Vision and mission all for children

City talk | Terence Chang 12 Jul 2018

I had afternoon tea with Peter Kwan Kin-shing, chief executive of the Hong Kong Student Aid Society. Paul Cheuk Tak-kan, principal of the society's Tung Wan Mok Law Shui Wah School, came all the way from Lantau to join us.

Cheuk looks young, and I was amazed to learn that he has been an educator for 17 years already.

"There is really such a thing as a sense of mission," he said. "I guess that's why I don't feel that it is hard to be working in remote Shek Pik."

Kwan has been with the society for more than three decades. "Our motto 'All for Children' are not empty words. We are serious about our vision and mission, and the children can feel it," he said.

Educating young people has never been an easy task, and it is even more challenging for teachers who work with special-needs children at schools for social development.

Cheuk said: "Our teachers know it takes patience and love to help students, some of whom need to part from their family to live in dorms temporarily. Others have emotional challenges and need counselling. But since we are all in this family, we will take care of them no matter how hard it is," he said.

Kwan told me about a graduate of the school who is now in his 20s. "The young man is sincere and responsible. He now owns two trucks and runs a successful logistics business."

He also remembered a pair of orphans at the society's Mark Memorial Home back in the 1980s.

"They worked harder than young people their age. The girl became a nurse, and her younger brother a doctor. I was invited to sit at the head table at the woman's wedding banquet. You can imagine how happy I was!" he said.

The non-profit organization has helped generations of young people over the past few decades, but not every case is a success.

There was a student who couldn't go to school because he had to stay home to keep his mother from taking drugs.

Cheuk said the school has great plans. It aims to expose students to more diversified learning, exploring their potential in music, sports and arts. It will also have a new campus next year that will put the primary and secondary sections under one roof.

Cheuk-cheung is the retired

headmaster of Diocesan Boys School.

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