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The Make It Better Programme: Then and Now
When The Sovereign Art Foundation celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2013, we reflected on the achievements of our work and the projects we had supported in South East Asia and came to the realisation that the very work we were doing overseas was drastically lacking in Hong Kong, our very own home. We decided to establish the Make it Better programme with the aim of bringing expressive arts to our local community and empowering children to harness their creative voices: fostering better communication, self-awareness and confidence.
The conversation started with Dr Jordon Potash of the Centre on Behavioral Health, who at the time was setting up a Master of Expressive Arts Therapy programme at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). Subsequently, we decided to run a weekly expressive arts workshop for children at SoCo in Sham Shui Po. As demand for our services grew, so did the number of workshops and locations. Our progress was supported by students of the HKU Masters programme, who guided our art teachers in the latest expressive arts practices.
In the years that followed, we observed the true impact of the workshops through the success stories and positive responses of the children and their families, taking greater confidence in our approach and the potential held by the programme to benefit the community at large. Together with the Centre on Behavioral Health, now led by Professor Rainbow Ho, we begin scaling up the programme to serve even more children in across Hong Kong, as well as developing a Train-The-Trainer programme for educators at our affiliated schools and centres – ensuring a more sustainable and far-reaching impact in the lives of our beneficiaries.
It was at this point we decided to present our work to The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and they very generously agreed to provide three years of funding. The Jockey Club Expressive Arts Programme for Children was born and our programme was catapulted into another dimension. Our reach soared, with weekly workshops launched in 40 schools and community centres around the city. We trained 278 teachers to incorporate expressive arts practices into their daily teaching and directly served 809 students, many of whom have special educational needs.
The University of Hong Kong evaluated the impact of this three-year programme – view the exciting results here.
Thank you very much to The University of Hong Kong, Professor Rainbow Ho and her team at the Centre on Behavioral Health for partnering with us on this important initiative and, of course, a very big thank you to The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for the funding. This would not have been possible without their support.
Director of The Sovereign Art Foundation