In honour of our charity partner, Mother’s Choice, who will be joining us at our fundraising Localiiz Socialiizer on March 14, we catch up with their development executive, Vanessa Cheung, to find out about the amazing work they do to help support women and families in need of help in Hong Kong.
What is Mother’s Choice?
Mother’s Choice is a local charity serving the many children without families and pregnant teenagers in Hong Kong. Since 1987, we have joined hands with our community to give hope and change the life stories of thousands of vulnerable girls and babies. Our vision is to see every child in a loving family.
Why does Hong Kong need Mother’s Choice?
Despite Hong Kong’s reputation for wealth and business, the needs of our city are overwhelming. One in four children in Hong Kong live in poverty, and thousands are at-risk due to family breakdown, neglect, abuse, and abandonment. At Mother’s Choice, we focus on a key group of vulnerable people in our city – children without families and pregnant teenagers.
Over 3,500 children in Hong Kong live in institutional care, and are growing up without the presence of a safe, loving, and permanent family, which is detrimental to their development. Of Hong Kong’s 7,000 girls facing crisis pregnancy each year, the majority are young girls with no one to turn to.
The challenges of children living in institutional care, teenage crisis pregnancy, and family breakdown are a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Most young children who enter into institutional care stay for years, with many leaving the system at the age 18 without ever knowing the love and support of a family.
Research shows that when children live in institutional care, they are more likely to experience physical and mental health problems, be incarcerated, have addiction issues, and if they are
a girl, to face a crisis pregnancy. Teenage girls with young babies are more likely to place their children into institutional care – and the cycle continues again.
What does Mother’s Choice Do?
When a baby comes to us, we provide high-quality loving and temporary care with early intervention support through our Child Care Home and Project Bridge foster care. We are a voice for every child to be in a safe, loving, and permanent family as soon as possible.
When a girl comes to us, we commit to giving her the love she deserves and we welcome her into our family. We listen to her story without judgement, and provide comprehensive information for her to make a decision and be empowered to step into the future of her choice.
We believe that every family needs a supportive community in order to thrive. We run workshops, training, and reunions for foster and adoptive families to support them in the unique journey of parenting, and we identify and wrap around struggling birth families to support them.