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Message from the Chairman

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Speech by Dr. CHAN Shou Ming
Chairman of the 74th Board of Directors (2023-2024)

Founded in 1919, Pok Oi has always lived by its motto “We Love, We Care, We Serve”. For 103 years, we have been serving the community via over one hundred service units all around Hong Kong, providing wide-ranging services, including Chinese and Western medicine, dental care, education, and housing for low-income families, as well as services for the elderly, youth, children, and families, to benefit over 1.5 million people each year.

I am extremely fortunate to be the Chairman of the 74th Board of Directors. I am fully committed to serving Pok Oi and supporting its philanthropy. By bringing together a network of devoted supporters and making the most of this synergy and all the available resources, I vow to offer all necessary assistance to people in need in a timely manner through our existing service units and newly developed projects. Now, may I present to you the summary of our plans and development projects for the coming year.

Provide Proper Housing to Achieve an Inclusive Community

• The Largest Transitional Housing Project in Hong Kong: Pok Oi Kong Ha Wai Village

Transitional housing is regarded by the HKSAR government as an interim solution to effectively satisfy the demands from low-income families for housing. To contribute to this policy, we have undertaken the largest project in town, namely the Pok Oi Kong Ha Wai Village, whose construction was completed early this year. Following the completion ceremony held in February 2023, the 480,000-sqaure-foot site is ready to welcome its tenants with its eight residential buildings and two integrated service buildings, coupled with amenities and community centres that can cater for their everyday needs. Driven by an aspiration to foster a harmonious and inclusive community in the village, we will host community activities on a regular basis to help inhabitants build their social network, thus improving their quality of life.

• Pok Oi Sing Ping Village Located at the Former Sing Ping School, Ta Kwu Ling

We just embarked on another housing project for low-income families, named the Pok Oi Sing Ping Village, with its groundbreaking ceremony held in January this year. Expected to complete in Q1 next year, the project will accommodate nearly one thousand dwellers by creating around 600 residential units, two integrated service buildings, and amenities including convenience stores, community restaurants, recreational venues, a day care centre for the elderly, etc. Same as Kong Ha Wai Village, this project has adopted Modular Integrated Construction (MiC), a sustainable construction method that can significantly shorten production period and minimise waste. Moreover, the plaque of Sing Ping School has been retained as part of our effort to preserve the collective memories of the people in the neighbourhood.

• Support the Government’s Light Public Housing Scheme

Leveraging our experiences in operating the two transitional housing projects, the Kong Ha Wai Village and the Sing Ping Village, Pok Oi has decided to bid for the Light Public Housing scheme that was recently introduced by the HKSAR government. By constantly reviewing our housing services and continually improving our service quality, we are dedicated to helping solve the local housing problem.

Enhance Senior Services with Love and Care

• Commence the Construction of POH Tuen Mun Lam Tei Nursing and Residential Care Home for the Elderly

We will build Hong Kong’s most sizable residential care home for the elderly, entitled POH Tuen Mun Lam Tei Nursing and Residential Care Home for the Elderly, in Lam Tei, Tuen Mun, thanks to the generous land donation from the Henderson Land Development Company Limited. Expecting to generate 1,434 residential places, the 100,000-square-foot site will adopt a CARE design approach that not only takes into consideration the physical condition and the associated needs of the elderly, but also aims to facilitate social interaction among neighbours. The premises is set to provide a positive vibe and a comfortable and safe living environment for the residents, thus enhancing their quality of life.

Comprising a care building and a nursing building, the project will provide accommodation, meals, and basic medical care for seniors who suffer from poor health or require assistance in activities of daily living. In addition to a huge landscaped park, a roof garden and activity spaces to encourage socialising and recreational activities, the village also features an array of services, including a dental clinic, a Chinese medicine clinic, a pharmacy, and a physiotherapy centre. The foundation works of the project will begin in Q3 2023 and is expected to come to fruition in 2026.

• Build a Day Care Centre in Lam Tei

As the above-mentioned POH Tuen Mun Lam Tei Nursing and Residential Care Home for the Elderly mainly offers residential care services, we see the needs to expand the scope of senior services in the neighbourhood. With this in mind, we have bought two pieces of land adjacent to the site to build an eight-storey day care centre that will render one-stop services, including personal care, rehabilitation exercises, meals, social and recreational activities, counselling, and referral support, to 160 users. The approval for the proposal from the Lotteries Fund of the Social Welfare Department will hopefully arrive in Q2 this year, after which our consultants will proceed to conduct a technical feasibility study.

• Refurbish Existing Residential Care Homes for the Elderly

Our existing residential care homes for the elderly that have been in use for years are undergoing refurbishment in phases. For instance, the POH Tai Kwan Care and Attention Home just began its twelve-month renovation in November last year. It will be transformed into a more comfortable and modernised establishment for users that is suitably equipped with gerontechnology, senior-friendly appliances and equipment.

• Redevelop Care and Attention Home

1. POH Yeung Chun Pui Care and Attention Home

We plan to demolish and rebuild the Yeung Chun Pui Care and Attention Home, converting it into a twelve-storey building with a total gross area of 14,500 square meters to provide integrated services including accommodation, rehabilitation and child welfare. Gerontechnology, an acupoint therapy centre, Chinese and western medicine clinics, and a dental clinic will also be available in the revamped facility. The Lotteries Fund of the Social Welfare Department has already granted us its approval last year, and our consultants will proceed to conduct a technical feasibility study soon.

2. POH Jockey Club Care & Attention Home

Established in 1995, the POH Jockey Club Care & Attention Home in Au Tau, Yuen Long has been serving the district for over 25 years. In view of the ageing Hong Kong population, we plan to redevelop it and propose to construct two twelve-storey integrated service buildings with a total gross area of 15,000 square meters, providing over 300 and 50 residential places for seniors who require a continuum of care and persons with severe mental handicap respectively, 60 places for day care services for the elderly, and 50 places for day activity services. The plan is now under discussion with the Social Welfare Department, and hopefully we can kick-start it soon.

Assist the Government in Implementing its Primary Healthcare Plan

• Strengthen the Role of Yuen Long District Health Centre

In accordance with its people-oriented medical policy, the HKSAR government has recently announced plans to set up District Health Centres in its Primary Healthcare Blueprint. Positioned as the healthcare hubs of the respective districts, the Centres are to organise and offer primary healthcare to its residents. We are pleased that our application for operating the branch in Yuen Long has been granted, and we strive to provide quality primary healthcare services to the residents by putting our extensive network in the district to work.

Located at One Sky Mall in Tin Shui Wai, the Yuen Long District Health Centre has been delivering a variety of services such as health promotion campaigns, health risk assessment, chronic disease management, and rehabilitation services since October last year. Drawing on our solid foundation of district and medical services, we are committed to inspiring residents to build a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, three affiliated centres and three rural service points are in the pipeline which will all be in operation hopefully within this year.

• Operate the Department of Health’s Smoking Cessation Programme

Early last year, the Department of Health called for non-governmental organisations to run its smoking cessation programme. In support of the initiative, we tendered our application which was eventually approved. The government-funded two-year programme looks to provide 1,000 smokers with counselling and medications. Alongside the services which are based on western medicine, we will introduce our well-received quit services that are designed by our traditional Chinese medicine branch to offer holistic advice, as well as opening one more alternative to users.

Focus on Youth Development to Nurture Promising Talents

• Look after the Mental Health of our Youth

The extended suspension of face-to-face classes during the pandemic in previous years has brought a significant disruption to students’ social life, with some of them turning to and relying heavily on mobile devices. To assist children and teenagers in reducing their screen time and improving their mental and physical health, we will put forward a two-year programme, funded by the Mental Health Initiatives Funding Scheme (Phase Two) of the Health Bureau, that promotes the benefits of exercises and helps them wind down with physical training.

• Internship Experience for Tertiary Students

President Xi Jinping once stated, “Hong Kong will prosper only when its young people thrive; Hong Kong will advance only when its young people flourish.” A similar emphasis on youth is also seen in the latest policy address of the HKSAR government: “We have to … nurture a new generation of young people with an affection for our country and for Hong Kong and equipped with global perspectives.” Driven by a deep commitment to youth services that intend to unlock the full potential of the next generation and better prepare them for the future, we will launch an internship programme in collaboration with local tertiary institutions. Students will be invited to work with us as interns, giving them an opportunity to gain first-hand working experience and to cultivate a sense of social responsibility as well as moral virtues through our charity work. We are keen to expand the programme to benefit more youngsters such as international students and ethnic minorities should there be positive response.

• Establish Pok Oi Student Volunteer Team

The government’s Youth Development Blueprint seeks to nurture positive thinking in our youth, develop their potential, and encourage them to give back to the community. To contribute to these good causes, as well as living our principle “We Love, We Care, We Serve”, we are in the process of consolidating the volunteer teams of our service units, including the elderly, child, youth, and family services, to form one single team, namely the Pok Oi Volunteer Team. We will engage students, parents, and teachers at our affiliated schools and the schools in the district as volunteers and invite them to actively participate in community services. Together, we “Serve” the community with “Love” and “Care”.

• Launch Eye-opening Exchange Activities for Youth

Pok Oi will roll out a series of mainland exchange activities for teenagers that are in line with the youth and education policy of the government, with clear objectives of broadening their horizon and cultivating their talents. For instance, we will establish sister schools with mainland primary and secondary schools and will arrange student visits to the Greater Bay Area and other mainland cities. Both steps will open up opportunities for our young people to obtain a better understanding of the mainland China and to foster a proper world view, an optimistic outlook on life, and positive values. All this is instrumental in preparing them for a promising future on the mainland.

Resume and Enhance Fundraising Activities

• Host Shanghai Commerical.Pok Oi Cycle for Millions 2023 and Pok Oi x Old Master Q Hong Kong Charity Run

Resuming after three years, the Cycling for Millions, the largest charity-cum-cycling event in town, will be held on 16 April 2023 (Sunday) at Stonecutters’ Bridge, thanks to the title sponsorship from Shanghai Commercial Bank. All funds raised from the event will go to the POH Tuen Mun Lam Tei Nursing and Residential Care Home for the Elderly, the most sizable project of its kind in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, we target to resume the Pok Oi x Old Master Q Hong Kong Charity Run, another fundraising initiative that takes the form of a sporting event, as well as keeping its virtual version that was held in the past two years. Receiving overwhelming response, the online editions demonstrated our resolve to promote exercise and healthy lifestyle in the midst of pandemic.

• Organise Lamborghini Fundraising Parade

We are glad to collaborate with Lamborghini Club of Hong Kong to co-organise a Lamborghini parade to raise funds for our Chinese medicine services, which will support us to launch more mobile clinics.

• Embrace ESG

The advancement of humanity has seen a growing emphasis on sustainability, which is now a key focus for the world’s major economies. Hong Kong, being an important economy in the Asia Pacific, has already pledged to work towards sustainable development goals. As ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) is gaining importance, not only do corporates around the world integrate related strategies into their operation, but also ESG criteria is commonly employed to assess an institute’s efforts and performance on sustainability. Pok Oi, as one of the major charity organisations in town, spares no effort in fulfilling its social responsibility and contributing to a sustainable future.

Our transitional housing projects, namely Pok Oi Kong Ha Wai Village and Pok Oi Sing Ping Village, aptly exemplifies our determination to embrace sustainable methodologies in our fight against climate change. In adopting MiC, we have reduced waste and promoted recycling. Moreover, solar panels will be installed on the rooftop of both villages to supply economical and clean energy to their residents.

We strive to raise the awareness of environmental protection in our service units and educational institutes, mobilising them to achieve sustainability goals together. Beyond Pok Oi, we will join hands with commercial partners and counterparts from the non-governmental and charity sectors to contribute collectively to a more sustainable Hong Kong.

• Utilise Multimedia Publicity Platforms to Boost Fundraising Efforts

The pandemic has taken its toll on Hong Kong. While the city and its economy are still recovering, the challenges faced by our fundraising work, which lays the foundation for our wide-ranging charity services, remain enormous. In the coming year, we will acquire more fundraising models and channels and incubate new strategies for our offerings. We are also gearing up to make better use of our multimedia publicity platforms, such as revamping our website and enhancing our presence on social media, in order to reach out to more people, especially corporates and young people who are interested in public welfare. This strong alliance, together with the dedication and resources from all parties, will be catalysts that help propel the development of Pok Oi.

Closing Remarks

As the pandemic is slowing down, lives are starting to return to pre-COVID normal. Undoubtedly, 2023 will be a year full of challenges and opportunities. To Pok Oi, who has been serving the city for 103 years, 2023 is set to be a significant year as it is forging ahead to a new milestone with its 104th anniversary just around the corner. I am honoured to be the Chairman of the Board of Directors, a mission that I embrace wholeheartedly with gratitude and enthusiasm. Chairty work is a long journey that requires perseverance, dedication and commitment. Building on the remarkable efforts of our predecessors, I pledge to lead the Board of Directors and our staff to devote ourselves into the philanthropy of Pok Oi. Unified by a heart to serve, we will continue to deliver impactful services to benefit Hong Kongers, in particular the low-income, and contribute to a harmonious and inclusive Hong Kong.

Dr. CHAN Shou Ming
Chairman of the 74th Board of Directors