The Hong Kong Lasallian Mission is mainly school oriented. Of course, each school, by means of various activities, undertakes its own school projects in favour of the poor and needy. However, we believe that in order to provide better educational service to the poor, we need to go beyond the school boundaries.
We decided to start °•small°¶ and °•reach out°¶, to go beyond our comfort zone. To reach out, we approached NGOs like Caritas, which are running centres in the low-income family districts, to see if we can provide educational service to the disadvantaged and needy in their centres. After some meetings, Caritas invited us to help in two projects.
One is helping secondary students who are newly arrived from mainland China. and are from low income families. Their parents are manual workers and some of the families are receiving comprehensive social security assistance. Their English standard is too low and so they are not able to study in mainstream schools and their families cannot support them to enhance their English with private tutors or tutorial schools. The centre is in Kwun Tong and we are now into our third year of service, teaching about 30 students ranging from Form 1 to Form 5.
Our outreach team consists of Brothers, Lasallian Education Council members, retired and present teachers. Though we cannot expect the teachers to work magic in a short time, many students reflected that the teachers have strengthened their self-confidence and have made them feel they have the same ability as Hong Kong students.
The second project is to provide personal tutoring/counselling to primary students from low-income families in the Wong Tai Sin District. Many of them are called SEN (students with special educational needs like ADHD etc). They need personal care and counselling. We started two years ago with two retired teachers. Some students and teachers from Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) College and La Salle College have joined us. The students found the project a very meaningful exposure. They were able to learn something they cannot learn in school.
Besides helping Caritas, we also have retired teachers and old boys regularly helping the Missionaries of Charity Sisters who are running the Home of Love in the Shamsuipo area, teaching children who are taking shelter there and also teaching students who are from low income families nearby.
This is the humble start of LEO in Hong Kong. Small scales, resources always tight, feeling our way. However, we know that those who become involved in LEO find this experience a fruitful one and they see that it is a touching part of their Lasallian journey!
The Way Forward
The Hong Kong Lasallian Family intends to continue with its educational outreach programmes (LEO).Indeed, it is a precious opportunity for members of the Family to serve the community. It may be a small step but already the seeds have been sown to good effect.
English Enhancement Class: Caritas Community Centre - Ngau Tau Kok
Tutorial service: Caritas Integrated Service for Young People - Wong Tai Sin
Home of Love : Shamsuipo