The Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong (BGCA)

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 May, 2005, 12:00am

Where: Headquarters - 3 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai

What: Established in 1936, BGCA is a charity with 26 centres in Hong Kong offering a variety of social services to children, teenagers and their parents. The motto of the group is: 'Nurture the Young, Create the Future'.

How: Call 2527 9121 to apply. Services include helping new arrivals with their homework as well as holding interest workshops or fun events for children. Committed young people who are fluent in English are welcome to develop educational programmes at the group's Small Group Homes to teach English.

There is no age limit for volunteers, and parents are encouraged to join their children in volunteer work.

Teen volunteer: Kelly Wong Ka-hei, 17, is a fifth-former at Queen's College Old Boys' Association Secondary School. She has been doing volunteer work with BGCA for about three years.

'We visited an orphanage two years ago. We talked and played with the children and taught them how to make simple artworks.

The orphans behaved differently from other children. They were unwilling to talk and difficult to communicate with. They didn't like playing with other people. Maybe it was due to lack of love. They felt nobody would care about them because they were abandoned by their parents.

But when you become close to them, they tell you many things about their life. Most of them are unhappy because there are many restrictions in the orphanage and their social life is limited.

I also helped with an outing for mentally retarded children. I was responsible for looking after an autistic child who couldn't speak. She communicated with people through sign language. For example, the sign of a 'C' meant she wanted to go to the toilet.

I have won several awards for being an outstanding volunteer. But awards are not the most important thing. When you have the compassion to help people, it is satisfying enough to see them happy.

My life has changed a lot since doing volunteer work. In Form Two, I was quite emotional. But now I have learnt how to work with people. You cannot always speak your mind. You must also be flexible and do the right things at the right time.'