I write to invite you and your family members to participate as volunteers to provide 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 a noble project initiated by Class 1971 WYHK and is endorsed by Father Deignan, Father Stephen Chow and both Principals of WYK and HK. Their recommendations are at Attachments 1 to 4.
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 Jesuit spirit to serve others and help the needy in society. Given the situation in Tin Shui Wai, we consider it worthwhile to provide a free non-profit making tutorial service in TSW 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 promising 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 secured the support of Caritas and another secondary school in TSW to provide free premises to hold tuition classes for deserving students after school. The project has also secured funding to start from Easter 2015 onward for a few years. Initially, we plan to start with around 10 English classes (and therefore around 15 tutors required including substitutes), each with a few to 20 students from Forms 2 to 4 and will expand our classes and subjects (possibly Chinese and Mathematics) in the summer 2015. More details of the Service and Mode of Operation are at Attachment 5.
We are now looking for volunteer head teachers and tutors of English subject, administrators and supporting staff etc. who are willing to offer 20 hours of their time during a period of 3 to 6 months (hopefully two hours a week) to help establish and run this free tutorial service. They can either offer their service free or if they need, a travelling allowance of $100 can be claimed for each service visit of no less than 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 before 20 Feb. 2015. A briefing session will be held at WYK (Common Room) and WYHK (Classroom Y1) at 3 pm on 28 Feb. and 1 March respectively to answer your Qs. before you actually confirm your enrollment. We have positions to fit every Wahyanite and their family members, irrespective of their level of education and experience.
Don’t belittle yourself or the contribution 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 will certainly be able to 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 job 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 — Attachment 7 is a Q&A for prospective tutors who want to know more of their role.
[Last update: 20150218, 20150202]