Each day about 100 newcomers from China come to live in Hong Kong, but for many of them adjusting to life here can be quite difficult. On arrival, the young people are plunged into an unfamiliar schooling system, surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Naturally, getting used to school, and Hong Kong life in general, is a slow, and sometimes painful, process. The Chun Seen Mei Chuen Social Service Centre of the Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association has organised programmes and activities to help the newcomers adjust to life here. The Adjustment Class for New Arrivals From China project, which began last year, has introduced about 100 young people so far to the local way of life. The main problems for the immigrant youngsters relate to studies, said Tracy Ma Man-kiu, who is in charge of the YWCA centre's hotline counselling service. 'One of the big handicaps is that their English level does not match that of Hong Kong students.' The social service centre is therefore concentrating its work on the academic side. 'We held some English classes last year to help the new arrivals brush up on their English language skills so they could catch up with the general English language level in Hong Kong,' Ms Ma said. 'Actually, the level of English can vary greatly with the immigrant students. 'There are also communication problems, since some of the children cannot speak Cantonese. Some do not even speak Putonghua, as they know only the dialects spoken in the areas they come from.' Ms Ma cited the case of two brothers, one three years old and the other eight, who came to Hong Kong with their father. Their mother is still in China. Since the father is busy most of the time, and often away from home, he is unable to give his sons proper attention. The older boy has joined the adjustment class where a volunteer is helping to ease him into primary school life and introduce him to children his age. 'I know the two little boys felt quite lost when they first came to Hong Kong. They weren't used to being ignored,' Ms Ma said. In the meantime, the father is learning more about his children and the community they move with. This has made adjustment much easier for both father and sons. Besides learning how to tackle academic work in Hong Kong, the new arrivals are also learning how to adjust to the new environment. The volunteers, many of whom are university students or alumni, organise outdoor activities to show the youngsters around. Volunteers in groups of six serve about 30 children, accompanying them to various official places, such as the Education Department, as well as spots of general interest.