CityU, partners help bring joy to bereaved children

Scarlett Leung

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More than 40 children of bereaved and single parent families, and their family members, enjoyed a day of songs, dancing, stories and games on 18 October thanks to Project KidSing, a community care project initiated by a group of students from the Department of Applied Social Studies of City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

Co-organised by CityU, Disney VoluntEARS and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) Jockey Club Lei Tung Integrated Services Centre, Project KidSing is a united effort between university and business and non-government organisations to encourage children from troubled backgrounds to build a positive view towards life.

The project targetted children from bereaved or single parent homes, aged 6-12. Three sessions were held on different Saturdays, in which volunteers from the participating organisations served as caretakers to lead warm-up games, share stories, sing Disney songs and dance with the children. At the last session today, a Disney character Mickey Mouse also made its appearance to provide the children with a magical moment.

Ms Cheung and Mrs Chan, parents of participating children, expressed gratitude and appreciation to volunteers from CityU and other participating organisations. They said their kids were enlivened and revelled in the communication with others who cared.

To get along with children from bereaved or single parent families well, patience and a discerning eye were important, according to Ng Wai-wan and Leung Ka-lo, Year 3 students from the Department of Applied Social Studies who initiated the project. “We were delighted to see the children enjoy happy moments with us. We were also happy to see that the parents trusted us,” they said.

The students were also grateful for the support of the Department and the freedom and guidance their teachers had given to them throughout the project to make it a success.

“CityU’s curriculum emphasises both theoretical education and practical training. This project has served as an ideal platform for our students to leverage knowledge learnt from classroom training on the one hand, and to provide them with an opportunity to enrich their skills working with bereaved children on the other,” said Professor Alex Kwan Yui-huen, Head of the Department of Applied Social Studies.

“Giving to the community is an integral part of the Disney culture. Our Disney VoluntEARS participate in many outreach activities, volunteering their personal time for various worthwhile causes,” said Mr B C Lo, Vice President of Public Affairs, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. “In keeping with our vision of promoting the welfare of children, we are glad to have the opportunity to drive and lead the ‘KidSing’ programme with the support of CityU, our first volunteer partner from the world of academia. By working with undergraduates, academia and non-profit organisations on the programme, our Disney VoluntEARS hope to help and support young bereaved children by creating some special Disney magic,” he said.

Project KidSing was also supported by the Comfort Care Concern Group and the Paraclete - Care and Comfort Angel of the S.K.H. Holycarpenter District Elderly Community Centre.

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