Zonta Cub of the New Territories was founded by our Honorary Advisor Mrs. Peggy Lam and the late lady Akers Jones and inaugurated on 15th May 1982 with 28 charter members under the leadership of our first President Dr. Teresa Lee.
For the past three decades, members of the Zonta Club of the New Territories have pledged to work as one to serve the community. We have supported and actively participated in a wide spectrum of social services, targeting in particular for women, then elderly, the young, the underprivileged and the handicapped. Some of these projects have been pursued consecutively for several years; at the same time new projects are being identified and undertaken each year. In recent years, our work has also extended to promoting environmental protection. We are proud to have successfully launched our web-site on 1st December 2000 with home page consisting of information about Zonta International, Zonta Clubs in Hong Kong as well as out Club history, service and activities. With the unfailing support of our Advisor Mrs Peggy Lam since our inauguration and with our membership now increased to 51, we shall continue to work together with dedication for the advancement of our community in the spirits of Zonta.
Throughout the years, we have devoted special efforts to enhancing the quality of life of the elderly. We sponsored the installation of air conditionings at the Fook On Tong Social Centre for the Elderly and in the dining and activity hall of Fung Tak Lutheran Home for the Elderly. Washing machines and dryers were donated to Wong Cheung Kin Memorial Hostel for the Elderly run by the Kowloon Women Welfare Club. For the elderly centres of the Helping Hand in Lai King and Tuen Mun, we supported their renovation project in 1989. We worked with the HK Senior Citizens Association and helped to install safety alarm systems in the homes of 100 elderly people in 2002-2003.
In 1987, jointly with the Oriental Diary News, we had a big success with a two-day event entertaining 800 elderly at Tin Sum of Shatin, featuring Chinese Opera songs; Chinese dance and lion dance and with special woolen wears for the participants. In 1993, through the SAGE Out-reaching Service, we sponsored a special programme for the deprived old people from Tsuen Wan. To promote the interest of elderly people in participating in voluntary work, we worked with the Hong Kong Christian Service with regard to the Hong Kong Elderly Volunteers Social Services Day. In 1999, we sponsored Chuang Chung Wen Social Centre for the Elderly in organising special training classes for elderly people there.
With particular concern for the elderly cage dwellers in Shamshuipo, we have for many years supported the S.K.H Kei Oi Centre including sponsoring one full social worker to help them. We also joined the social workers of the Centre in distributing moon cakes, fruits and Li See packets to the cage dwellers in public housing estate and entertaining them to Chinese Opera.
In cooperation with the social workers of Sheng Kung Hui Western District Multi-Service Centre for the Elderly, Zontians and their spouses visited the elderly people in Tai O, distributing to them winter clothing. In 2002, we contributed to the renovation work at the Hong Kong Lutheran Social services Mrs. Leung Kwai Yee Lutheran Home for the Elderly in Tsing Yi and also built a “Zonta Garden” for the residents at the Old Aged House in Kowloon Tong operated by the Asia Women’s Limited. Jointly organized with the HK Federation of Women Lawyers, we organized the Concert for the Young at Heart for the elderly in the Eastern District of Hong Kong.
In 2003-04, we donated electric water heaters to a group of elderly recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance through St. James Settlement. This year, working together with volunteers of St. James’ Settlement, we launched the home improvement project for the elderly in need. Up to 1,000 elderly homes will be helped through this project.
For 8 consecutive years, Zontians with soldiers of HMS Tamar jointly organised annually a one-day outing for the handicapped children, their teachers and family members. A variety of games, contests, gifts and entertainment brought much joy to all participants. Separately in 1987, an outing was organised at Ocean Park for the children from Sha Kok Children’s Home.
In addition, we sponsored for 3 years the employment of a full time social worker to take charge of the After-school Project at Tai Yuen Centre, Hong Kong Children and Youth Services. In support of the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children, which provides day care for under-privileged children, a children activities room at Ma Tau Chung Day Nursery was named after our Club.
In 1998, we sponsored 70 children from single parent families and their family members for a day camp at Music Farm. The function was organised jointly with The Tze Wan Shan (South) Children Centre, the Boys’ and Girl’s Association of Hong Kong. A variety of games and handicraft classes brought plenty of laughter and joy to all those who participated.
Impressed by the work of The Sister of the Good Sheperd Marycove Centre and Marycove School towards helping problem teenage girls, we supported the structural improvements their main utility areas and officiated the use of their “Zonta NT Hall”.
For many years we have cooperated with the Hong Kong Adventure Corps including sponsoring their cadet’s archery training program. In 2002, joining hands with them and the Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power, we organised a day camp at High Island camp site for a group of disable children when they enjoyed in treasure hunt, archery, shooting, water sports and other activities. In 2003, “Day Camp – Friendship and Harmony” was organized for a group of newly arrived children and Nepalese children. This year, children from Po Leung Kuk, HK Sheng Kung Hui St. Christopher’s Home, as well as a group of Nepalese children joined the Day Camp.
The Smart Beauty project initiated by the Evangel Children’s Home in helping problem girls to build up self-esteem and interpersonal relationship was found meaningful and well-worth support.
Other organisations/parties supported by us include the Children and Youth Centre, the Heep Hong Society for handicapped children, the Shatin Youth Centre, the H.K. Diocesan Audio Visual Centre’s “Hot line Stories” service for children and many others.
The Zonta (N.T.) Trust Fund was established in 1982 for the Yin Ngai Societies to assist women to adjust to their lives in the new towns. Pursuant to a Charity Concert given by one of our charter member Liza Wang, much of the funds raised were used to support the activities of the Societies including classes in soft toy making, flower arrangement, elementary Putonghua, elementary English, knitting, art as well as the issuance of “Yin Ngai Newsletter”. Leadership seminars were organised for the Societies jointly with the City and New Territories Administration and St. James’ Settlement when Zontians also gave talks on personal hygiene and “First Aid in the Home”. Donations were also made to Harmony House which is a refuge for battered women.
In light of the rapid increase of new immigrants especially women from Mainland China who would encounter problems relating to housing, medical services and employment, we joined hands with The Federation of Women’s Centre in establishing a hot-line service room at their supportive centre at Lai Kik Estate, Shamshuipo where counselling service and information network would be provided to these new immigrants. The Jockey Club Lai Kok Centre was formally inaugurated in November 2000.
To promote youth’s awareness of women’s contribution to the community and to help young women build up a clear vision of their future and their role, in collaboration with the Education Department of the HKSAR, we organised an essay competition “Role of Women in the 21 st Century” open to secondary school students. Over 130 quality entries from secondary levels were received on recommendation by their school principals. Our special thanks to our patron Mrs. Betty Tung and the Adjudication Panel who helped to make the programme a success.
In 2001, we supported the project “Advancement of career women through IT” organised by the Better Hong Kong Foundation and the Productivity Council, when a series of workshops and training on IT area were provided for career women.
A Leadership Workshop was organised for our members with guests from other sister clubs on 14 July 2001. Through role playing and debriefing, we had a good grasp of the essence of leadership attributes and teamwork.
In the same year, together with other women organisations and other Sister Clubs in Hong Kong, we were honoured to be on the Host Committee for Global Summit of Women 2001. This convention has brought together over 400 key government and cooperated women leaders from around the world to Hong Kong and focused on increasing women’s opportunity to conduct cross border businesses.
In 2003-4, Zonta Clubs in Hong Kong funded and co-produced a weekly radio programme with Metro Broadcast. The programme consists of a series of 13-episodes of 90 minutes duration, covering a wide range of interests and concern to women.
Since 1987, our Club has a long history of rendering support to the Shek Kip Mei Blind Centre, from the construction of their Audio Centre, the production of their monthly audio magazine, to the purchase of tapes and other special needs they had. Last year we provided a computerised telephone system them for running a 24 hour hot-line service. Our untiring support to this centre throughout the years has gained recognition as we were presented the Zonta District Service Award 2001.
With the objective of enhancing relationship between the handicapped children and their family members and to stimulate their growth and development, we, for 4 years, funded the project “Let’s Play to Grow” organised by the Hong Kong Sports Association. On the other hand, a 14 seaters van was purchased for handicapped children at Pine Hill Village, Nan Hang.
In 1998, we helped the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, the Chinese University of Hong Kong in installing a hotline for the public to call for counselling on eye diseases and eye care.
Considerable donations were also made to the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation East Kowloon Centre to help Alzheimer patients and to the Home of Loving Faithfulness in helping their operating costs for severely handicapped children. We were also the sponsor for the 15th Hong Kong Special Olympics Regional Athletic Need – N.T. with the aim to promote athletic activities among the mentally handicapped.
In 2002 we help Cheung Ching Lutheran Centre for the handicapped in setting up a printing workshop which aims to provide training and job opportunities for the handicapped.
With a view to helping families of victims of accidents and other cases where urgent assistance was required, we set up an Emergency Relief Fund which duly supported many needed people.
In support of World Vision, we sponsored their “Water For Life” project. Donation was also given to the Sir Edward Youde Fund as well as the Mexico earthquake victims.
When students of the Chinese University of Hong Kong organised the “Fitness in Fo Tan” Project aiming at educating the working people in the Fo Tan District on how to adapt to their working environment and to take care of their health, we fully supported them.
To help at-risk families, we sponsored the Family Ambassadors Scheme promulgated by the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society which involved training women volunteers and participating in streetwise roving exhibition on effective parenting and also door-to-door visits to those families at risk.
Recognizing the meaningful work of the Hong Kong Eating Disorders Association Limited, we supported their fund-raising project to help serious patients of Anorexia or Bulimia. We also contributed to the setting up of a training-cun-resources centre at Tung Tau Centre run by the Suicide Prevention Services.
For consecutive years, we also sponsored our Golden Z members of Chinese University to teach English to new immigrants from the Mainland during the summer.
In cooperation with our Sister Zonta Clubs in Hong Kong, the Zonta Health Van has since 2001 been in operation to serve the breast cancer awareness project of the Hong Kong Federation of Medical Societies Charitable Foundation. The project was the recipient of the Merit Award in the Zonta International District 17 Seervice Awards. Phase 2 of the programme, the Zonta Health Ambassador Programme, commenced in May 2004. It has extended its service for teenage girls and young women in schools, covering 18 education institutions.
To arouse awareness of the problem of corruption, we co-sponsored with the ICAC and Apple Computer International a special education programme. Donation was also made to the Hong Kong Red Cross towards the distribution of educational leaflets to the public on infectious diseases and personal health.
To promoted the interest and to advance the standard of Hong Kong students in Mathematics, we supported the Hong Kong Mathematical Olympiad School in training local students to participate in the National Mathematic Competition in Mainland China.
To enhance students’ awareness of waste separation, recovery and recycling, we strongly supported the “Waste Recycling Scheme in Territory and Vocational Institutes” Campaign jointly organised with the Environmental Campaign Committe and the Environmental Protection Department of the Government of Hong Kong SAR, other sister Zonta Clubs of Hong Kong as well as the Rotary Club and Lions Club.
In 2004-2005, we sponsored the Environmental Campaign Committee to implement the “Waste Separation and Recycling Scheme” in all pre-schools (800+) in Hong Kong.
Jointly with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, we organised in 1992 a varsity competition to promotes the interest of post-secondary students in designing innovative electronics devices.
To show our support for life long learning, as from the year 2000, we have set up on a long term basis two bursaries for female students at the Open University of Hong Kong under the name “Zonta Club of the New Territories Bursary Awards”.
In 2004, jointly with the HKU Family Institute, we started “A Training Package for School Systems to Help Children with Behavioral and Emotional Problems” Over 500 teaching professionals, and their students will benefit from this programme.
Our latest project was establishing jointly with Sowers Action (苗圃行動) a primary school in a remote part of Guizhou (貴州). The school has just started its operation in 2005.
To encourage service to the community within secondary schools and universities, we have set upZ Clubs and Golden Z Clubs as follows:
Golden Z Club Chinese University of Hong Kong
1. The Methodist Church Hong Kong, Wesley College 2. Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Yau Tze Tin Memorial College
Whilst encouraging and supporting the students as they organised their own social service projects, our members have also actively interacted with the students in many activities. In particular, our Z Club and Golden Z Club members formed strong support teams to assist in our two Charity Sales, the Green Walk and Day Camps with the Adventure Corps.
With a view to providing career guidance to our Golden Z Club students at Chinese University of Hong Kong, memtorship programmes were specially held for them including on ” Accounting and Finance” and “Law and Me”. Presentations were given by Zontians experted in the area and judging from the number of participants and the endless questions and responses received, one can tell that the students have found the programmes very meaningful.
To encourage students to participate in public affairs and to prepare them for their service in the communities, special ” Zonta Club of the New Territories Young Women/Men in Public Affairs Award. The winner was recommended to enter the District 17 Award. Chung Mui Yi from Yau Tze Tin Memorial College was the recipient of the 2002-2003 YWPAA District 17 Top 20 Award.
To promote their environmental awareness, since 2000, we sponsored their participation in the Environmental Ambassador Program as jointly organised by Zonta Club District 17, the Environmental Protection Department and the Environmental Campaign Committee when Zontians and students attended environmental workshops and visited nature reserve and environmental facilities.
To promote better understanding of the law making process in Hong Kong, the Zonta Clubs in Hong Kong sponsored a workshop on “Legislative Process” for our Golden Z and Z Clubs at the Legislative Council Building in November 2003.
With the aim to promote environmental awareness, in the year 2000 we launched the Green Partnership Programme, working together with, inter alia the Environmental Protection Department of the HKSAR, Environmental Campaign Committee and other Sister Clubs of Zonta. The program included seminars and training scheme for Zontians as Environmental Protection Ambassador. It lasted for 5 months and provided invaluable experiences for Zontians as they attended workshops on various environmental issues, and visited nature reserve, refuse transfer station and landfill sites.
To echo government’s initiatives on waste reduction, we sponsored the waste separation and recycling scheme in pre-schools, and recycling bins project to advance the waste separation programme for vocational institutes.
In March 2001, we participated in the Hong Kong Tree Planting Day at Lantau Island with over 1,000 other participants and the Chief Executive as the officiating guest.
Under the leadership of Zontian Mabel mak who has been co-chair of the District 17 Environmental Committee, as well as District 17 Conference speaker, we shall continue our endeavours to promote green initiatives.
Every two years, we would organise an event to raise funds for the Zonta Club of the New Territories Charitable Trust, which has been used to support our meaningful social service projects. Such events have taken the form of fund raising balls, gala premiere, charity sales and walkathon.
We are truly thankful to all our sponsors and patrons who have supported us in the past years. Their generous donations and support have given us great encouragement and have made our social service projects possible and meaningful.
2010 Charity film show featuring “The Echoes of the Rainbow”