NWS Holdings Charities Foundation Limited was established in 2006 in support of worthy social causes, with focuses on community welfare, environmental protection, education and health care.
Charities Foundation made a donation of HK$3 million to Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association ("YWCA") in 2013 for establishing an elderly day care centre in Fanling named "YWCA NWS Y-Care Centre (North District)". With the support of a new service coach and the "Joyful Age" volunteer programme, the Centre provides comprehensive day care elderly services to meet the pressing needs in North District. This project maximises the synergy effects of a private-public partnership operated under a social enterprise model.
Committed to serving the underprivileged and neglected segments of society, Charities Foundation provides material and mental support to them while strengthening their connection with community. Through its close collaboration with non-profit organisations, the Group has developed two different long-term programmes to serve people in need: "Joyful Age" and "Life Rejuvenation Scheme".
As the elderly living in rural areas of North District tend to travel less frequently out of their communities and thus socialise less, NWS Holdings and YWCA jointly launched "Joyful Age", a long-term programme which aims to serve the elderly living in rural villages. Through regular visits and activities, including farming day, cognitive training, haircut service and clown performances, members of the NWS Volunteer Alliance keep the elderly healthy and connected with their community.
Starting in 2002, the "Life Rejuvenation Scheme" is organised in partnership with different non-profit organisations under a special theme every year. Activities include recreational activities, classes, skills training and outings. The programme aims to serve the neglected segment of the community, such as ethnic minorities, psychiatric rehabilitants and people with mental disabilities.
Under the "Life Rejuvenation Scheme 2013 – Old Hong Kong", launched in conjunction with the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Yu Mak Yuen Integrated Service Centre, volunteers help senior citizens living in Chak On Estate in Sham Shui Po through home visits, distribution of food coupons and local tours, providing companionship and strengthening their connection with the community.
Environmental protection is a key element in the sustainability of the community. To promote and enhance public awareness of geoconservation, NWS Hong Kong Geo Wonders Hike Programme has been held by NWS Holdings and sponsored by Charities Foundation since 2008. About 30,000 citizens have participated in a wide range of activities including guided public tours, GeoMazing Hunt orienteering, photo and drawing competitions, Asia Pacific Geotourism Conference, Asia Pacific Global Geoparks voting campaign and the first ever running event, NWS Geo Hero Run in 2015.
The Young Ambassador for Geoconservation training programme was first launched in 2011. To date, more than 900 secondary school students from over 100 schools have participated in training classes, field trips and a leadership camp. The programme has also organised cross-border field trips for students since 2012. Students from Mainland China and Hong Kong exchanged ideas and information about Geoconservation and environmental protection.
Children and young people are the future of society, and suitable guidance, advice and a whole life approach are essential to supplement their development. Charities Foundation always supports programmes that care for children and young people and help them establish a positive attitude to life, a better understanding of society and stronger communication skills. Both "Fairy Mentorship" and "Career GPS" are designed to achieve these goals.
The "Fairy Mentorship" programme, which was jointly launched by the Group and the Hans Andersen Club, gives underprivileged children and youngsters opportunities to learn from volunteer mentors and build positive values in life. In addition, the mentees can broaden their horizons, cultivate their self-confidence and develop their communication and leadership skills through the programme.
Since the programme launched in 2008, plenty of fruitful results have been achieved. The children mentees have grown up and become the youth mentees for underprivileged children in the new three-year programme, namely "Fairy Mentorship – New Generation", in 2012. The teenagers learned how to take care of the next generation, and experienced happiness by giving back to society.
"Career GPS" is another mentorship programme organised by the Group in conjunction with the Hong Kong Playground Association. It provides career planning and job shadowing for young people who leave school early and those who are unemployed. Volunteers act as mentors and give guidance to the youngsters, leading them to build a positive attitude and plan their career development.
The three-year Career GPS programme will be carried out in phases: career talks, experience-sharing and interview workshops and skill training, followed by company visits and on-the-job training offered by the Group as the first step of their career path. Outstanding participants will then be awarded job shadowing experience with departmental managers to better understand business operations and to plan for their long-term career goals.
To promote awareness of health, Charities Foundation strongly supports activities and developments related to health knowledge and management of diseases.
Charities Foundation sponsored a programme which was held by students from the University of Hong Kong in 2012: "Better health, Better lives, Better future". NWS Volunteer Alliance volunteers went to Cambodia, together with students from the Faculties of Engineering and Medicine. They helped an orphanage build water purification systems and storage tanks. They also carried out check-ups and taught the basic concepts of personal hygiene.