On behalf of the Directors, we would like to welcome you to the July issue of our Newsletter,
M.E.F. July is the seventh month of the year and the second of the Summer. It is a time of the
year marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence. Unfortunately, less fortunate families can’t
afford to be inactive or go on nice holidays as their families must still survive on a daily basis.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO OLGA CROUSE
One of the Volunteers at the joyous party in the Caritas Lok Yi School was Mrs. Olga Crouse,
the Chairperson of the local South African Association. She came with her husband, Corrie.
Both have joined us in the past as Volunteers and they and the Association have been greater supporters. As it is Nelson Mandela Day on 18th July, Olga has arranged for Goodie Bags to delivered to our joyous party on 14th July in the Tung Wan Mok Lan Shui Wah School. She also arranged for the Consul General of South Africa, Mr. Monogo to attend the joyous party.
It is our hope that he will be able to stay for the full joyous party as our V.I.P. Guest and
Volunteer. Hopefully he will see how we deliver birthday happiness and present the birthday
gifts to the 11 male Celebrants. It is hoped that the HK Standard will interview members of
Birthday Happiness Asia on Nelson Mandela Day and will also include photos from the joyous party in the article. Thank you very much to Olga for everything that you do to help us deliver birthday happiness.
JOYOUS PARTIES IN JUNE
Our first joyous party in June was in the Caritas Lok Yi School in San Wan Ho. This joyous
party was rescheduled from May because of a Covid outbreak in the School. There were 4
Celebrants ranging from ages 11 to 15. Unfortunately, one of Celebrants was admitted to
hospital the day before. Most of the Participants are Boarders at the School. However, with
their mental challenges the average mental age is on average about 10. The Party Leader was Mansha and she was ably helped by Olga and Corrie from the South African Association and Hannah and Lorraine from Li Po Chun United World College. Their fellow pupils enthused so much about our joyous parties they decided to help for the first time. We were joined by Mr. Roger Ng, Senior Social Work Supervisor at Caritas. The joyous party started with a singing ‘If you are happy clap your hands’. The first sentence was in English and the next line in Cantonese. A wonderful way to start the joyous party. Then there were games of playing ‘Pass the Ball’ with a giant ball, ‘Simon Says’ and passing and balancing the ball. After the games concluded, the Celebrants made a wish, blew out the candles and cut the chocolate cake kindly donated by Jeremy Mair. The Celebrants were then given a birthday gift and the mother of the female Celebrant said her daughter was very happy with her birthday party and her gifts. She kept on saying thank you to all the Volunteers for giving her daughter birthday happiness.
Afterwards the Volunteers were given a tour of the campus including a visit to the beautiful
Body, Mind and Spirit Garden. Olga wrote later “We really enjoyed our afternoon with the
celebrants and students of Caritas Lok Yi School. The children's spirited enthusiasm and
excited smiles were such a joy to behold! The love and dedication with which the staff and
carers at the school do their jobs is truly heartwarming to witness, and the school has a lovely campus. We would like to thank the school for allowing us to visit them.” Hanna wrote about her first time to deliver birthday happiness “...I realized it is easy to take our birthdays for granted. We often get caught up in the busyness of life and forget the pure joy that comes with celebrating life and love. But being with these children reminded me of the simple spirit in birthdays and the importance in spreading kindness and compassion to those surrounding us. Please do not hesitate to join the next Joyous Party and do our part to create a more caring and inclusive world, one birthday party at a time.
Our second joyous party was at the Society for Community Organization in their Centre in Sham Shui Po. The joyous party was once again led by P.Y, the last one she can lead before
going on holiday to China. There were 7 Celebrants and with their Guests there were 25
Participants. The Volunteer helping P.Y. was Lori who made the delicious chocolate cake. Her daughter criticised her for using bitter-sweet chocolate in the cake. She suggested none of the children would like it. Happy to tell you that each Celebrant and their Guests loved it and all said thank you to her together. It was the highlight of their joyous birthday party. The old adage that mother knows best springs to mind!!
Our third joyous party in June was at a new Partnering Organisation, the Lok Sin Tong
Benevolent Society, Ethnic Minority Unit in Kowloon City. We were introduced to the Society
by Ms. Ip who used to work for Home Care for Girls. She has good memories of joyous parties at the Home prior to changing positions that she contacted us to inquire if we would come and deliver birthday happiness in the Society. We were very happy to do so and we held our first joyous party on Saturday, 24th June. It is a small Centre and there were 6 Celebrants and 20 Guests. Helping for the first time as Volunteers were Brandy, the American Belly Dancer and Maren. They were helped by Janice. There were the traditional games like Musical Chairs and Pass the Parcel. The delicious cake was donated by Aisha who unfortunately couldn’t attend.
Everyone had a great time and wanted us to come back soon. The Centre-in-Charge, Tommy Tang could see the value of delivering birthday happiness and would like us to come back in September.
JOYOUS PARTIES IN JULY
As we enter the sultry months of Summer, we have only 2 confirmed joyous parties in July but both are very important for our future development. On Friday, 14th July we will be going for the first time to the Tung Wan Mok Lan Shui Wah School in Tuen Mun. The South African
Consulate General will be attending as our Guest and Volunteer. We will have a Piñata kindly donated by HK Fiesta Time and Ms. Monica Kashish. It is our hope that photos from the joyous party will appear in the HK Standard. They will certainly appear in our next Newsletter, M.E.F. The joyous party will start at 11.30 am 90 minutes. On the same day, we will go to Home Care for Girls. The joyous party will start at 7.30 pm for 90 minutes and the Team Leader is Ms. Eva Lo. As some of these young ladies might have been abused by males, only females Volunteers will be permitted to help deliver birthday happiness to these young ladies.
FUTURE COOPERATION WITH CARITAS
After the joyous party in Caritas Lok Yi School, Birthday Happiness Asia had a meeting with
Roger Ng. he was very impressed by the love, warmth and dedication shown towards the
celebrants and their guests by the volunteers. He will introduce us to the seven schools he
currently supervises, that help children with various degrees of disabilities. He also
supervises two hostels with female residents, who have emotional difficulties. We reassured
him that if we are allowed into these hostels, we would only permit female volunteers to join,
as we currently do with the Home Care for Girls Centre
PAST TEAM LEADERS
It is with great pleasure that we have to inform you that Ms. Eudmarly Letrois Gedioni, Ms.
Sonya King, Ms. Fiona Wei and Justin Blake have successfully graduated from Li Po Chun
United World College. They will be going onto higher education in America and the United
Kingdom. They were amongst the first Team Leaders to help us deliver birthday happiness by leading many successful joyous parties and brought a lot of happiness to hundreds of less fortunate children. They will be missed but we are sure that you will join us to wish them all the best in their higher education and future careers. Good luck.