District Community Service Seminar for the Rotary Year 2023-24

By PP Menza Chu, District Community Service Seminar Chair 2023-24, Rotary Club of SoHo Hong Kong

District Community Service Seminar for the Rotary year 2023-24 was successfully held on 17 June 2023 morning. Over 70 Rotary leaders and members, including Presidents, Presidents-elect, Club Service Committee Chair, fellow Rotarians, Rotaractors, Rotary Community Corps member, Rotary Scholar and etc. have joined the seminar to share more about the idea and experience to organize our community service projects.

Rotary clubs serve communities around the world. Rotarians have continually adapted and improved the way they respond to the needs of our community, taking on a broad range of service projects. The seminar was aimed at focusing on how to organize community volunteer service by conjoint effort in Rotary with the service partners. Through the inspiring sharing by distinguished speakers and fellow members in our Rotary family, we do hope the participants could plan for more impactful projects to serve the community in the current Rotary year.

The seminar was kick-started by the words of wisdom of District Governor (2022-23) Norman Lee. Professor Stephen Yan-leung Cheung, SBS JP was invited to be our Keynote speaker. We were inspired by his sharing on the Jockey Club Volunteers Together Project which is a 5-year citywide program initiated and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust to promote volunteerism in Hong Kong, in collaboration with 12 partner organizations. We were also impressed by its sustainability involving a large database of volunteers and the project impact as well as training program for volunteers.

Past District Governor Eugene Fong also reminded us the fundamental concepts of service in Rotary in his presentation. He also shared the lifecycle of service projects in Rotary. He summarized his presentation by reminding us service in Rotary should be able to:

  • uphold our Rotary values,
  • promote ideals and goodwill of Rotary,
  • create impact with innovative ideas,
  • connect people and members,
  • work with the community partners,
  • build positive peace in the community, and
  • be grounded in theory of service.

Past District Governor Peter Wan shared on a topic on the pitfalls we should avoid when working with our service partners. He shared some feedback received from both Rotarians and service partners. He further pointed out the ways to avoid pitfalls:

  • allow time for project design and consultation
  • planning and fostering ownership
  • clear delineation of responsibility
  • work within our means
  • be fair to our partners
  • give due recognition to all parties involved
  • Timely result evaluation

In the Panel Discussion 1, we were so excited to be able to invite Dr. Jessica Tam, Head of HKCSS-HSBC Social Enterprise Business Centre, Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Ms. Anthea Lee, Chief Executive of SideBySide (The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong), and President Anson Ho of Rotary Community Corp (RCC) of LEAD to share their experience in delivering their service projects and how they experienced when working with business sectors on ESG projects. They were invited to enlighten us what service gaps in social service sector.

Past President Daniel Lo, Rotary Club of Central and President Yoyo Chan of Rotaract Club of Edelweiss were invited to share their service projects involving volunteers and their experience in recruiting and equipping volunteers with practical skills in our Panel Discussion 2.

Seven outstanding service projects in the past few Rotary Years were selected to be shared by the club representatives in the two Breakout Sessions, i.e.

Breakout 1 (Venue: Atrium) Conducted in EnglishFacilitator: PP Herman Lo RC Fairview HK
1.1 Zoom Easter Party for Green Grass NotesP Ken Leung RAC Mid-level
1.2 Christmas Open HouseP Anton Chan RCC The HUB HK
1.3 Memory ・ Gift 3PP Edmond Wong & PN Patricia Or, RC Neoteric HK
1.4 Project GRASS東華三院青草屯PP Ramand Chan RC Channel Islands
Breakout 2 (Venue: Room 3501-04) Conducted in CantoneseFacilitator: P Linda Poon RAC Harmony and Prosperity HK
2.1和平共融推動IPP Demen Cheung RC HK North
2.2 22nd Millennium Entrepreneurship Programme, MEPP Ivan Yiu RC Harmony and Prosperity HK
2.3長者服務衣食住行P Ken Leung RAC Mid-level

District Governor (2023-24) Andy Li gave us a closing remark by reiterating the annual focus and what we can do more to our community in the Rotary year 2023-24. Let’s create hope in the world.

Last but not least, may I take this opportunity to thank all our Organizing Committee OC members, RIC staff and all invited speakers and fellow participants. Special gratitude should be expressed to Past District Governor Peter Wan and Past District Governor Eugene Fong for their guidance and staunch support which makes the seminar fruitful and inspirational.

PP Menza Chu,
District Community Service Seminar Chair 2023-24
Rotary Club of SoHo Hong Kong.