by return of the enrollment form at Attachment 6. A briefing session will be held at WYK (Common Room) and WYHK (Conference Room on G/F) at 3 pm on 29 and 30 Aug. respectively to answer your Qs. before you actually confirm your enrollment. Current tutors will also be present to share with you their experience. We have positions to fit every Wahyanite and their family members, irrespective of their level of education and experience. Current WY students are also welcome to become supporting staff and gain credit for their service. Their parents can also join to offer their service.
Don’t belittle yourself or the difference you can make to change the life and vision of these teenagers, many of whom have never spoken a word of English to a foreigner or see the world outside TSW. With the holistic education you have received from WY plus your career and life experiences, you can certainly influence and make a positive impact upon them.
So, do come to the briefing and enroll as a volunteer. Ask your classmates and family members to come too. We welcome everyone who has a heart to serve the under-privileged and we are certain we can match you with a suitable position in this project and at a time convenient to you. Meantime, if you have any enquiry, please either email ([email protected]) or Whatsapp/call (67079653) me. Many thanks.
Daniel Mak Class of 1971 WYHK and a retired CEO
PS — Q and A for Tutors_201508 is a Q&A for prospective tutors who want to know more of their role.
[Last update: 20150815, 20150804]