The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong
Where: 702 Duke of Windsor Social Service Building, 15 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
What: Established in 1957, The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention (SRACP) provides rehabilitation services such as counselling, recreational activities, vocation training and hostels for former prison inmates so that they can be reintegrated into society. It also offers assistance to their family members.
How: Visit www.sracp.org.hk for more information. The organisation recruits volunteers for a wide variety of community services to enhance assistance and public support for rehabilitated ex-offenders.
Volunteer: Mureen Mo Wai-ling has been doing volunteer services for Jockey Club Home Recruit - a branch of SRACP that supports family members of ex-offenders - for about two years. She mainly assists in providing recreational and educational activities to children.
'Many ex-offenders have already learned from their mistakes, but society often fails to accept them or give them enough opportunities. It would be a mistake to assume that the children of
ex-offenders are problematic. They are no different from other children and some of them are even more determined to do well in life.
It's true that some of the children may have lower self-esteem and might not make friends with their classmates as easily. Their parents may be welfare recipients and don't have enough money to enable them to take part in recreational activities. Their social life is therefore quite limited.
But if the children have people to keep them company and play with them, they can make more new friends. They can then look at the world from another perspective. Playing with them in parks or helping them with their homework gives them a great deal of satisfaction.
The role of a volunteer also involves guiding the children to make sure that they don't take a wrong turn in life. Education and crime prevention is therefore very important.
I hope young people will spend more time doing volunteer work instead of going to karaoke or the movies in their spare time. It would not only be of great help to these children, but volunteers can also benefit from the activities. Taking part in volunteer services is not just about helping people. You end up gaining a lot of valuable experience.'