Empowering women and girls through violence prevention education and counseling

The Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Lady MacLehose Centre partnered with the Zonta Club of Hong Kong for its project, Fostering Changes- Empowerment with Love for Women and Adolescent Girls.

The project’s goals were to promote health information, gender-responsive and child protection messages for girls and women, prevent early pregnancy by creating awareness of sexual offenses for adolescent girls, develop adolescent girls’ confidence to say no to sexual abuse and any kinds of violence through assertive-training programs, strengthen girls’ and women’s awareness on the right of self-protection and early identification of risk factors, develop women’s potential to be ambassadors to contribute to public efforts of violence prevention, and sustain the project effectiveness by integrating the project themes into existing services in the long-term.

With a US$5,000 grant from Zonta International, the project:

  • Delivered talks and a workshop in the community to enhance teenagers' awareness of personal health.
  • Launched programs for youth to understand their right to protect themselves from abuse.
  • Facilitated project planning for youth to share their experiences with others, in order to enhance their self-confidence and empower them to contribute in the community.
  • Promoted health information (physical, mental and psychological aspects), gender-responsive and child protection messages to the girls and women.
  • Produced products with artwork made from women and girls to bring out project themes.
  • Produced exhibition boards for the agency and specific stakeholders to facilitate the promotion of health information for women and girls.
  • Encouraged girls to participate in voluntary work to develop their potential and life skills (i.e., doing performances, assisting in game booths, writing articles to share possible life messages, etc.).
  • Delivered classes to teach women how to manage emotions through relaxation exercises and Wing Chun, a traditional Chinese kung fu exercise.
  • Provided counseling support and service referral for those in need during project implementation.

The project benefited 6,000 participants (5,050 women and 1,400 girls) and included five staff and 20 volunteers and tutors. More than 90% of the participants felt satisfied with the project and enhanced their awareness of violence prevention and well-being. While the center has had to delay some of its programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are keeping in touch with clients via phone calls and WhatsApp to provide additional support virtually.

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