Social Educational Activities
Lecturers of the Chinese University of Hong Kong – the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care regularly invite the Association to arrange interviews of cleft lip and palate patients for their training programmes of future healthcare workers in Hong Kong. A number of cleft lip and palate (CLP) patients together with their parents were interviewed by twenty first-year students of Health and Primary Care Diploma Programme in two groups. During the interviews, the students gained an in-depth understanding of cleft lip and palate treatment, the patients’ difficulties & feelings, what the patients expect the others to get along with them… Through the activities, the students’ knowledge is enhanced and they are expected to be more understanding to the patients with cleft anomalies and other chronic ill patients.
Apart from involving in school educational activities, the Association has recently published HKACKP booklet, introducing the background and objectives of the Association, what is cleft lip and palate, primary and secondary treatment for clefts, and the Association’s wide range services designed especially for cleft lip and palate patients and their families so as to help them overcome the problem caused by cleft problems. Besides, there are three writings by parents of CLP children telling their stories and feelings. This booklet will be sent to Antenatal Departments of Maternal and Child Health Centres,gynecologist and obstetrician, Cleft lip and Palate Treatment Centres in the territory, hoping that when the parents learn that their babies have cleft lip and palate during pregnancy they may get our help and support as soon as possible.
Peer Support Service at Hospitals
Having a baby with congenital cleft lip and/or palate, the parents may feel shocked, distressed and helpless. Moreover, there are primary and secondary stages of cleft treatment which last about 20 years, the parents and patients may need continuous support along the way. Therefore, a team of volunteers (experienced CLP parents) of the Association provide regular on-site voluntary service at the “Patient Support Station” of the United Christian Hospital. The volunteers offer peer emotional support, share their past experience, showing photos of their children in different stages of treatment... to the parents of newborn CLP babies/children who came to the hospital for follow-up consultations. Peer support plays a very important part in the patients’ rehabilitation and we hope to help the parent to face their children’s long term treatment positively.
Community Services for the Elderly
The Association established a team of volunteers comprising of CLP children and their family members and arranged visits to different elderly homes in festival times. During Chinese New Year, the parent-children volunteer visited an elderly home in Ngau Tau Kok. The children played some games with the elderly and prepared a programme with singing of songs, harmonica playing and simple Chinese acrobatics performances. The children also did small acts of kindness by presenting small gifts, chatting and taking photos with the elderly. The parent-children volunteers found the visit very meaningful because the activity enable them to learn about caring and offering assistance to seniors. They said that they would join activities of the like in the future and encourage their siblings to join the team to offer voluntary services and spread the spirit of community care.