Summer programs at Lok Yi School
It’s summer holidays at the Lok Yi School, most of the boarding students have gone back home for the long holidays but there are still a small number of students staying in school. Without classes and the usual buzz of other classmates, summer could be a little quiet at times for these students.
To add a bit more fun and adventure for those on campus, Lok Yi school’s warden invited the regular volunteers from the Order of Malta Hong Kong to join the students, teachers and social workers for a few hours every week in July and August participating in skills building programs, outings as well as devising and playing games and being creative.
These programs encouraged the students to explore beyond their day to day activities of watching TV or having meals. Teachers designed active programs that ranged from teaching independent skills such as cleaning and tidying up furniture with proper cleaning tools and detergent, baking cakes, as well as how to play board games. Apart the indoor activities, the teachers organised outings for the students when the weather was good. They went together to the nearby supermarket, playground or shopping mall. Our volunteers worked together with these teachers on the activities and also helped these students on the outings.
Planning the activities for special needs students requires a lot of expertise and detailed planning. These teachers and social workers are experts in the field. Each student in the school has different levels of ability and different emotional requirements that need to be considered and managed. At times, even the best plans can change at a moments notice, and therefore flexibility and patience is required. Bad weather, influenza, inadequate transport affect special needs students even more because of the specific attention and needs required. Therefore, the sheer dedication and perseverance of the teachers has much to be admired and lauded. Our volunteers not only have the pleasure of helping the teachers but also aim to be able to provide these teachers and social workers with moments of respite and friendship. As a result of the time spent working and playing together, the Order of Malta volunteers have learned a lot from the teachers and from spending time with the students; and over the course of time, have built lasting friendships.