Tag Archives: social enterprise

Volunteer for MicroForests

2 Jun

MicroForests is a social enterprise that provides meaningful training and dignified job opportunities to disadvantaged women such as single mothers, new arrivals, and/or women from low income families.

MicroForests was inspired by the Sogetsu School of Japanese Floral Art (Ikebana) founded in 1927 by Sofu Teshigahara. They create living artwork that brings green, peace, happiness and balance to the busy lives of Hong Kong people. Each MicroForests artwork is a unique ecosystem made just for you!

MicroForests launched the “Life Transformation Program” pilot project in September 2014.

The “Life Transformation Program” program uses a cross-sector collaboration model and social capital accumulation theory. As such, the skills training opportunities and revenue generating components of the pilot program include:
* The sale of MicroForests artwork
* MicroForests design services
* Training workshops for beneficiaries
* Workshops open to the public
* Workshops designed for corporate and school engagement

The “Life Transformation Program” offers beneficiaries a well-structured training program with flexible working hours, so she can have the opportunity to earn extra income for her family and create work-life balance. Their program offers various placement and job opportunities to fit our trainee’s skills and career objectives, which include the opportunity to be:
* MicroForests designers
* DIY Workshop facilitators
* Couriers and logistics managers
* MicroForests ambassadors
* Part-time administrators
The aim of their intensive program is to empower their mother trainees to acquire the necessary knowledge and confidence to become qualified MicroForests Mother Designers and facilitators. The training program consists of three levels and take up a total of 48 hours including 8 placement hours and MicroForests study trip.

Poverty Alleviation
In Hong Kong, just around 42,000 housewives said they would re-join the workforce if they were given job opportunities that were suitable to their lifestyle. Issues such as illiteracy, lack of employable skills, and inflexible work environments are the biggest hindrances to disadvantaged mothers from gaining employment in Hong Kong.

MicroForests’s programs directly addresses the issues hindering women from re-entering the workforce by providing skills training and flexible employment. The objective of their programs is to encourage women in low-income families to gain meaningful skills and employment. Through the skills training workshop, they address the issue of poverty amongst women and children, especially single-mother families. As a result, they have seen an increase in confidence and self-reliance from the women who are in their program, which improves the well-being of their families.

What you can do to help
MicroForests is looking for volunteers who are eager to help with a variety of activities in theirs workshops with their mother designers. Tasks where help is needed include: babysitting, activities support, help with promotional materials and in joining their outreach programs. Your main task is to help develop the social support network for the mothers.
If you are interested, please follow this link and complete the form.

Or shop at their online store and buy one of their amazing MicroForests.

Volunteer for Light Be, a Social Housing Solution

21 Feb

An overseas reporter once described subdivided units as a ‘local specialty’ of Hong Kong. When this ‘local specialty’ is commonly found in many parts of Hong Kong, the problem is no longer one that only affects the bottom sector of the society; it is in fact a much wider socio-economic issue of Hong Kong with huge impact on the development and well-being of our next generation.

light-be-logoThe new challenges of the day are calling for new solutions. Some of the general public believe that this social problem may be alleviated through a social enterprise combined with innovation. Turning this belief into actions, Light Be was founded in response, and the business was named as ‘Social Realty’. Light Home was made possible with the generous support from different sectors of the general public.

light-be-1In 2013, Light Be successfully launched Light Home and started renting apartments from different landlords to sublease the property to the less privileged at an affordable rent.

How this works
In simple terms, Light Home landlords voluntarily compromise their rental income temporarily, instead they willingly offer their apartments for a term of years as Light Home to help the others. When the lease ends, Light Be will make arrangements according to the landlord’s decision to either continue using the property as Light Home or recover the property for other purposes. The difference between this and traditional charity donations, is that Light Home landlords do not have to donate their properties nor cash, instead they continue to hold and own the properties. The arrangement of Light Home is a bit similar to a low-return patient investment that maintains the value of the property in the long term.

Light Be is now moving onto another stage of growth. Apart from working with individual landlords, Light Be has started to rent apartments from the commerce sector, welfare sector, as well as the Government (Light Housing). It continues to explore various ways to rediscover and reemphasize the great social value of real estate.

What this means for tenants
A Light Home tenant will receive a four-fold protection: rent, lease period, co-tenants and facilities. Firstly, the affordability of the tenants will be taken into account when the Light Home rent is fixed. Secondly, Light Home can provide a maximum of three-years lease period if the situation allows. Thirdly, co-tenants must apply with the referrals of social workers and will be assessed before matching. Fourthly, the safety and sanitation of Light Home and its essential facilities are prioritized. In terms of space, Light Home adopted the standardized area of no less than seven square meter per person in reference to the Public Rental Housing.

light-be-2With the guarantee of a pleasant living environment, the responsibility of the tenant is to try their best to live a better life. In a maximum lease period of three years, the tenant should gather sufficient confidence and ability to satisfy their next stage housing need after moving out. During the process, Light Home provides the tenants a space with considerate arrangements and encouragement to let them regain confidence and rediscover the joy and challenges of their new lives with a proactive attitude.

How you can help
Landlord
Light Be aims to provide an environment to encourage the tenants to be self-reliant, at the same time be responsible to landlords for on-time rent payments. They manage the property responsibly and will return the property when the lease ends. If you are considering to rent out your currently owned property, or plan to purchase a property to rent out as a ‘Light Home’, please feel free to contact Light Be by emailing realty@lightbe.hk.

Volunteers
Light Home’s recent development rely greatly on the voluntary involvement of the commerce sector, construction sector and the charity sector. Their volunteers specialize in property, leasing service, renovation, maintenance, engineering, tutoring, training, employment opportunity, women work, children work, and various professional sectors. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Light Be at realty@lightbe.hk.