Focusing on health issues ranging from cancer to diabetes, these local charities provide support and education to those in need

1. Enlighten - Action for Epilepsy

Between 50,000 and 60,000 people in Hong Kong suffer from epilepsy. Enlighten - Action for Epilepsy is a non-medical charity founded in 2002 that aims to support these individuals and reduce discrimination through community education.

Enlighten - Action for Epilepsy's welfare programmes equip epileptic individuals with practical resources and tools through counselling and a help hotline, while also providing them with emotional support through activities and a support network. Its education and advocacy programmes also promote a deeper understanding of epilepsy among the public. 


2. Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation

The Hong Kong Adventist Hospital Foundation aims to care for those in need, providing financial assistance to support medical treatment for underprivileged people. Its charity outreach programmes include funds addressing health issues such as heart disease, cancer, children’s health, dementia and otology.

Funds are raised through donations, campaigns and events, including the foundation’s signature Women of Hope fundraiser, which honours women who have championed social justice and benefits the foundation’s Cancer Fund.


See also: Inside The Women Of Hope Fundraiser Luncheon 2018 (video)

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Above Ann Cha (left) with Sharie Ross-Tse (Photo: Hong Kong Tatler)

The HKAHF, with its doctors and volunteers, provides genuine care and support and timely medical services to the underprivileged. That to me is beneficial and meaningful work.—Ann Cha

3. Hong Kong Aids Foundation

Established in 1991, the Hong Kong Aids Foundation is a non-governmental social service organisation dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV through public education and supporting those living with the condition. 

Providing resources ranging from counselling and support groups to financial assistance for the needy, the organisation promotes public awareness through exhibitions, seminars and free HIV testing, focusing particular attention on schools, ethnic minorities and the gay community. 


4. Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation

Since 2005, the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation has educated the local community about breast health and provided support services to patients. It provides an array of services to cancer patients, survivors, patients’ families and the public, running programmes from counselling and free breast screening to patient support groups and educational talks.


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Above Eliza Fok (Photo: Courtesy of the HKBCF)

The Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation advocates population-wide breast cancer screening. Early detection saves lives. In seven years we have provided 16,000 free mammograms to low-income women. The Breast Cancer Support Centre also provides free counselling and support services. Nothing warms me more than the smiles of fellow survivors leading a new life.—Eliza Fok

5. Hong Kong Cancer Fund

Founded by Sally Lo in 1987, the Hong Kong Cancer Fund is the city’s largest cancer support organisation. The crux of the Hong Kong Cancer Fund services is its free information and support to those living with or affected by cancer, but it has since expanded into other areas, including public education, cancer research and funding hospital equipment.


See also: Hong Kong Cancer Fund Ball 2018 (gallery)

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Thirty years ago, I lost a dear friend to cancer and in her memory founded the Cancer Fund to ensure no one faces cancer alone. Today my passion for our cause is stronger than ever and I am constantly inspired by the courage of those we serve. Our large network of Cancer Care Centres offers free professional help to anyone touched by cancer.—Sally Lo

6. Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association

The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association is a non-profit founded in 1987 to aid people with Down syndrome and other disabilities, as well as their families.

Focusing on promoting personal growth and enabling affected individuals to complete vocational training and find employment, the association offers centres and support services for children with Down syndrome and their families, as well as services focused on the health issues faced by adults with intellectual disabilities.


See also: Victoria Tang-Owen X The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association

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The Down syndrome community in Hong Kong is full of positivity. We must shine a light on vulnerable members of our society and think of innovative ways we can integrate them through working and social opportunities.—Victoria Tang-Owen

7. Hong Kong Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry

The Hong Kong Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry was founded by Ava Kwong in 2007 with the aim of making genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer more readily available to underprivileged people, and to collect relevant data for research purposes. 

While cancer registries for individual patients already existed in Asia, this was one of the first in the region to go a step further and collect data on family members as well, gaining a greater understanding of the effects of genetics.


See also: Giving Back With Ava Kwong

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Above Ava Kwong (Photo: Moses Ng/Hong Kong Tatler)

As a doctor I have learned much from patients and families who are at high risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. As the work we do follows advances in medicine, we have the opportunity to contribute to public health planning which is more impactful and touches more lives.—Ava Kwong

8. Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre

Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre Hong Kong is an affiliate of the Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres in the UK that unites support networks and professional help in one place, and to aid those affected by cancer. 

It provides free services and programmes, including informational sessions with oncology nurses, counselling sessions with clinical psychologists or social workers, support groups and an array of health and wellness workshops and programmes, from music therapy to beauty workshops.


See also: The Fayre of St. John’s 2018

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Above Photo: Michaela Giles/Hong Kong Tatler

It is very important to have the psychosocial support when fighting cancer. Maggie's is a drop-in centre providing timely support without the need for referral, pre-registration or scheduling.—Anne Wang-Liu

9. Operation Smile

Operation Smile is a US-based, international medical charity that was founded in 1982 to help children and young adults in developing countries with these and other facial deformities.

Since it was founded, the charity has provided hundreds of thousands of people with free surgery in more than 60 countries across the globe, mobilising volunteer medical teams on missions to areas lacking in medical resources.


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Above Denise Lau and Esther Ma (Photo: Hong Kong Tatler)

I support a child with a serious cleft lip whom I met via Operation Smile. His name is Long Qin. He was abandoned by his parents at birth. He has had one major surgery and needs two more. My two daughters and I visit him every Christmas and my girls treat him like a little brother.—Esther Ma

10. Suicide Prevention Services

Suicide Prevention Services runs events to raise awareness and funds, from charity walks and flag days to musical performances. 

Its signature campaign is Actions for Love, an annual fundraising music and dance performance held since 2011 that aims to encourage support for suicidal young people and reduce the suicide rate among them.


11. Tung Wah Group of Hospitals

Hong Kong’s first and largest charitable organisation, the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) was founded in 1870. It began with Tung Wah Hospital, which offered Chinese medicine and a range of free services to the local community, such as medication, education and aid to victims of natural disasters.

Now the group has more than 300 service centres, including five hospitals, 30 Chinese and Western treatment and health centres, 55 education units and 229 community service centres. These units provide rehabilitation and community services for families, young people and the elderly.


12. Youth Diabetes Action

Founded by Joanna Hotung in 2001, Youth Diabetes Action is dedicated to supporting children and young people with diabetes and their families through education, events, funding and raising public awareness.

While its events cultivate a community and support network among people dealing with diabetes, Youth Diabetes Action also runs a formal mentor programme that matches experienced members with newly diagnosed patients and their families.


See also:Giving Back With Joanna Hotung 

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When you have to do five blood tests and injections every day, life can seem bleak, but Youth Diabetes Action's goal is to ensure that no child is left behind because of diabetes. For me personally, this message is very close to home as my daughter was diagnosed at the age of seven.—Johanna Hotung

(Editor's note: This is by no means an exhaustive list of Hong Kong charities that focus on health. If you would like to have your charity featured, please send us an email.)

See also: 50 Hong Kong Charities To Support

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