"I first joined Fullness Social Enterprises Society (FSES) as a knowledge volunteer, and later became a full-time employee. I feel like I’ve been growing together with the social enterprises in Hong Kong. I hope people can join us and be part of this big family, assisting the underprivileged communities together with us,” says Maisy Ho, Project Manager of Fullness Social Enterprise Society and Convenor of Tithe Ethical Consumption Movement 2020. She believes that FSES, as a pioneer promoting local social enterprises, is able to sustain, and the support from DBS Bank is indispensable.
"FSES is Hong Kong’s first non-profit organisation advocating knowledge-based volunteering. It aims to convene professionals from all walks of life to become volunteers to serve the society with their knowledge and experience, and help and unite more like-minded people," says Ho. Every year, they organise Tithe Ethical Consumption Movement (TECM) to encourage people to replace "one-tenth" of their usual consumption with services or products provided by social enterprises.
Despite the predicament of the epidemic, it hasn’t affected the determination and operation of FSES. This year, “Consume to pay it forward” is the theme of TECM. As the Social Impact Partner of the initiative, DBS Bank has spared no effort and purchased over 25,000 meals from five social enterprises through the regional DBS Stronger Together Fund, delivering them to people in need. One of these five social enterprises is Dignity Kitchen, a social enterprise restaurant introduced by Singapore to Hong Kong.
Heartwarming meal boxes for the underprivileged
Dignity Kitchen has a special meaning behind its name. Ong Peh Ti, Operations Manager of Dignity Kitchen, explains that, through a series of training, the differently-disabled and disadvantaged will acquire culinary skills, and the restaurant will employ them after the training, thus providing them with job opportunities. By earning a living with their own abilities, the disabled and disadvantaged will be able to regain their dignity.
On our interview day, FSES, DBS Bank and Dignity Kitchen were jointly delivering free meals in the community. "Every delicately made meal box is decorated with an encouragement card hand-written by DBS Bank’s staff. The cards, filled with drawings and messages of hope and love, send warmth to the beneficiaries,” says Ho. She is also truly grateful to DBS Bank for providing FSES with a wide range of support — from project sponsorship, to the procurement of products and services by social enterprises, organising Masterclasses for social enterprises, and assigning staff to be social enterprise mentors — over the years.
"During the epidemic, DBS Bank continues to be committed to its mission, by helping social enterprises and the community to overcome this difficult time. By spreading love, we hope to have a greater impact, and create the same sense of purpose together," says Tricia Kwong, of Group Strategic Marketing and Communications, at DBS Bank, who also volunteered in the free meal delivery. She believes that when everyone can take one step further for society, it will eventually attract more like-minded people to stand together.