HKATH Newsletter14 th Issue
2019 has been a bumper year for the association. In March, HKATH received the recognition and support of the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) and the two parties formed an alliance. Then in October, we won Charles A. Lewis Excellence in Research Award for our research on the benefits of horticultural therapy for the frail elderly. In this newsletter, besides the reports on these exciting news, we can also read about the happy memories and experiences of Emily Shum in the AHTA Annual Conference and the pre-tours.
Evidence-based practice is one of our major goals. This issue reports the results of another completed study: Validating the Chinese Version of the Non‐pharmacological Therapy Experience Scale for People with Intellectual Disabilities. We also held a symposium on evidence-based practice in April, inviting Professor Matthew J. Wichrowski from the US as one of our guest speakers to share his knowledge and insights. You can find Brenda’s report on the symposium and also Matthew’s highly readable article A Great Experience in Hong Kongon his visit to Hong Kong and Macau.
Back in Hong Kong between March and August, four HKATH supervisors and I joined Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) to host the first radio course on horticultural therapy for the elderly of Hong Kong. In terms of publications, I have also fulfilled one of my long-held dreams – translating Rebecca Haller and Christine Capra’s Horticultural Therapy Methods into Chinese so that more Chinese readers can gain access to this excellent textbook. I collaborated with my friends in Taiwan in the translation and the Chinese Edition was finally published in November. HKATH has also participated in another textbook, published in March, Methods of Horticultural Therapy for Rehabilitation Medicine, with medical practitioners in Mainland China as our target readers.
This year, the association has opened up new ways to serve the community. We have organized free seminars and workshops on stress relief. Monique Shiu, one of the volunteer horticultural therapists in the workshops has shared her feelings about the meaningful events.
The development in Greater China has seen many new chapters too. Macau has organized its first conference on horticultural therapy in April. The Taiwan Horticultural Therapy Promotion Association was also established this year, while in Mainland China, our partners in Guangzhou have started an HT service team dedicated to the elderly in residential care.
Horticultural therapy has been introduced to Hong Kong for a little more than a decade. Students of this discipline who can actually practice HT in their work are mostly frontline workers in the medical care and social work sectors. But with a big heart and innovative efforts, people from other sectors can also create a wealth of service opportunities. In one of this issue’s Special Features, we have invited Zoe Chan to share the story of PuYU, the first social enterprise in Hong Kong specialized in HT, of which she is a co-founder. I believe that readers from different backgrounds will find great encouragement and inspirations from PuYU.
It is Christmas season and 2020 is coming. 2019 has been a rough year to many people in Hong Kong and the world. However I can recall some of the ancient Chinese wisdoms – the Confucian Doctrine of the Mean, Buddhist advocacy of wisdom and compassion, and the Taoist philosophy of Tai Chi emphasizing balance and harmony, all of which should help us face the challenges. The cover of this newsletter shows Hong Kong’s iconic Lion Rock returning to greenness and vitality, with a little snowman atop the mountain. I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year full of health and serenity.