Fifteen years ago, Dada felt extremely helpless when she first arrived in our Fragrant Harbour with her little son. Like most of the other New Arrivals from China, she had been trained well in China, but employers in Hong Kong did not recognize her qualifications. Getting a job was very difficult.
Our work in Qinghai has continued to expand, and so has the demand for quality professionals to staff our programmes. Additionally, we pray for generous hearts to support the work on the frontlines. We have always welcomed highly skilled people to utilize their expertise for the benefit of the most vulnerable.
Over the last 23 years, more than 216,000 unemployed people have completed our training courses. It was during the outbreak of SARS in 2003, that I realised how vital our services were to the community. With unemployment reaching an all-time high, we saw a big influx of men and women who wanted to be retrained so that they could re-enter the workforce.
This weekend, more than 1.4 billion Chinese will celebrate Chinese New Year. On the first day of the New Year, we will honour a traditional custom and visit the homes of friends and families to wish them a Happy New Year. This practice is known as "bai leen" in Cantonese (or "bai nian" in Putonghua). Simply put, the phrase means to "wish someone a Happy New Year" or to "exchange New Year's greetings”.