What is your background, personally and professionally? How did you connect with WiFA?
As Associate Director of HandsOn, I work closely with our Executive Director to achieve the organization’s mission to empower all Hong Kong citizens to volunteer. I oversee the running of close to 200 community service activities for the public each month, and manage all external communications driving volunteer engagement and recruitment for the organization. Before joining HandsOn, I held communications and event roles at Ogilvy and The Economist Group. After starting my family and taking a short career break, I was ready to return to work but looking for something different. I was inspired by the HandsOn mission – and still am! I was introduced to WiFA by my father in fact, after learning about their desire to support community initiatives.
Can you talk a little bit about the “Call For Emergency Help” initiative? And what is the current progress?
For the past few weeks, our HandsOn team has been doing all we can to support our network of 100+ charity partners to understand their most critical needs and find the best ways to help. We’ve compiled a list of the most urgent needs and posted it on our website for easy access. These emergency items range from masks and sanitizer for families living in subdivided flats to food for the low-mobility elderly who are unable to safely leave their home. It’s a bit hard to get a complete picture of the drive’s progress because many individuals and companies are donating directly to their local NGO. We’re continuously updating this page though, whenever our charity partners inform us of donations, and so far what we have seen is really encouraging. We’ve received several large-scale donations, including more than 5,000 masks from the Lan Kwai Fong Group, but we’ve also seen individuals contact us to donate any spare toilet rolls they can get their hands on!
Managing an NGO is certainly not easy. What accomplishment are you most proud of and do you have any tips on how you manage it?
Managing an NGO isn’t easy, but it’s incredibly gratifying, both professionally and personally, in a way I haven’t experienced before. As a mother of three young children, I’m passionate about educating Hong Kong’s young people on the extent of the city’s social needs and the power of volunteering to help address them. As part of this effort, I planned a Family Volunteering Festival with our team, allowing 200 family members as young as five to get involved. To make the day a success required school children raising many necessity items for disadvantaged communities and we needed to inform them quickly. I managed to address several thousand children through five school assemblies in five days—at 8 months pregnant! The busier I am, the more I tend to get done!
What advice would you give to women who want to lead?
I don’t think this advice is just for women who want to lead, but for me I have always believed in the importance of being responsive. This applies with everyone from clients to partners, but particularly with colleagues who I want to ensure can count on my support and input when they need it. Taking the time to reply in a thoughtful and timely way shows someone respect and professionalism and should not be underestimated.