Through a unique tri-partite collaboration, Hong Chi Association has kick-started a glass bottle recycling project that has provided disabled workers with valuable life skills while changing public attitudes to the environment.
Hong Chi, formerly known as the Hong Kong Association for the Mentally Handicapped, was established in 1965 as a school and care site for just four students, the parents of whom championed the cause for an educational center and environment for their handicapped children. In 1997, the name of the association changed to Hong Chi: in Chinese “Hong” means “to assist,” and “Chi” refers to “the intellect,” reflecting the organization’s founding mission to assist mentally handicapped people to develop their potential as valuable members of society.
Within three years of Hong Chi’s founding, the school had expanded to 70 students across two campuses. With the help of dedicated teachers and the early recognition of these students’ potential, some graduates went on to find work. At a time when there were no resources to support mentally handicapped individuals, nor was there a support system for their families, Hong Chi stepped into the breach. Today, it is dedicated to serving over 7,000 people of all ages and levels of intellectual disabilities. It operates 81 services that provide special education, job training, sheltered and supported employment, and adult education, among other things that are vital to supporting Hong Kong’s people with intellectual disabilities (PID) to live their lives to the fullest.