Amity Foundation Hong Kong Office was established in 1985. As Amity’s first “window” overseas, Amity Hong Kong Office, based on its overseas liaison work, gradually established new positioning for publicity, fundraising, and public education in Hong Kong. Amity Foundation Hong Kong raises funds to support social development in China and around the world. Amity HK provides funding in major natural disaster relief and reconstruction efforts in China’s mainland and other countries and regions. Amity HK helps to build a rural drinking water system and support schoolchildren’s health. In addition, we provide funding and training for college girl students living in poverty in Guizhou Province. Furthermore, we are involved in the reconstruction of rural schools and the construction of village clinics.
In 2019, steadfast to our original vision, Amity Foundation, Hong Kong (AFHK) has been refining our existing approaches in helping people in need, while looking for innovative ways to articulate the needs to donors and volunteers.
2019 was an eventful year when climatic disasters wreaked havoc in many parts of the world. AFHK, working closely with Nanjing colleagues, made proposals to the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) Committee of the Hong Kong SAR Government, of which, two requests were approved with relief funding of approximately HKD 8 million in total. With the relief funding of HKD 4.54 million, we were able to help more than 21,000 people in 5,200 households to avoid hunger and distress immediately after such calamities. Soon after this in July, the northern part of the Indian Subcontinent suffered record rainfalls in these regions. Nepal was one of the worst hit countries. Building on the effective partnership with two local NGOs Transform Nepal and Transformation Nepal, Amity was able to secure relief funding of more than $3 million from the DRF to bring direly needed food, and non-food items like tarpaulin sheets for basic comfort. This operation benefited 19,400 people from 3,880 families. A cold spell of exceptionally low temperatures hit Nepal in December, causing the deaths of close to 50 people. Several committed Amity donors came to the rescue and raised HKD 100,000 within 24 hours. The fund was sufficient to buy blankets to keep the cold out for 570 households.
The Walk for Living Water walkathon has been part of this initiative for nine years in running. The Walk then took place on 13 April at the scenic Ma On Shan Promenade. The hundreds of participants and volunteers who took part in the Walk were very pleased when the day ended with the announcement that HK$ 300,000 was raised that day. The money raised was subsequently applied to build potable water systems thereby much improving health and sanitation in some villages in Myanmar and Nepal. Over 2,300 people directly benefited.
Through working with our local partners Guizhou University, Guizhou Normal University, Guizhou Medical University, and Guizhou University of Finance and Economics, AFHK provided whole-person development to all the girls in the programme. The interactive nature of these seminars are most effective to help the girls to reflect and plan their careers and lives. In 2019, the Love Foundation joined Amity in supporting 30 extra Year One undergraduates, making up a total of 205 girls being sponsored under the project.
In 2019, Hong Kong donors supported 226 rural orphans. Their donations brought improvement to the children‘s nutrition, learning, clothing and medical care. In mid-July, 35 volunteers from Hong Kong and Guizhou girls from the University for Girls Project joined hands in running the Amity’s Summer Camp for village orphans and left-behind children. 60 such children in Yunnan were engaged in a summer camp in order to help them gain self-confidence and learn to plan their lives. 2019 was the final year in our three-year partnership with Versace China Limited in the project to provide sustainable comprehensive care for children at risk in Anyue County of Ziyang City, Sichuan. The Versace contribution further strengthened village teachers’ knowledge and skills in supporting 200 at-risk children on their psychological needs.
Taking advantage of the visit of their General Secretary Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in May, AFHK worked closely with our partner the World Council of Churches (WCC) to organize the seminar ‘Food and Water for Life’. The concept of the Commandments for Food was sinking roots among all the participants. With a view to building capacity, AFHK sent a member to attend the October ACT Alliance Forum: “Hope in Action – putting people first”. Drawing from a wide range of experience and meeting various active members of the forum, our staff was able to bring back valuable know-how to enable us to better prepare for future engagements outside China.
2019 was an active year for the Overseas Communication Desk in sharing and making Amity’s vision, mission and work better known to the overseas audience. The staff worked closely with colleagues in the Amity headquarters, the Geneva office and the Beijing office. In 2019, the staff accompanied a delegation of Hong Kong donors and volunteers in an exposure tour to Guizhou Province. Furthermore, the staff attended the Annual Conference of International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) in Geneva and the annual Hong Kong Christian Council Communication Seminar. The staff also participated and organized the Summer Teaching Seminar of the YAP volunteers. Besides the quarterly electronic newsletter, the Overseas Communication Desk staff continued to build and maintain a social media community with online published content on our website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In 2019 more than 100,000 people viewed and interacted with Amity’s English online published content.