A New HKAOM Project in collaboration with the New Voice Club
No one in Hong Kong has been spared the challenges presented by the 5th wave of the pandemic but for certain groups in our community, it has been particularly hard. In keeping with the Order’s tradition of caring for the forgotten in need, Sophie Mensdorff-Pouilly, Hospitaller of the Hong Kong Association of the Order of Malta, launched a new project, namely Talking Time, on February 28, 2022 to help those who have had a laryngectomy (surgical removal of all or part of the larynx) learn how to use new technology for communication.
The project is in collaboration with the New Voice Club, an organisation that provides activities and self-help programs to help laryngectomees regain their speech. As a high-risk group, members of the New Voice Club were forced to self-isolate during the pandemic. Their sense of isolation was worsened by their lack of familiarity with the technology that would allow them to stay in touch with family and friends, resulting in terrible loneliness at a very difficult time.
Our very committed volunteer, Whitney Ferrare, will be launching a weekly Monday morning program to teach the laryngectomees how to use the various communications modalities on their smart phones. Whitney said, “In these difficult times, it is important not to think only of oneself but also of others. I was thrilled to see the wonderful atmosphere of the New Voice Club and hope that our weekly calls can be a small step towards maintaining kindness and positivity in our Hong Kong community. Isolating can be a lonely experience and thus maintaining contact shows that you are not alone – we are here together. Thank you to the Order of Malta for their unwavering generosity.”