200 Families, 1000 Lives.
We focus on empowering families with disabilities, especially children, in the hope of providing children with everlasting hopes.
During the 2008 Financial Crisis, many people lost their jobs. That year, people all around Taiwan were forced to take unpaid leave, there was great social unrest and no funding for emergency subsidies in sudden. We started to think about what we should do.
Hermes-Epitek did not make a one-time donation right at the start. In 2009, we decided to set up the H Foundation and spent some time exploring which initiatives we could do better. Gradually narrowing our focus, we finally decided to concentrate our resources in a family-centered social welfare initiative to assist families at high-risk of becoming dysfunctional.
To do more and achieve results is not easy. How do we raise funds? How to find the most vulnerable children? How should we evaluate the effectiveness of our work? How do we recruit volunteers? How do we achieve sustainability? Everything required professional expertise. Our final decision was that we would not just help children to study, because in order to really transform a child’s life, we need to provide for the entire family. Hermes-Epitek and its shareholders have therefore allocated an annual budget of about NT$10 to 13 million so that the H Foundation can concentrate on its charity work instead of securing external funding.
We provide lunches made in the Hermes-Epitek cafeteria so that children with referrals can come to the Foundation to do their homework without being hungry. Many schools in Hsinchu District began to refer students from socially disadvantaged families to the Foundation. We started with after-school tutoring and counselling, and we set up a five-year in-depth mentoring program for each family. We gradually began building trust with families, paying home visits, understanding family issues and approaching legal-aid and financial planning volunteers to assist numerous families in formulating debt-repayment plans. Up to 2018, the Foundation has served 200 families and around 1,000 people, with services provided by an average of 5 volunteers per household. A total of 45% of the counseled families are now self-reliant, economically independent, have no debts, have monthly deposits and have become normal and stable households.
In recent years, children of families that have been assisted have been accepted into National Chiao Tung University, National Cheng Kung University, National Hsinchu Girls’ Senior High School, and middle school math and science programs for gifted students. One time, a Hermes-Epitek colleague took a taxi, the driver was deeply expressed his gratitude. When our colleague was wondering why? The driver told the story, He is a father, was unemployed a period of time, after the H foundation monitoring and consulting, he became a taxi driver and pay back his debt, and turn his family functional again. ,
In addition, the H Foundation has provided professional experience and comprehensive service records to a group of National Tsing Hua University Information Department students to jointly establish an “early warning system for high-risk families”. We also increased the efficiency of social workers identifying hidden problems within vulnerable families, so that they could assess the risk level of different cases and recognize clues to reduce the potential abuse of women and children.
The H Foundation was invited to Belgium to present our big data applications along with well-known companies such as Google and Nestle (http://www.wa-people.com/post.aspx?seq=2349). Out of the 78 invited organizations from around the world.
The transformation of a family impacts a child’s entire life. Looking after a child begins by looking after a family. If the tiniest seed can grow to become the tallest tree, society will be benefitted with fresh new shade! Even on hot summer days, there will always be a pleasant, cooling breeze.
Author / H Foundation