I am pleased to address the Council members, staff and volunteers of HKCMAC at this AGM. To my knowledge, the HKCMAC, ever since our founding years, have committed to the care for people in need of counselling and family services and established a prestigious image in the social welfare field in this regard in Hong Kong.
Today, many couples are facing an issue that has become critical both for them and for the society as a whole, namely, to become a fruitful family or to remain a childless family. It is a given fact that Hong Kong is known to have lower birth rate during the recent years.1 Indeed, couples in Hong Kong should be given a chance to take up a greater portion of care provider role for their own children. In order to encourage couples to do so, the cost of raising a child can be reasonably lowered through Government incentives. Family neighborhood should be developed with adequate facilities and resources to foster social support network, and to provide a friendly environment for families to prosper.
Lastly, the Church should not shy away from advocating ideal and harmonious families where children can grow up healthily and happily under the loving care of their parents. Therefore, the image of happy families can be launched as the result of unions of heterosexual partners. Young adults can be attracted to dream for their future families if society shows the courage to endorse such noble objectives.
For many years, the staff and volunteers of HKCMAC have dedicated to serve couples in their preparation of forming new families, and assist families to go through difficult moments of rebuilding healthy family bonds. HKCMAC has also been promoting Family Life Educational programs in schools for teenagers, helping them develop healthy attitude towards their gender roles and boy- girl relationships. Last but not the least, HKCMAC has provided professional help to couples who desire to have babies with Natural Family Planning methods, which are based on natural law and blessed by the Church. For all these and more innovative services of HKCMAC, I am here to say, ‘THANK YOU!’
I am looking forward to families of tomorrow in Hong Kong to be where there are convergence of hearts and minds, and where new lives are welcomed.
God bless us all!
1 The fertility rate per married woman is standing at 0.9 in Hong Kong, while the population of childless women has reached 43.2 per cent out of the total number of those who are married or are cohabiting with a partner. (Source: Family Planning Association, Press release on August 15, 2023 regarding “Family Planning Knowledge, Attitude and Practice in Hong Kong 2022”)