China Social Work Research Centre

Peking University and Polytechnic University

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Since 2007, Peking University has been rolling out its social work program under its Department of Sociology, in a joint effort and strategic partnership with the Department of Applied Social Sciences (DASS) of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). The primary purposes of the joint program are to foster the integration of social work theory and practice as a way to indigenize and professionalize social work in China, as well as provide training to enhance the problem-solving capacity of social workers towards achieving social development.

The two institutes co-founded the PekingU-Hong Kong PolyU China Social Work Research Centre. The Centre is devoted to the development and indigenization of social work theory and practice in China, aiming to develop a pipeline for leading scholars who are committed to the social change of China in the long term. To that end, strengthening the teaching capacity both undergraduate and graduate programs in social work is an integral part of the Center’s mission.

In 2012, ZeShan Foundation and Si Yuan Foundation jointly committed RMB20 million to establish a dedicated development fund. The fund will be critical to supporting the sustained growth of the Centre, so that it may develop into a leading institution for teaching and research in social work development, a think tank for social policy, and an international hub linking with social workers and social policy makers from mainland China, Hong Kong and the international community. The fund provides seed funding for research and program capacity building and enable PKU and the Center to leverage for external funding from the government and private sector.

In 2013, to commemorate the partnership, the compound of the Centre was renamed Si Shan Yuan (思善苑), taken from the names of the two sister foundations. During the unveiling ceremony on July 20, Prof. Zhou Qifeng, President of Peking University, presented Dr. Thomas Chen with the Outstanding Educational Contribution Award in recognition of his unwavering support for education in China.

In January 2014, a 4-day intensive training on social work curriculum development and capacity building was organized for about 100 Master of Social Work (MSW) instructors from various universities across China. Co-organized by Centre, the Social Work Teaching Guidance Committee under the Ministry of Education, and the China Association for Social Work Education, the training program attracted both local and international scholars and senior social work practitioners. Leading pracademics from the University of Chicago and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University participated as trainers in the workshop.

Peking University (PKU) is considered a cradle for higher education in modern China. It has been at the forefront in the teaching and research of humanities, social sciences and liberal arts education. Throughout its history, the university has distinguished itself in terms of intellectual freedom and leadership in social sciences and has produced and hosted man prominent Chinese thought leaders.

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Let Them Fly

Illuminant, Hong Kong

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Established in 2018, Illuminant (registered as The Illuminant Company Limited) is a social enterprise dedicated to introducing the Japanese model of elderly care into Hong Kong.  The concept behind this model is to create an environment and care culture in which older adults can give full play to their own potentials and capacity, enabling the ageing community to look after themselves and enjoy their late years.  Its Chinese name “鐵樹銀花” literally translates to “silver flowers blossoming on iron trees”, an analogy that comes to mean “older people enjoying their life despite being frail”.  

Illuminant derives its stream of income from movie screenings, experiential learning courses, training workshops, and talks, all of which are driven by the aim to enhance and improve the quality of care in elderly homes and family homes across Hong Kong. J-Care, their flagship virtual reality training program, is the first of its kind in Hong Kong, through which people can immerse themselves in a world afflicted by dementia. Through the simulated first-person experience of dementia, participants are able to personally experience the difficulties faced by dementia patients in different scenarios that arise due to different symptoms of the condition. Accompanied by a trainer’s guidance and explanation throughout the simulation, participants emerge from the experience equipped with a better understanding of dementia patients’ needs and feelings. Illuminant’s programs have the potential to reduce the stigma and fear toward different ageing-related conditions in our society, with greater hopes of eliminating the social exclusion experienced by these vulnerable communities.

In 2018, ZeShan Foundation supported the first screening of the Japanese Kaigo movie “Care-Nin” (“照護人 1”) and an accompanying training session, which was well received by practitioners and policy makers in elder care.  In 2021, ZeShan also supplemented Illuminant’s material and staff costs to upgrade both the hardware and software behind their virtual reality program, which also indirectly helped to subsidize the organization’s financial shortage during a period of business re-strategizing. With the goal to broaden the reach of the J-Care concept to a wider professional and public audience, this more advanced VR program will enable the organization to more effectively deliver content remotely in online and mobile learning modes.

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The Japanese Kaigo Movie “Care-Nin” promotes the profession and the value of frontline carers, and brings out an important message that “having dementia does not mean your life is coming to an end.”

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Carers experiencing dementia perspectives through VR devices

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When an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

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When an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

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It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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Food Buddies in Kwai Tsing

Health in Action, Hong Kong

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During the COVID-19 crisis, we supported Health in Action to address three aspects (physical, psychological and community) of needs and empowerment of low-income families, including working poor and ethnic minorities, in Hong Kong who suffer more under strain of the pandemic.  About 100 most at-risk families will be invited to join the first level of intervention to address the physical needs through cash transfer on fresh food and enhancing health awareness.  Families with mental stress will be invited to participate in second level of interventions on psychological needs and stress management to promote self-care competence. The third level is a Food Buddies program where ‘kai fongs’ will be empowered to co-create a mutual help platform toward a healthy community.

Project Goals:

Provide timely monitoring and support to low-income families to relieve the negative impact of food shortage and mental stress;

Engage and empower the low-income families by enhancing their health awareness, knowledge and behaviour; and

Motivate and mobilize the working poor and ethnic minorities families for providing mutual support to increase community resilience potential and facilitate them to co-create their own healthy community.

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Website: 

Health In Action

Helping Others Help Themselves

Dialogue in the Dark Foundation, Hong Kong

Many NGOs and social enterprises have been struggling with their operations as a result of the various restrictions put in place amid the COVID-19 outbreak. During this time, ZeShan Foundation has utilized this opportunity to reflect on approaches taken toward funding the creative sectors. This unrestricted grant awarded to Dialogue in the Dark Foundation (“DIDF”) not only provides the organization with about one years’ financial support at a time of capacity development, but also embodies ZeShan’s efforts in maintaining diversity in the civil society landscape and funding ecosystem, as well as the long-term vision to strengthen the philanthropic ecosystem in order to enable organizations and stakeholders to make greater impacts in our society. DIDF has spent more than 10 years developing a successful model that combines employment of visually impaired people with talent development. Through their efforts, social inclusiveness has been enhanced in both the NGO and business sectors, and at the same time, underprivileged groups have been empowered on the social platform. It is strategic to keep this model up and running in the social landscape to foster social inclusion, equity, and diversity. Additionally, ZeShan’s support is essential for DIDF to strengthen its capacity and develop new online delivery platforms, a wider monthly donor base, and more diversified programs. This growth will enable DIDF to empower currently unreached groups, scale up their practices, and sustain its impact in the long run. 

In Hong Kong, there currently is no flexible funding scheme to support the general operation and capacity building of social enterprises, many of which are not subvented and are often under-resources in both normal and unprecedented times. ZeShan hopes that this grant will set an example in the philanthropic landscape and catalyse similar efforts by other parties. For more details on our rationale, please visit “Our Approach”

As of February 2021, DIDF has not only managed to break even once again, but has also reached new target groups through recently developed online workshops.  

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“Facilitator Training”  hosted our PoDs (People of Differences: VI and HI) with the very popular Marshmallow Challenge

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When an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit…Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

When an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Photos Grid for Heading 02

  • Tab 1
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Inside Tab Heading 01 H4

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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University Social Responsibility 2014

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

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In 2014, ZeShan Foundation again supported the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to promote university social responsibility (USR) by sponsoring the Second Summit on University Social Responsibility cum International Conference on Service Learning.

The 3-day summit, held on November 19-21, attracted over 300 participants from around the world, including higher education and business leaders, practitioners and students, as well as received extensive media coverage.

The program consisted of academic conference and workshops on topics pertaining to university social responsibility and service learning, offering opportunities for sharing, networking and fostering partnerships. During the summit, various institutes and collaborating organizations agreed on the formation of a USR Network.

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When an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit…Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

When an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Photos Grid for Heading 02

  • Tab 1
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Inside Tab Heading 01 H4

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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Roundtable Discussion 2014: Improving Services for Elderly

ZeShan Foundation, Hong Kong

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To better understand the growing needs brought about by Hong Kong’s ageing population, ZeShan Foundation held a roundtable discussion on April 4, 2014, which was attended by philanthropists and representatives of private foundations, service organizations, research institutions and social enterprises. Ms. Annie Chen, a second generation member of the Thomas Chen family and member of ZeShan Foundation’s Grants Committee, hosted the event.

Hong Kong is experiencing a rapidly ageing population. In 2012, 14% (1.02 million people) of the population was aged 65 or older; by 2041, that number will shoot up to 30% (2.56 million people) according to a projection by the government. Comprehensive services for the elderly rank high on the list of concerns for both the community and the government of Hong Kong.

The featured speaker of the event, Prof Alfred Chan, Chair of the Elderly Commission and Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies at Lingnan University began by emphasizing how support from private foundations for pilot projects can be instrumental for developing innovative service models and formulating enlightened policy agenda through effective advocacy. Prof. CHAN suggested forging a strong public-private partnership among government entities, private and corporate funders, service providers, and concerned groups in order to effectively leverage resources and create synergy between these different stakeholders.

Among the participants, Mrs. Mabel Lee, Board member of Simon K.Y. Lee Foundation, and Ms. Bella Luk, Executive Director of Helping Hand, shared their experience in developing and scaling innovative projects to enhance elderly services in selected communities. Ms. Doris Leung, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Cab, an award-winning social enterprise, shared her company’s lessons in creating impact through social innovation.

Moderated by Mr. Timothy Ma, Executive Director of Project Flame at the City University of Hong Kong, participants examined catalytic roles the philanthropic sector could play in creating impact in the development of elderly services. Emerging from the roundtable discussion, the general consensus was that there are great opportunities for collaboration across sectors in the field of elderly services.

Building on the momentum of the roundtable discussion, an ad-hoc working group was formed to follow-up on ideas brought up during this event and develop suggestions into actionable efforts.

圓桌討論會:改善長者服務 [2014]

回到地圖

擇善基金會於2014年4月4日舉辦圓桌討論會,目的是探討目前長者服務的改善空間及促進該方面的公私營合作,為日後龐大的長者人口提供更完善的服務配套。陳氏家族成員兼擇善基金會董事陳恩怡女士代表擇善基金會,歡迎28位來自私人基金會、非牟利機構、教研組織,社會企業的代表和獨立慈善家參加會議,就議題分享經驗和交流意見。

根據政府統計數字,本地65歲及以上的長者人口將由2012年的102萬人(佔人口的14%),大幅上升至2041年的256萬人(佔當時人口的30%)。香港正逐步趨向老齡化,如何提升長者服務成為當前重要的社會議題。

討論會邀得香港安老事務委員會主席及嶺南大學亞太老年學研究中心總監陳章明教授、李國賢基金會董事局成員李黃眉波女士、伸手助人協會總幹事陸寶珠女士作主講嘉賓。陳教授指出私人資金對開拓各項試點計劃十分重要,可使具創新性的項目得以被政府吸納及擴展。李女士及陸女士均分享在推廣地區老人服務方面的實踐經驗。 社會企業「鑽的」行政總裁梁淑儀女士則分享其以經營社會企業模式提供服務的經驗。

會議由香港城市大學「火焰計劃-社會創新及企業精神在城大」執行總監馬錦華先生主持。馬先生建議加強私人資助者、企業、非政府機構及關注團體之間的合作夥伴關係,產生協同效應,有效地拓展服務範疇及加深工作成效。與會者認同跨界別的合作對長者服務的發展有十分正面的作用。

討論會在熱烈的氣氛下總結成果,大部分與會者同意成立緊密溝通的工作小組,以積極地推動本地長者服務的發展。

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It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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Cross-sector Task Force on Elderly Services 2014

ZeShan Foundation, Hong Kong

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Subsequent to the roundtable discussion convened by ZeShan Foundation in April 2014, a cross-sector working group has been formed with a focus around Hong Kong elderly services. The group was comprised of three task forces to take lead on forum organization, policy and advocacy, and dementia, respectively, which collectively work toward addressing issues raised during said roundtable discussion. 

In the face of a rapidly ageing population in Hong Kong, the working group believes that an effective public-private partnership is required to mobilize the community and the government to work in concert towards the needs of this shifting demographic. Only in coupling policy change with innovative solutions can Hong Kong be made an exemplar of quality elderly services for the region. 

In line with the group’s goal of encouraging cross-sector collaboration, the twenty members themselves are representatives of different sectors, such as grant-making foundations, academia and service providers, so as to join forces and work in synergy towards the common goal of improving elderly services.

Task Force 1: Conference Organization

The first task force organized a 2-day forum with a focus on building sustainable public-private partnership in elderly services, which was held in Hong Kong in mid-November 2015 just ahead of Hong Kong’s Senior Citizens’ Day. The goal behind this forum was to bring together private foundations, policy-makers, academics and service providers in a platform to develop private-public partnerships, as well as to demonstrate the importance of creating sustainable partnerships detailed through case studies.

Task Force 2: Policy & Advocacy

Convenor: Mr Patrick Cheung, Managing Director, The Jade Club

The second task force reviews elderly-related policies and advocates for greater cross-sector collaboration. In meetings convened with Miss Annie Tam, JP, Permanent Secretary for Labour and Welfare, and Dr. C. K. Law, Principal Investigator of the Consultant Team for the Elderly Commission’s Working Group on Elderly Services Program Plan (ESPP), members of this task force introduced the work and future plans of their respective organizations, discussed policy developments, and expressed views on the role and involvement of private foundations in the development of elderly services in Hong Kong.

Task Force 3: Dementia and Caregiver Support

Convenor: Ms Florence Ho, General Manager of the Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing & Jockey Club CADENZA Hub

The third task force looks specifically at dementia, diving into the policy and institutional support given to caregivers of dementia patients in Hong Kong. There are some 18,000 new cases of dementia every year in Hong Kong, and with the city’s ageing population, this neurological condition is expected to affect some 280,000, or 4% of the local population, by 2036.

 

跨界別安老服務專責小組 [2014]

擇善基金會於2014年4月召開探討本港安老服務的圓桌討論會,與會者其後成立跨界別工作小組,推行後續工作及保持緊密聯繫。工作小組設有三個專責小組,分別負責籌辦論壇、政策及倡議、腦退化症方面的工作。

工作小組認為,香港面對人口急劇老化所帶來的各種挑戰,必須透過有效的公私營合作,才能促使政府與社區攜手解決難題。香港若要推動優質安老服務,並在區內起牽頭作用,必須具有推動政策的決心和創新的解決方案。

工作小組的20位成員來自慈善基金會、學術界及服務提供者等界別,貫徹小組鼓勵跨界別合作的宗旨。小組為不同界別人士提供了協作平台,以共同實現提升安老服務質素的願景。


專責小組(一):籌備會議
第一個專責小組負責籌辦有關發展可持續公私營合作的研討會,於2015年11月香港長者日前夕於本港舉行。研討會為私人基金會、政策制定者、學者以及服務提供者等提供平台,一方面催化公私營合作機會,另一方面透過案例來探討可持續公私營合作模式的建立。

專責小組(二):政策及倡議
召集人:尊賢會創辦人 張瑞霖先生

第二個專責小組負責研究長者政策及倡議跨界別合作。專責小組先後約見了勞工及福利局常任秘書長譚贛蘭小姐JP, 以及安老事務委員會轄下「長期護理服務模式」工作小組顧問團隊首席研究員羅致光博士。小組成員在會上介紹了各自組織目前及計劃中的工作,就長者政策的發展方向進行了討論,以及就私人基金會在本港安老服務發展過程中可以擔當的角色提供了意見。

專責小組(三):認知障礙症及護老者支援
召集人:賽馬會耆智園 賽馬會流金匯總經理 何貴英女士

第三個專責小組負責研究腦退化症,以及本港在政策及製度上對護老者所提供的支援。香港每年新增約1.8萬宗老退化症個案,而隨著人口老化,預計2036年,老退化症患者將達28萬人,佔全港人口4%。

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Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit…Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

When an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

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It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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Beijing Normal University: China Social Work Education Demonstration Program

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To support the fledging development of China’s social work profession, ZeShan Foundation has since 2012 supported the School of Social Development and Public Policy, Beijing Normal University (BNU) to establish a national demonstration program for social work education.

The pioneering four-year program aims to build up the school’s social work teaching, research and advocacy capacity, with the ultimate goal of creating a sustained pipeline of local social work educators in China. Key features include setting up a Master of Social Work program, establishing practicum and distance learning sites across the country, training master trainers in Central and Western China, and publishing case books and textbooks. Read more below:

China’s Long Hiatus in Social Work
Although China can trace its social work profession back to the 1920s, the field suffered a hiatus lasting over half a century. It was only in the mid-1980s that social work was resurrected, to a large extent thanks to concerted efforts by Hong Kong social work professionals and mainland academics. But the development of national social work education infrastructure is still in its nascent stages, and the field faces issues such as a lack of high-calibre research centers with the capacity to influence policy; a severe lack of qualified social work instructors; inadequate research capacity; a lack of a practicum site network; and low recognition of social work as a profession. During China’s recent push to rapidly develop the field, the enormous gap in academic and intellectual leadership has made itself especially apparent.

Beijing Normal University: A National Leader in Education Reform
BNU is China’s top university for teacher training and an innovative trailblazer in higher education reform. As such, BNU has the capacity to play a pivotal role in spearheading the country’s social work education development. The demonstration program is sanctioned by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and authorized by the Ministry of Education, and is part of the national strategy to jumpstart China’s social work education development.

Demonstration Program
A core part of the demonstration program is setting up a Master of Social Work (MSW) prorgram which integrates social work, social development, NGO development, and policy advocacy – a first in mainland China.

To facilitate knowledge transfer, BNU has assembled an international team of academics – including many from Hong Kong – to teach alongside their Chinese counterparts, partnering on a one-to-one basis.

Emphasis is also placed on evidence-based teaching and research, so as to ensure the indigenization of knowledge and integration of theroy and practice. To this end, BNU will set up an extensive network of 100 practicum sites across the country, publish textbooks on a range of social work topics and an annual case book, and set up a national recognition program for best practices. The ZeShan Case Centre for Social Development was unveiled in 2013, alongside the launch of a ZeShan Scholarship for MSW students.

To leverage more resources, ZeShan encouraged an agreement between BNU and Capacity Building and Assessment Center (CBAC), China’s leading training and assessment organization, whereby CBAC will provide capacity development training and technical assistance to BNU’s establishment of practicum sites.

Beyond Beijing
The demonstration program is not confined to BNU. It also includes setting up regional distance learning sites in partnership with major regional universities, providing intensive training for 700 master trainers to meet the acute needs in Central and Western China, and setting up a fellowship program that will offer up-and-coming social work educators from regional universities to take up teaching or research residency at BNU.

Another unique feature of the demonstration program is its commitment to policy advocacy, so as to provide evidence-based recommendations to the government on such polices as improving the career development of social workers.

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Family Philanthropy

ZeShan Foundation, Hong Kong

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The ZeShan Philanthropy Forum Series is part of ZeShan’s mandate of promoting philanthropy and an extension and continuation of its “Family Philanthropy: Values and Strategy” Forum in 2009. The series, taking place periodically throughout the year, creates a unique platform for like-minded donors to exchange ideas, share experiences, stimulate thinking and network in a peer setting. Past events include:

2011

  • January 18: Ms. Melissa Berman (President and CEO of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors)
  • September 2: Mr. Bernard Chan and Ms. Christine Fang – Consultation on Charity Law for Hong Kong
  • December 22: Recent Developments in Philanthropy in Mainland China

2012

  • February 14: Dr. Peggy Dulany (Co-founder of Global Philanthropists Circle)
  • June 19: Meeting with American philanthropists
  • July 11: Dr. Zhuang Ailing (CEO of Shanghai Rende Foundation)

2013

  • November 19: Dr. Melissa Berman (President & CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors) – The Theory of the Foundation Project

2015

  • April 20: Ms. Samantha Gilbert (Vice President of Talent and Human Resources at the Ford Foundation)
  • July 15: Prof. Anthony J. Spires (Centre for Civil Society Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • September 25: Dr. Mary Ann Tsao (Chairman of the Tsao Foundation) – Philanthropy as Catalyst in Improving Elderly Services [ See more below]

Singaporean Perspectives on Elderly Care

Dr. Mary Ann Tsao, chair and founding director of Singapore’s Tsao Foundation, shared her family foundation’s pioneering work and insights on advancing elderly care at a ZeShan Philanthropy Forum Series luncheon on September 25, 2015.

The luncheon aimed to bring in overseas experience on elderly service innovation and partnership, and was chaired by Ms. Annie Chen, director of ZeShan Foundation. Participants included 26 family principals and executives of private foundations as well as ZeShan’s key NGO and academic partners in ageing initiatives, and is a prelude to ZeShan’s upcoming conference on public-private partnerships for ageing population in November 12-13, 2015.

Tsao Foundation
The Tsao Foundation, a Singapore-based but regionally-oriented operating non-profit family foundation, was founded by Dr. Tsao’s grandmother in 1993 to enhance the quality of life for the elderly. The foundation has been under the leadership of Dr. Tsao – a US-trained pediatrician born and raised in Hong Kong – who was until June 2007 also the foundation’s CEO.

The foundation has been at the forefront in developing innovative and duplicable community-based elderly care models, which have been demonstratively successful and adopted by the Singaporean government.

Its key initiatives include the Hua Mei Center for Successful Ageing (community-based care for ageing in place), Hua Mei Training Academy (capacity building in ageing care provision and self-care), and International Longevity Center (policy advocacy, research and promotion of interagency collaboration). The foundation’s latest initiative is Community for Successful Ageing (ComSA), a community-wide, systems approach demonstration project

Philanthropy as Catalyst
Dr. Tsao shared with the luncheon participants her foundation’s governance, core values (innovation, excellence, catalyst for constructive change), key principles, as well as shifting strategic focus in response to evolving social needs – which is reflected by changes in the foundation’s taglines, from “ageing with grace and dignity” to “for successful ageing” to “longevity is opportunity”.

She also shared the development process and challenges of the foundation’s projects, such as engaging and convincing policymakers, the importance of documentation, low literacy rates and prevalent use of dialects among older people, and how to truly understand the elderly’s feelings and motivations. She spoke of the importance of persistence and boldness in using philanthropy to push for mindset and systematic change. After her sharing, attendees raised questions on such issues as the strategic role of family foundations and engagement of private sector in a community-wide effort for social change.

ZeShan Philanthropy Forum Series
The ZeShan Philanthropy Forum Series is part of ZeShan’s mandate of promoting philanthropy and an extension and continuation of its Family Philanthropy: Values and Strategy Forum in 2009. The series, taking place periodically throughout the year, creates a unique platform for like-minded donors to exchange ideas, share experiences, stimulate thinking and network in a peer setting.

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