What is the first thing that comes to mind upon thinking about SoCO?
Former HK General Manager of an airline,
Volunteered to teach underprivileged children in SoCO centre since 2010
A newspaper report on an interview given by Mr. Ho of SoCO left me with a deep impression. After retirement, I began my journey with SoCO as a volunteer tutor and an English class teacher. What I have witnessed first-hand through all these years vindicate my deep impression: speaking up for the underprivileged and fighting for justice, they have never forgotten or deviated from what they set out to do. This is what has been driving me to devote myself and contribute the little I can to the task of teaching English to children. It is an honour and blessing to be associated with such a worthy organization.
Monthly donor and child mentor
Being a volunteer in SoCO for almost a decade, it is my utmost pleasure to be able to closely work with some of the underprivileged and the community. The experience sheds light on the hardships and difficulties the community is facing day by day. What SoCO has been doing to the people for years truly touches me. There will be no hope for Hong Kong if every one of us refuses to join hand but only blames others all the time. I truly believe in the commitment of SoCO to make life better for the underprivileged.
Bloomberg, Community Service Corporate Partner
I was lured into our company’s Philanthropy Committee about 8 years ago. My responsibility was, and still is, to organize charitable activities, with NGOs of my choice, for our colleagues to do voluntary works. I chose SoCO because I had known SoCO for years as an organization serving the underprivileged. For the past 8 years, I have organized English classes and extracurricular activities for children, visits to cage homes and wood-partitioned cubicles, delivery of necessities to homeless people…etc. By participating in these activities, our colleagues have become more aware of the vulnerable groups and also, have learnt some of the social issues of our local communities in Hong Kong.
KPMG China has been a community partner of SoCO since 2003. Over the years, more than 1,000 KPMG staff have volunteered in SoCO’s community service activities. Lifelong learning is one of KPMG’s core CSR focus, together with SoCO, we are committed in nurturing youth and children to be future leaders. We have been providing supports such as internship
Voluntary Photographer for “Trapped”
Hong Kong is a twisted society. Some people pretend not to see the problem. There is a need for people to put justice into practice. I appreciate SoCO’s work in improving the life of the underprivileged and poverty groups and in safeguarding the fundamental dignity of life as well as social justice. Let’s all keep it up.
Who We Are
In 1971, Hong Kong was in the midst of an unprecedented economic boom and the then conservative colonial government was confronted with rampant corruption within its ranks. There was great poverty and the underprivileged – including boat people, resettlement estate residents and squatters – were overwhelmingly high in numbers.
The Society for Community Organization (SoCO) was formed in 1971 by a group of clergymen and people who cared for Hong Kong’s development and campaigned for a fair and just social system. Through the promotion of civil rights and the organization of the affected people, they promoted respect for those people’s rights and equality for all members of society.
Over 40 years later, Hong Kong is regarded as one of the richest cities in the world. However, lurking beneath this prosperity is great wealth inequality and a forgotten group of poor people. Hundreds of thousands of people still live in caged homes and wood-partitioned cubicles, while the unemployed, newly arrived families from China and children in poverty struggle for survival. The underprivileged who SoCO support are increasing in numbers – while the city’s wealth continues to accumulate.
These large groups of people, who are both economically and politically disadvantaged, have their basic human rights neglected by the decision-makers. By organizing the affected people, training residents and staging a series of social actions, SoCO has enabled these people to build self-confidence, understand their rights and acquire the courage to reflect policy problems to the powers-that-be. Originally an underprivileged group of people, they have in unison become a stronger force to propel the reform of an unjust social system. SoCO also works within the community to help the poor, provide support services to grassroots people and mobilize resources and people from different sectors to take part in poverty relief.
Faced with rapid changes in society, SoCO continuously works together with grassroots people to fight for a reasonable livelihood by upholding the principles of “equality for everybody,” “promotion of civil rights” and “implementing justice.” We will continue to soldier on with the underprivileged and hope more people will join forces with us to safeguard human rights and the rule of law, thus enabling the development of a caring and just society.
Vision and Mission
In the coming years, SoCO will stand four squares behind the grassroots in supporting them fight for their rights and social justice. By doing so, we hope that we can realize our common dream of making “all members of human family equal”.
Grassroots people are struggling day in and day out to keep their head above water. It is most scornful to see economic development brings social inequality. These deprived cannot enjoy our economic success and they are socially discriminated. They have been snubbed and fallen into oblivion. Standing in the line of underprivileged are caged lodgers, tenants with financial difficulties and living in appalling conditions, aged singletons, street-sleepers, ex-offenders, mentally ill patients, ethnic minorities, non-documented mothers of split families, families made up of new immigrants, patients and their families, Hong Kong residents being detained at the Mainland, etc. They are our serving targets.