Anthea Lee, Chief Executive of The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong (SRACP), used to serve in the field of family service. Having noticed that rehabilitated people, persons in mental recovery and non-ethnic Chinese are the most vulnerable, stigmatized and hidden ones in the society and that SRACP plays a key role in helping them, she determined to switch to rehabilitation service, a “unique” and “challenging” service as she describes, and joined SRACP around 10 years ago.
Anthea sees social service as a process from "uncovering the social problems" to "solving the social issues”. As society is changing fast, one needs to adopt “innovative thinking” to break the conventional service model so that services can be provided to people-in-need more effectively. This is Anthea’s aspiration as well as the goal that SRACP works toward. “The work of SRACP, either through social service or social innovation, is committed to changing people’s lives for the betterment of individuals as well as society. Yet there is a difference between the two in terms of identity and role. From the perspective of social service, service users are relatively passive ‘receivers’; in social innovation, they are ‘co-creators’ taking part in building an inclusive and safe society.”
Anthea pointed out that different marginalised communities have their specific needs. Some lack resources and opportunities whereas others with capabilities and goals need a proper platform to sprout and grow. They are unpolished gemstones which can glow and shine with a little assistance. By providing training, mentorship and a resourceful network, SRACP assists the marginalised groups to develop creative thinking and to design and deploy innovative solutions to tackle social problems. “The satisfaction generated by ‘co-creation’ would intensify the effect of ‘empowerment’. The internalisation process can effectively strengthen their internal ‘locus of control’ - believing that events and their consequences are driven by their self-abilities instead of by external factors. This will benefit their personality growth.” she added.
Anthea agrees that the journey of social innovation is full of unknowns. SRACP faces internal and external challenges, such as getting connected to various resources and enhancing the creativity of the team. Yet she is confident that success is just around the corner if they can hold to their belief and make good use of their resources. Likewise, she advises young social entrepreneurs to stay proactive and strive for more resources and opportunities. “The path of social innovation may not be smooth. You may encounter hiccups but the precious learning process makes you grow.”
- SRACP is an intermediary of the SIE Fund responsible for designing and administering the innovative programme "BEHub". More details about the programme can be found here.
Scope of Services