Bridging to Fight the Coronavirus Disease Together
Dr. WEN Zhuoyi Vincent, Research Assistant Professor, Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies
Ms AU Wing Lan, Senior Project Officer, Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies
Ms. LI Yee Kwan Phoebe, Project Officer, Asia-Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19, hereafter) is spreading around the world nowadays, which has seriously affected the normal life. During the community visits, the Professional Support Team (PST, hereafter) of Lingnan University under the Jockey Club Age-friendly City Project discovered that COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the vulnerable groups in the society, especially the elderly living alone. Due to the lack of social capital and information, these elderly are not able to purchase personal protective equipment, such as masks and hand sanitizers. At the same time, the suspension of community activities also makes them feel bored in their daily lives.
After communicating with the staff of different non-profit agencies, the PST figured out that some welfare agencies have received donations to give away. However, they were either lack of manpower to deliver the items or refused to enter the estates for visits and mail delivery. On the other hand, the members of a women’s association were all over the district. The women’s association is rich in the resources of volunteer services but not in supply of materials.
The PST is aware of the need of services and collaboration between agencies in the district. Thus, the PST plays a critical role to bridge the welfare agency and women’s association together to carry out the inter-agency collaboration: The welfare agency was responsible for preparing the disinfectant packs and informing the elderly about home visits, while the women’s association arranged female volunteers, who live in the same buildings or estates, to send over supplies and understand the needs of the elderly. There was a pleasant cooperation in between. These agencies have visited 31 units of elderly in mid-March, and intended to continue their cooperation in the future. From this, the PST has successfully integrated resources to meet the needs of the community, embodying Lingnan’s motto of “Education for Service” and the mission of Jockey Club Age-friendly City Project.