The following shows how we go side by side with service recipients during their hard times:
1) Mr. A (Age 62)
Mr. A suffered from Esophageal Cancer, which made him tolerate only a fluid diet to sustain his life. The nutritious milk was so costly that it constituted a significant portion of his whole family income. Therefore, Mr. A seriously considered ending his life because he did not want to become a huge burden to his family. Furthermore, one of his close family members suffered from depression due to the tremendous stress of looking after him. The medical social worker realized his difficulties and referred him to us. Mr. A felt greatly relieved when he knew that we were willing to support his nutritious milk. He called off his suicidal thought and was grateful to our assistance. His family member’s emotional state also improved.
2) Mr. B (Age 60)
Mr. B is a patient suffering from Nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The patient is receiving radiotherapy and chemotherapy. During his treatment, Mr. B went through difficult time of treatment. He suffered a lot despite the use of high dosage of anti-biotic, which caused him much agony. With the help of the extra nutritious milk, he recovered sooner than expected. Mr. B felt grateful to our assistance.
3) Ms. C (Age 58)
Ms. C is suffering from colonic cancer. When she was receiving chemotherapy, knowing that Ms. C came from an under-privileged family, the medical social worker referred her for our assistance by seeing that the patient was very weak. Nutritious milk was delivered to help her recover from her weak body.
4) Mr. D (Age 67)
Mr. D, together with his family of three, was one of the recipients of the Short-term Food Assistance Service due to unemployment. During their application, Mr. D’s wife informed us that her husband was suffering from Esophageal Cancer. Upon receipt of the information and our continuous caring enquiry into the family background, it was further learnt that Mr. D was undergoing radiotherapy, which had caused Mr. D suffering from swallowing difficulties. He could hardly swallow anything, including solid food items. Caring about Mr. D’s physical conditions, we suggested Mrs. D to discuss with Mr. D’s medical doctor about Mr. D’s health conditions and to explore anything that was needed to alleviate his situations. Mr. D was then referred by his medical doctor and the medical social worker of the hospital for nutritional supplement assistance. After thorough communication with Mr. D’s medical social worker, we learnt that it would be helpful if fluid nutritional supplement could be provided to Mr. D during his palliative radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Nutrition milk powder was then delivered to Mr. D to relieve his agony.
There is a large number of sub-divided unit households that need to be contacted because of our food assistance services and our participation in the project launched by the Community Care Fund, which provides support to the sub-divided unit household to improve their living environment. The service area covers Wong Tai Sin, San Po Kong and Ngau Chi Wan. During the home visits, we find that the general living environment of these families is small and crowded. Space for activities is scarce. Moreover, since the buildings are not properly managed, most of them are dilapidated and dirty, and the sanitary conditions are poor. Even though the environmental conditions are so bad, the rent is still very high and actually not affordable for those low-income families. As their lives are already stretched, they still have to cope with such expensive rents that causes a huge burden to them. Hence, any kinds of food assistance can definitely help most of the recipients to relieve their life pressure.
Recently, I paid a home visit to a client who lives in Wong Tai Sin. She is an elderly person living alone. Due to the rugged and difficult path inside her community, together with the lack of light and incomplete house number, I was afraid that I could not find her unit. Hence I decided to meet her at the entrance of the village so that she could pick me up to her house. However, she did not show up at the time we agreed. So I called her but she did not answer my calls for several times. At the last attempt, she answered. It turned out that she was busy with picking cardboards on the streets and forgot my home visit. Having answered my call, she rushed back. When we met, she took me through a winding, dark and slippery path to her residence. Then, we had to carefully climb a dilapidated ladder to reach her house, which was filled with sundries and debris. It was hard to move around with two persons standing inside it. The old woman showed me those old things, which she treated like her treasures. She picked them from the garbage station, such as the rusty fan, rice cooker, refrigerator ...… I was looking, listening, but speechless...!
【A Corner of Subdivided Household】
In one of the six-storey tenement buildings in Wong Tai Sin District, a long-lost and warm scene appeared. I call it a small neighborhood community.
This building has two flats on each storey, and the two flats on the fifth floor are divided into three subdivided units, living a total number of six households. One of which has only one young man living alone, and the other five households are families with couple and children. What is commendable is that these six households are like one big family. The door is usually open among the households. Children come and go, play together, and share food; adults watch and help each other. From time to time, they will meet together to have a big food party on the rooftop. Each family contributes their own food and share together. The atmosphere is lively and warm.
The man living alone usually cooks less, but he never lacks dessert and soup; a family treats guests and is in a flurry, other families will automatically lend a helping hand; a family who makes delicious food will often share it with other families. Once, a couple of a family went back to their hometown to handle affairs and left their children to be taken care of by their neighbors. When they came back, they found that the windows were clean, even the bed sheets were washed …... The neighbors feel obliged to help each other, and their selfless devotion helps nurture the interpersonal relationship. The loneliness between people is completely broken, the tacit understanding of coexistence, symbiosis and sharing brings them closer to each other, forming a peculiar small community, sharing each other's love and human interest!
The primary objective of this program is to empower the disadvantaged women with self-belief and skills that will assist them in making a positive contribute to their families and community.