Dear Wahyanites and WY friends,
I write to invite you, your family members and friends 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 fifth Intake of a noble project initiated by Class 1971 WYHK in 2015 and is endorsed by Father Deignan, Father Stephen Chow and both Principals of WYK and HK. Their recommendations are at Attachments 1 to 4. Both WYHK & WYK Past Student Associations are our partners and from Sept. 2016, the project became an initiative of Wah Yan One Family Foundation,a charitable organization in HK. Since we are expanding our project to cover even more needy students in our fifth intake starting from Feb. 2017, 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 English 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, in our last four intakes recruited some 50 Wahyanites, their family members and friends as tutors to offer from April 2015 onward some 50 classes each with four to 12 students, thus helping nearly 500 under-privileged students for a duration of eight to 10 weeks. More details of our Service and Mode of Operation are at Attachment 5.
Reviews at the end of the four intakes showed that all stake-holders considered them a big success and many of the students would like us to continue. Since some tutors are willing to stay on and some need a break, we are now recruiting additional tutors who are willing to offer around 30 hours of their time from Feb. to June 2017 (hopefully two and a half tutorial hours a week for up to 10 weeks) to continue help run this free tutorial service. We also need substitute tutors to provide relief and supporting staff who can help us with minor duties periodically. All of them 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) at 3 pm on Sat. 14 Jan. 2017 to answer your Qs. before you actually commit to serve. Current tutors will also be present to share with you their experience and English teaching skill training will be provided later for all tutors. 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 and guide their son to gain some volunteer experience.
Don’t belittle yourself or the difference you can make to change the life and vision of these teenagers, many of whom have never seen 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 to support the project. Ask your classmates, family members and friends 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Whatsapp/call (67079653) me. Many thanks.
Class of 1971 WYHK and a retired CEO
PS - If you are too busy to help as a volunteer tutor but are willing to help finance this project, pl. use the form below to send your donation to WYOFF. All donations are HK tax deductible.