“Unfinished Dream”- Interview with A.J.R. Charitable Foundation Ltd.
To fulfill someone’s wishes is such an attractive idea, especially in today’s world where sufferings exist, it can ignite a lot of hope in people. A.J.R. is unique in a way that the founders are very human. By being human, what we mean here is that for each application to A.J.R., the founder will personally study, and follow up with visits to share and express their care. This kind of personalized care not touches those in need, but also us the social workers. It allows us to witness genuine care.
We will be interviewing the founder of A.J.R. foundation, Dr. Chu Chor Lap and one of the Directors, Dr. Chan Chung Yee. Let’s listen to their sharing and inspire us to be a dream weaver and spread the message to more people in need.
-Wong Man Shun, Elderly service supervisor of Caritas (Interviewer)
-Dr. Chu and Dr. Chan (interviewee)
Wong: Can you briefly share with us the vision of A.J.R. foundation?
Chu: It happened years ago when I was chatting with a couple, Arthur, Mr. Kong Wai Leung (deceased) and Josephine (Ms. Yeong Hoi Hsuan). We all felt that many elderly are lacking in care, and with their deteriorating in health, they become a burden to their family members, and create stress for the whole family. In view of this, a foundation is being set up using the first initial of our names, A is for Arthur, J is for Josephine and R is for Raymond, my English name.
Wong: There are many Charity organizations around, so what is unique about A.J.R.?
Chan: Our most unique point is that we do not have administrative fee, as all of the application study and processing are done by the founders and directors on a voluntary basis, we can ensure that that each dollar and cent goes to those in need. And apart from monetary support, we also go to the applicants to show our care and to understand more regarding their need.
Wong: From the numerous applications, are there some that leave you with deep impression?
Chu: Yes, I remember that there is an elderly who lives in Ming Oi, Fu Yuen Chuen. He could not breathe properly due to Emphysema, as for some reason, he could not get the Government’s subsidy to purchase oxygen machine.We received his application on Friday, visited him on Sunday, and granted him the application of purchasing the oxygen and instantly ease his breathing difficulties. What is most touching was that when the elderly got the Government’s approval to subsidize the oxygen, he contacted us and wanted to return the money to us. He expressed that when he was in most difficult time, our visit to him was very precious. Since he has received the funding, he rather gave us back the money so we can help the next one in need.
Wong: I know that Dr. Chu’s work is very busy, and what’s rare is that with each application, you’ll personally study it, and visit the applicant, and sometimes you bring your family member as well. Why are you so passionate about each application?
Chu: Time is very important, and for the elderly, their health may deteriorate quickly, so if we don’t follow up closely, sometimes we cannot make their wish come true. I remember visiting an elderly with end-stage cancer whose wish is to visit the Ocean Park, but when I received the application and was about to set a date to visit him with the social worker, the elderly was admitted to hospital already, and he was no longer able to leave the hospital. So according to his other wish, we gave him a Chinese winter jacket, and he finally passed away in the hospital. I sometimes bring along my daughter to visit some of the needy, so she realizes that there are many people in the community that require care. I would like her to learn to care and share with others starting in a young age.
Wong: President Chan, Dr. Chu, you both come from different profession, one of you is the President of Information Technology, and one of you is heart specialist and the other president is a business director. Why would you join together to do charity work?
Chan: Our professional background is a very good combination of our foundations need. In 2001, our foundation donated a set of remote consultation system to the Tung Wah Hospital elderly service. The elderly can consult the doctors via the television system, the doctors can also talk with the patients regarding their condition. This can save the valuable time of the medical staff. In the future third generation mobile telephone (3G), in addition to the receiving function, the multimedia applications are also enhanced. We are also actively studying how the mobile phone technology can be developed into more effective service for the elderly.
Wong: What expectations do you have for A.J.R.?
Chu: In the many cases that I was involved, a lot of elderly and chronically ill patients need support and care. We can only help a certain amount of people, we would like to be able to do more, to be of service to more elderly and people in need to ease their sufferings and to improve their lives.
Chan: Our foundation is very flexible, we welcome people in need to apply and contact us. Some elderly are shy to tell us their wish, actually they are so welcome to talk to us, we would love that more people can join us to care for the elderly around them. Not only in a material way, but also emotional and spiritual comfort. So together we can build a caring world.
Wong: After all, can you tell us how to apply for the A.J.R. funds, so as to help those in need?
Chu: It’s very easy, just write down the applicant’s need or the wish come true, they can then mail or fax to us. After receiving the application, we will then contact you or the social worker to follow up. We also accept donations. For details, please visit the website of: www.ajr.com.hk
Wong: Thank you for your time for the interview, I hope that more people in need will apply through your foundation to complete their “unfinished dream”.