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    #Hashtag Hong Kong

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    Listen to #Hashtag Hong Kong every Sunday morning at 8.15

    Focussing on issues affecting civil society, we'll hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies, and non-profit groups.

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)



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    Chris Leung, Social Worker, The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society
    21/07/2024
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    Chris Leung, Social Worker, The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society

    Hi everyone, I am Chris, the Deputy Centre-in-Charge of the Sham Shui PO Community Living Room of the Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, Kowloon.

     

    According to the "Long-Term Housing Strategy - Annual Progress Report 2022," the government has secured sufficient land to build public housing units, fulfilling the supply targets for the next ten years. However, as the allocation of land for housing is not evenly distributed annually, only about one-third of these units will be completed in the first five-year period.

     

    Hong Kong nowadays is facing a housing shortage, and many citizens would choose to live in subdivided flats. According to statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department in 2021, there are approximately 108,200 subdivided units for rent in Hong Kong, with an average of 3-4 partitioned rooms per unit. The median living space per person is only 56.5 sq. ft., lower than the 75 sq. ft. standard for public housing and the 161.5 sq. ft. for the average household in Hong Kong.

     

    Apart from limited living spaces, subdivided units are also facing several problems like heavy water and electricity charges, safety issues, etc. The poor living environment has poses impacts on residents’ physical and mental health that most of them have to bear heavy financial burden and parenting.

     

    In view of that, the Social Welfare Department (the "SWD") launched the "Community Living Room Pilot Scheme" funded by the Community Care Fund. The Sham Shui Po Community Living Room Project locates in Fuk Wa Street, Sham Shui Po, in where subdivided housing is concentrated. The Project focuses on supporting subdivided unit households, especially those with children, in order to alleviate the difficulties they face while waiting for public housing and living in poor conditions, and provide critical support during the transition period.

     

    As a Government, Business, and Community tripartite collaboration project, the government has appointed THE LOK SIN TONG BENEVOLENT SOCIETY, KOWLOON, as the approved service organization to operate the Project, providing shared living spaces including pantry, dining room, living room, study and activity room, children's play facilities, fitness facilities, and self-service laundry facilities, as well as providing community information, health talks, After-school Learning and Support Programmes, community support and referral services. The Sham Shui Po Community Living Room has commenced operation since December 2023. It will operate for a period of three years. With the support of various sectors, the Project has already recruited over 500 families to provide them with services.

     

    In this cross-sectoral collaboration project, not only could the users enjoy additional living space, but they could also broaden their social networks, thereby improving their quality of life and increasing their sense of community belonging. The after-school study support, provided by the Community Living Room, is aimed at alleviating pressure on parents to supervise their children’s homework. The project not only relieves the onus on parents as caretakers; it also lightens their housekeeping workload. Living in a relatively small and crowded flat, most of the users do not have space at home for a washing machine and need to wash clothes by hand. Now, however, they are able to make use of laundry services in the Community Living Room, which are available at an affordable price. User can build up their social network in the Community Living Room as well.

     

    We will continue to actively expand the scope of services, and strive to help the sub-divided unit households in the Sham Shui Po district to improve their living space, sense of community belonging, and social networks after using the community living room facilities. In the long run, to elevate the living standards and enhance community belonging of grassroots citizens, we believe that with the participation of the business sector in setting up more Community Living Rooms in districts clustered with subdivided unit households, more grassroots families will benefit. 

    Three community living room projects in To Kwa Wan, Hung Hom and Nam Cheong are expected to commence operations gradually to provide support for subdivided unit households, particularly those with children. These four community living rooms are expected to serve 1,750 subdivided households, encompassing a population of around 270,000 individuals each year, to provide a better living standards for the residents.

     

    And now I have a song I'd like to dedicate to all of you listening. My song is: "陪著你走” by Rubber Band

    21/07/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:25)

    21/07/2024 - Chris Leung, Social Worker, The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society

    重溫

    CATCHUP
    05 - 07
    2024
    香港電台第三台

    21/07/2024

    Chris Leung, Social Worker, The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society

    14/07/2024

    Hsu Siu-man, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

    07/07/2024

    Sky Siu, outgoing CEO of Kely Support Group

    30/06/2024

    Dana Winograd, CEO & Co-Founder of Plastic Free Seas

    23/06/2024

    L-R:  Diana Kam, Executive Director, The Hong Kong Society for the Aged and Professor Elsie Yan from Polytechnic University

    16/06/2024

    Dr. Felix Sze, Co-director and Associate Professor (Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages) CUHK

    09/06/2024

    Dr Cheng Luk Ki, Director of Green Power

    02/06/2024

    Janet Wong, from Junior Chamber International Tai Ping Shan

    26/05/2024

    Koonie Chan, Executive Board Member of Hong Kong Seeing Eye Dog Services

    19/05/2024

    Dr Joey Chan, Secretary of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and CUHK Associate Professor (Clinical) Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK
    X

    Dr. Felix Sze, Co-director and Associate Professor , CUHK

    •      According to the latest census statistics published in 2021, around 3148 00 persons in Hong Kong are reported to have difficulty in hearing.
     In the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), sign language interpretation is fundamental in ensuring the human rights of deaf people. Sign interpretation services can support deaf people to access education, information, and government services, and to fully participate in all other aspects of life that require effective communications. 
    •       A significant portion of deaf people need interpretation services. At present, however, there are not sufficient full-time sign language interpreters in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Council of Social Services has a website for sign language interpreters to list their qualifications, expertise and contact information. To list their names on the website, interpreters need to provide formal proof (e.g., certifying letters from employers) that they have provided at least 200 hours of interpretation in the preceding two years. As of May 2024, there are 56 interpreters on the list. Among them, very few of them have worked on a full-time basis. 
    •       Earlier this year, the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, conducted a survey to investigate the working conditions and the needs of sign language interpreters in Hong Kong. We received valid responses from 185 interpreters. Over 70% of the respondents have provided interpreting services voluntarily, 29% have worked part-time, 24% as freelancers, and less than 10% have worked full-time. 
    •       In our observation, one of the main reasons contributing to the lack of full-time interpreters is limited funding to support the services. Sign language interpretation is labour-intensive and costly, and the majority of deaf people cannot afford to pay for the services out of their own pockets. Three years ago we conducted a large-scale survey on the sign interpretation services in Asia. Our finding shows that in places where sign language services are considered sufficient, the services are mainly paid for by the governments. These include Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. At present, the HK government has allocated some funding to NGOs to hire full-time interpreters. However, many deaf people complain that they cannot book their services because the interpreters are already fully engaged.
    •       This problem is particularly acute in education settings, where relatively lengthy and long-term services are required. Regarding tertiary education for deaf students, there exist no governmental policies on the provision of sign interpretation services to deaf signing students. Whether interpretation is offered depends entirely on the decisions of individual institutions, which need to take into consideration their own financial resources, and the allocation thereof. As a result, it is not uncommon to see deaf students quitting post-secondary education programs, from diploma up to PhD level, due to a lack of interpretation services.
     
    •       Because of insufficient full-time positions, and an unclear career prospect, many hearing people with good signing skills prefer not to work as full-time interpreters. The fluent hearing signers, including native signers who were born to deaf parents, opt for other career paths with better prospects and stable income. They can only serve as freelancers or volunteers in their spare time. Such a lack of career prospects has been a big hurdle to the professionalization of sign language interpretation in Hong Kong.  
    •       Apart from the lack of full-time interpreters, our recent survey has a few more notable findings. First, there is a growing body of deaf interpreters. We received responses from 31 deaf interpreters who are engaging in a variety of interpretation contexts, for example, from text to signs, between two sign languages, team interpreting with hearing interpreters to ensure that the signed messages are grammatical and look natural to the eyes of the deaf audience. Deaf interpreters are commonly found in many other developed countries, and they are deemed essential to enhance the interpretation quality in general. It is encouraging to see Hong Kong catching up in this aspect. 
    •       Another noteworthy finding is that 60% of our respondents are under the age of 45. Besides, 46% of our respondents have less than five years of experience. These younger and less experienced interpreters are in great need of professional training, support and job opportunities. In fact, when asked what their most pressing needs were, nearly 80% said they needed a stronger professional network to support their practice and development; nearly 68% would like to get professional training, and more than half wish to have more job opportunities. 
    •       To support the professional development of sign language interpretation, many things need to be done. Our research centre offers a professional diploma of sign interpretation training at QF Level 4. Besides, over the years, our centre has been building sign language online resources that not only enrich the general knowledge of the Deaf community but also serve as good learning materials for interpreters in specific areas such as medical knowledge, sex-related concepts, mental health issues, as well as legal basics. However, our efforts must be accompanied by strong government commitment, as well as collaboration with different stakeholders at the societal level, in order to enhance sign interpretation services in Hong Kong, both in terms of quantity and quality, in the years to come. 
    And now I have a song I'd like to dedicate to all of you listening. My song is: Masterpiece by Mandy Harvey . Mandy is a late-deafened song writer and singer, who got a golden buzzer in America’s Got Talent in 2017. Thank you. And enjoy the song.

    香港電台第三台

    16/06/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:25)

    16/06/2024 - Dr. Felix Sze, Co-director and Associate Professor , CUHK