Youth paint, elders enjoy (LIFE+)

Goldfish scoop. Cat’s cradle. DIY slingshot. Do these ring a bell? Probably not for the younger generation, unless they have taken part in Anchor Children with Elders (ACE) Art 2023.

“I’m grateful to the elders for all they have done for Hong Kong. Without their contributions, children nowadays, including me, wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the wide choice of entertainment and games. We’re so blessed,” says Tong Shun-hei, a P.5 student at S.K.H. Ling Oi Primary School, after learning from his grandparents that toys were a luxury during their childhood. “That said, they had a great time playing with their homemade toys. So, I’m making my own ones and I’ll try to buy less.”

Shun-hei is among the 1,700 primary students from 13 schools who have joined the ACE Art 2023, organised and sponsored by Mighty Oaks Foundation and Chinachem Group respectively. Currently in its 7th year, the programme invited young participants to paint their grandparents’ stories on tambourines under the theme of “neighbourhood leisure in bygone years”. The non-governmental organisation comes up with a different theme and canvas each year, but the core idea of getting the little ones to talk with the seniors in their families remains unchanged.

After the winners were selected by a panel of judges, including Donald Choi, CEO of Chinachem Group, who was in the same role last year – all the art pieces were then gifted to elderly centres in districts where the participating schools are located. To fully capitalise on the hand-painted tambourines, dance workshops and videos prepared by students at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, additional features of this year’s edition, were also made available to encourage the recipients to exercise. “You have to anchor people in their own family before radiating out to society. If you’re close to the elders in your own family, then you’d be able to form relationships with those in the neighbourhood,” explains Poh Lee Tan, the founder and director of the Foundation.

With a focus on the wellbeing of golden agers, the Foundation aims to help them live with dignity, purpose, hope, and love. Considering herself an elder, Poh Lee has seen many peers in the community who are lonely and marginalised, some even isolate themselves thinking society no longer needs them. “I’m still contributing, and I’m sure people of my vintage would like to continue to contribute. But sometimes they aren’t given a chance, they aren’t asked for their stories,” says Poh Lee.
“When you spend a little bit of time with them, they’ll start to blossom and their stories come out.”

So, how to bring the silver-haired out of their shell? The key is intergenerational integration.
“When a young person comes and engages with you, something magical happens,” Poh Lee beams, stressing that it is a win-win approach benefiting both generations.

Cheng Tsz-kiu, this year’s champion who studies at The H.K.C.W.C. Hioe Tjo Yoeng Primary School, was elated by the chat with her grandma that eventually went beyond the programme theme. “My granny recounted the amusing anecdotes about her early motherhood years raising my father. I enjoyed hearing those stories a lot!” Realising others’ stories can be a source of inspiration for her artwork, the 10-year-old artist vows to keep her heart and ears open. “I hope I can hear more stories from people around me as their sharing will expand my perspective. That will enable me to create more artwork.”

While children are unsurprisingly the centre of attention in most families, it can be easy to overlook the needs of the older generation. Intergenerational integration is a powerful way to tap into our shared experiences and to build connections, finally leading to a more cohesive and inclusive society. “Family harmony means community harmony, and community harmony means societal harmony,” Poh Lee concludes as she stares into the future with optimism.


Mighty Oaks Foundation Provides Relief to Elders During Hong Kong’s Fifth Wave (ACAP Bulletin)

Active Aging Consortium Asia Pacific Bulletin (July – August 2022)
Teresa Tsien (Senior Consultant, Mighty Oaks) and Poh Lee Tan (Founder, Mighty Oaks)

Many of us aspire to grow old gracefully. Yet for some, growing old can be the hardest experience of all. At Mighty Oaks Foundation, we believe that every elderly person deserves to live with dignity, purpose, hope, and love. However, due to social, economic, and cultural circumstances, many elders are neglected and misunderstood.

The mission of Mighty Oaks is to create an age-friendly society by transforming lives and communities through innovative intergenerational programmes that build connections and friendships between the old and young.

The fifth wave of the pandemic hit Hong Kong hard in late January 2022, when there were many more COVID-19 infections and deaths in the following two-month period, compared to the entire period since the pandemic began in early 2020. Our healthcare system and mortuaries were overrun and unable to cope. Very strict social distancing measures were implemented. We quickly stepped in to address the plight of vulnerable elders who lack family support and community networks.

With support from many donors, sponsors, partners, and volunteers, Mighty Oaks alleviated the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of vulnerable elders under the Mighty Oaks Community Programmes:

  1. 2,800 COVID-19 rapid antigen tests were distributed to elderly homes most in need.
  2. The Mighty Oaks Care Packages Programme benefited 8,500 singleton elders with 293,700 face masks, 8,770 (boxes of 3) COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, 8,000 toilet rolls, 3,000 bottles of sanitizing liquid, 8,500 bags of rice, and 9,500 packs of non-perishable food.
  3. To help singleton elders who suffer mentally and emotionally from their isolation and fear of venturing outdoors, the Mighty Oaks Chat With Singletons Programme encouraged 160 young volunteers to make multiple telephone calls to 380 singleton elders over two months. This provided cheer and light-hearted relief, emphasizing the need for the young and old to engage and communicate.
  4. To improve the mental well-being of under-privileged elders and children, the Mighty Oaks Expressive Arts Therapy Programme partnered with 15 elder facilities and 4 primary schools to use arts to express emotions and relieve stress related to the fifth wave of COVID-19. 200 participants experienced enhanced social interaction and mutual support.
  5. The Mighty Oaks Home Improvement Programme offered sanitizing services to 150 singleton elder households with an anti-bacterial protective coating that kills 99.9% of the COVID-19 virus. 2,300 singleton elder households received essential home appliances of their choice, such as blood pressure monitors, rice cookers, fans, and kettles.

The work continues throughout the year with Mighty Oaks Programmes, including Anchoring Children with Elders (ACE) Academy, ACE Talks, and ACE Art, where our philosophy of Anchoring Children with Elders connects elder facilities with nearby schools, encouraging youth to better understand and communicate with elders.

At Mighty Oaks, we have been blessed and are very thankful to have the support of so many individuals and organizations that enable us to continue our mission of transforming lives and communities through intergenerational activities that benefit our elders.

For more information on Mighty Oaks Foundation, please contact us at

Active Aging Consortium Asia Pacific Bulletin

新冠肺炎|恩橡基金會製音樂短片 為院舍長者打氣 (HK01)


恩橡基金會表示,近日與業餘音樂愛好者合作,製作音樂錄像《並肩同行Walking Together》,讓居於院舍的長者在孤獨中感受到市民大眾的關懷,同時向院舍的工作人員致謝。


《並肩同行Walking Together》是由前任及現任匯豐職員組成的WayRock,改編自張學友的歌曲《真情流露》,而音樂錄像會上載至youtube及恩橡基金會的FB專頁。



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