Sharing Knowledge and Imagination
Financial inequality has long been a significant issue in Hong Kong. According to the Census and Statistics Department, the number of poor children in Hong Kong had risen to 275,000 by 2020. Through a series of intervention policies such as the cash payout, Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, and education benefits, the government has successfully reduced this number to 86,000; but the issue remains a concern.
Today, many children are still living with their families in tiny, subdivided units less than 200 square feet in size. Such overcrowding can significantly impact a child’s well-being and development.
Poverty reduction requires the support of both the government and the business sector in Hong Kong. So, as a local enterprise with its foundations firmly in the city, Hactl has committed itself to supporting this cause. In mid-2022, Hactl arranged an event for the collection and donation of children’s picture books and storybooks for children from under-privileged families in Sham Shui Po.
Many Hactl staff participated. Sean, from Operations department, handpicked and donated more than 20 books, assisted by his daughter. “Many children come from families that are less privileged. That’s why I always encourage my daughter to share what she has with those in need,” he explains. “I asked her to choose the books she liked and wanted to share with other kids — and not the ones she didn’t like. That’s the essence of sharing, isn’t it?”
Maggie, from Hactl’s Engineering and Facilities Services department, also donated a dozen books. As a mother of two, she understands the importance of reading and learning in children’s development. She often buys books for her little ones, and wanted to spread the joy of reading to other children. She saw the event as a great opportunity to make the most of her collection.
“My kids are growing up really fast. They won’t read the same books more than a few times. Most are still in good condition, and it would be a waste to just throw them away. So, I suggested we share them with kids who are in need. It’s both environmentally friendly and supports a good cause,” says Maggie.
Hactl eventually collected more than 300 children’s books. Participants welcomed the opportunity to support the good cause and hoped more people would join in helping those in need, so children could open up their imaginations through reading.