Building Community for Children and Families as Hong Kong Restrictions Lessen
In Hong Kong SAR, as Covid restrictions abate and the city progressively begins to reopen, we are delighted to welcome children and families living in Sham Shui Po back to the P. C. Lee OneSky Global Centre for Early Childhood Development (OSGC). For many, the Centre is a refuge, offering a safe and fun environment for children to play and learn, with their adult guardians.
Throughout Hong Kong’s enduring lockdowns many families, already living on the margins, have suffered extraordinary hardship. But we have helped make a difference, with our Family Mentors providing much-needed support and care to the registered families who attend the OneSky Centre.
Building community and expanding the reach of our services through partnerships with other NGOs are at the core of OneSky’s mission, and, despite our Centre having been closed for many months, we have been busy building collaborative networks across Hong Kong.
This past spring, in conjunction with the Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education’s Jockey Club “CoolPlay” Project, OneSky organized a parent-child STEAM Carnival. To strengthen parent-child relationships, the Carnival taught adults how to apply responsive care through play related to science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). The Carnival received an overwhelming response, with more than 300 families joining. Caregivers and parents explored the world of science with their children, aiding the children’s development and strengthening interpersonal bonds.
Inspired by the partnership with Yew Chung College, OneSky Family Mentors have since introduced themed-play activities during facilitated sessions at the OSGC – including a STEAM Egg Experiment, Do-It-Yourself Game Console, Dragon Boat Making, and Understanding Liquid Density with a “Liquid Tower”, all of which promote learning through diversified science-based play.
In September, we celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival at the Centre with a party co-hosted by Generali’s The Human Safety Net (THSN). OneSky Family Mentors and Generali volunteers hosted local families in this special celebration bringing together community members to take part in fun activities such as lantern making, a mooncake obstacle race, and rescuing Comfie and Sparkie, our Centre mascots, to win prizes!
In response to the needs of local parents and caregivers, new parent-child activities have been introduced to OneSky’s Parenting Skills Training Program. During the summer we initiated a “Baby Obstacle Race” for 2-year-old children and their guardians, designed to teach children how to follow directions while enhancing their sensory development. At the same time, caregivers gained a better understanding of the responsive care approach through observing, interpreting, and responding to their children.
More recently, we received a visit from OneSky CEO Morgan Lance, and OneSky Board director, Stella Lee. For both, it was their first visit in more than two years due to travel restrictions, and we couldn’t have been more excited to open our doors to them.
Following her visit, Morgan said: “I was thrilled to see our Centre in action after more than three years since my last visit. It has come so far, despite all the Covid restrictions. And, we have some exciting developments for the Centre to announce shortly.”
Stay tuned for more updates from Hong Kong in the coming months!