From life to livelihood, walking with Zimbabwean

Applying for birth certificate appears to be nothing extraordinary, but for the Zimbabwean it is far from certain.  Because of different reasons the Zimbabwean parents could not obtain birth certificate for their children, and their children will be limited by the lack of this certificate in their lives.

Continue reading From life to livelihood, walking with Zimbabwean

Invisible AIDS Orphans

Gambi treats TPT’s project manager as his father.

Can you imagine a life without parents, health and a legal identity? At birth, Gambi (fake name) contracted HIV from his mother and later became an AIDS orphan. Instead of caring for him, his aunt took his parents’ house and even abused him. When Gambi was diagnosed with tuberculosis and became seriously ill, CEDAR Fund’s ministry partner Trinity Project Trust *(TPT) knew his case from a call asking for help and then sought for police intervention. Although Gambi was 17 years old, he was NOBODY under the law because he did not have any identification! This is also why his aunt could easily steal his house and properties.

Continue reading Invisible AIDS Orphans

Loving Care Passing On from One Generation to Another

[ ‘SHARE’ May-Jun 2014 ] SPECIAL TOPIC


Interviewed and arranged by> Tiffany Lam

Whenever my 90-year-old grandmother recalls times of wars and hardship, her eyes would well up with tears and I would hold her hands and say, ‘Thank you for protecting this family with great perseverance!’ Our predecessors were not only witnesses of changes through time but they were also contributors to the making of today’s society.

Currently, there are over 0.94 million people in Hong Kong aged 65+ and it is estimated that by 2041 the number will increase to 2.56 million, being 30% of the total population. Globally, one in nine persons is aged 60+ and it is estimated that by 2050 the aged population will account for 20% of the total. Aging population always brings about discussions on issues such as elderly services, social healthcare, and dependency ratio but are the elderly always on the receiving end and waiting for support?

Pang: Learned from father and passes on to the next generation


Born and raised in a poor family in Hong Kong, Pang says, ‘In our days, people started working at a young age; I began at 14.’ She had worked in many different jobs; a cleaner in a hospital kitchen, a parts assembler in an electronics factory and finally a children worker

Pang has a reputation of raising good kids, whether the kids are of her own or of others. ‘This was due to my father’s influence: he taught me to walk in the right path and be a responsible person to both my family and the society. I pass on this attitude hoping that the younger generations will hold onto the correct values, making a positive impact to the society.’

At age 14, Pang entered into workforce because of her family; but in her thirties, she also made a choice to quit the job she loved and stayed home to look after her young sons. Did she miss her career? ‘We were not well off but I did not struggle too much over the decision because nothing is more important than my family!’ It could be that the inherent gender roles or the socio-economic factors playing a role in her decision then. What is clear though is in her generation, ‘family’ is the basic of all. .

When Pang’s sons grew up, she returned to work until retirement. As a person who takes family as the top priority, apart from looking after her grandchildren, Pang spent most of her time with her husband. Sadly, her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer during that time and passed away after 2 years. ‘My husband needed injectable medication costing over HK$30,000 per dose, and we simply could not afford it. Then a former colleague of my husband’s offered to pay for all medical expenses – we were immensely surprised and grateful.’

It was virtually impossible for Pang to deal with her grief; a street scene, a festival, food or event would bring up memories of her husband. ‘It was not until last year that I regain the courage to meet up with my husband’s friends again.’ What brought her out from the valley of sorrow? ‘2-3 years ago I joined a elderly fellowship and had a chance to hear many life stories. Many others had similar experiences of losing close ones, but they continue to live their lives positively.’ Their experiences helped Pang get out of the gloom and encouraged her to bravely continue with life’s journey.

‘For the rest of my days I hope to continue serving the elderly people, walk with them and listen to their stories, whether happy or sad, explore with them the meaning of life, and help them to know God.’ In her whole life Pang loves her family, loves children and now loves the elderly, ministering wholeheartedly to the lives she encounters, keeping her father’s teaching and applying it faithfully.

Naomi: Despite physical weakness, her heart is still on the orphans


Naomi (an assumed name) is 62 years old and lives in Zimbabwe, ten thousand miles away from Hong Kong. Despite her weak body from cancer, she lovingly cares for the AIDS-orphans at home.

The sun shines through the window onto her face, ‘I enjoy looking after little children – there are 6 kids living in my home, they are all from different families and most had their parents died from AIDS.’

In Zimbabwe, ‘skipped-generational families’ are common. AIDS is rampant causing the death of many adults. Zimbabwe is facing with a high 80% unemployment rate and many adults travelled to work in South Africa. Because of these 2 factors, many children are left with their grandparents.

Naomi’s daughter was also an AIDS sufferer and Naomi joined a parents’ group held by CEDAR’s partner Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) in order to learn how to look after her. Naomi noticed that many AIDS orphans were lack of care so she started taking them home so they would not have to wander in the streets.

‘In the FACT group, we grandmothers share and shoulder our family problems and learn to sew and raise chicken; we also do small trades to earn money.’ Every penny or food they earn is cherished. ‘Give us today our daily bread’ is Naomi’s daily prayer. ‘We do not always eat enough every day; sometimes I collect food scraps from factories and sometimes organisations donate food to us.’ What upsets Naomi the most, however, is that she cannot afford schooling for “her” six children.

Naomi often prays with her group members, telling her difficulties to the empowering God. ‘When I was diagnosed with cancer my daughter was infected with HIV; I was helpless and could do nothing to ease her suffering.’ In those painful days, praying became her source of strength to live on. ‘By God’s strength I could continue looking after my daughter until her death, and my other son who is mentally handicapped.’

Naomi knows her days are counting but her heart is always concerning about her orphans, ‘I hope to persevere and survive, until they graduate, get married and have their own children.’

Different places, different experiences

Pang and Naomi live in different parts of the world and have very different backgrounds and cultures, but they both walked through difficult times and protected their families. They grieved over the loss of their loved ones then received support from fellows, and now continue to care for their neighbours and communities.

The ‘seeds of life’ passing from one generation to the next are sown in many places by unnamed predecessors.

FACT ministers to these AIDS-orphans who are looked after solely by their grandmothers

Related information

UNFPA’s report ‘Ageing in the Twenty-First Century – A Celebration and A Challenge’ pointed out that as a result of adults’ rural to urban migration, children and older people are left behind, creating significant number of ‘skipped-generation’ households. The elderly now become the main providers and supporters in family labour, finance and child-raising.

Those older persons who participated in this report survey expressed their needs of income security, flexible employment, affordable healthcare and medication, age-friendly housing and transportation, and the end of discrimination, violence and abuse against older persons. They emphasised their wish to be active and respected members in their society, and not be regarded as mere welfare recipients.

This issue

  • FOCUS: MINISTRY> Loving Care Passing On from One Generation to Another
  • STEP INTO THE WORLD> May There be Life Security for the Zimbabwean Orphaned Families
  • JOIN HANDS JOIN HEARTS> These Children are Also Loved
  • TAKING ACTION> Words from a Retiree | Rev. Lee Ching-chee
  • Download this issue

May There be Life Security for the Zimbabwean Orphaned Families

[ ‘SHARE’ May-Jun 2014 – Loving Care Passing On from One Generation to Another ] STEP INTO THE WORLD


According to UN figures, about 15% of the Zimbabwean population is HIV positive, but frontline relief organisations estimate the actual figure to be 30%. One out of four children is an AIDS-orphan. It is already distressing being an orphan, but the lack of identity documents further puts them into difficulties as without an identity document these orphans cannot go to school or inherit their parents’ possessions.

CEDAR’s partner Trinity Project Trust (‘Trinity’) carries out awareness programs, helps widows and orphans to apply for rights and benefits that are rightfully theirs, and also mobilises the local churches to care for these families. Trinity also educates parents on the importance of citizenship and encourages birth registration. However as there are only a few registration offices, parents living in the remote places need to travel a whole day to get there and travelling expenses are costly. Trinity is now planning to subsidize travelling expenses for the impoverished families so more parents can afford to bring their babies for birth registration thereby their civilian rights protected.

  • HK$400/month donation can fund Trinity towards completing the birth registration and inheritance procedure for AIDS-orphans

Please also support Trinity’s awareness programs for widows and orphans. *

* This is one of the projects categorized by CEDAR’s ‘Join Hands Join Hearts’ Children Ministry Scheme. For details visit

Donate Now! Click here.

Other Methods of Payment

  1. Cheque payable to ‘CEDAR FUND’
  2. Deposit to HSBC A/C No. 600-385678-001, enclosing with the Pay-in slip
  3. Autopay (only applicable to regular fixed donations), enclosing with a completed Autopay Authorisation Form (Download: WORD or PDF)
  4. Visa/ Master Card

Download Donation Form

Please send a completed Donation Form, enclosing with cheque or pay-in slip, to CEDAR FUND, G.P.O. BOX 3212, HONG KONG.

Donation Form: WORD or PDF

[1] CEDAR is an approved charitable institutions and trusts of a public character under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Please click Inland Revenue Department website to check for details.
[2] Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.
[3] Please DO NOT fax any donation information.

These Children are Also Loved

[ ‘SHARE’ May-Jun 2014 – Loving Care Passing On from One Generation to Another ] JOIN HANDS JOIN HEARTS


Interviewed and arranged by>Jojo Poon

Last November CEDAR staff Chik Tsan-ming (‘Chik’) visited our partners Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) and Trinity Project Trust (‘Trinity’) in Zimbabwe and met some of the children and families under their assistance program. To Chik, Zimbabwe is rich in natural resources, has good infrastructure and a high adult literacy of over 90%, but at the same time many vacant shopping malls and factories, an 80% unemployment rate and the typical day of having no lunch for most people.

Zimbabwe became independent and the white minority rule ended in 1980. The country then elected its first democratic president Robert Mugabe and he has been ruling Zimbabwe since then. After coming to power, Mugabe evicted the white landowners and confiscated all their lands, ruining Zimbabwe’s agricultural production and development, causing a sharp fall in the nation’s economy. Facing a weak economy and long-term debt, the Zimbabwean government printed banknotes in an attempt to cover the deficit but that only resulted in inflation in terms of millions and currency devaluation. High inflation, high unemployment rate and a high AIDS population all contributed to Zimbabwe’s poverty today.

‘I believe what the Zimbabwean children need most is an “identity”, legally and psychologically.’ Chik visited a local primary school in which two-thirds of the pupils do not have any identity document, without which they can neither continue their education nor inherit their parents’ possessions.

A staff member of FACT told Chik that her wish is these orphans could feel loved like other normal children. This touched Chik deeply. Yes, love is not restricted by blood relations, and although these orphans no longer have their parents’ love and protection, they are still loved by the church and the local community. We pray that the AIDS-orphans in Zimbabwe will truly know and experience that they are also being loved.

Chik was saddened with what he saw in Zimbabwe but he also witnessed how God trained the local churches to respond to the community needs according to the bible’s teaching, that the churches take part in nurturing and training the Zimbabwean children for the nation’s future development. Chik believes this is the ultimate objective of children ministry in poverty relief.
‘Join Hands Join Hearts’ Children Ministry Scheme

Present Our Love and Care to HIV/AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Zimbabwe

[ePrayer – Pray for Children’s ministry in Zimbabwe]


In Zimbabwe, many children suffer from the loss of parents and feel unrooted in their young age.  AIDS is severely impacting the country and many children have become orphans after one or both of their parents died from this fatal disease. According to the official figures from UNAIDS, 15% of the overall population is HIV infected.  The frontier NGOs even estimated that the actual infected figures probably hit 30%.  Among the HIV/AIDS orphans, some live with their grandparents or relatives, some are looked after by their teenage brothers or sisters, and some even are left abandoned so their childhood is absent of love and care.

Many Zimbabwe children feel unrooted because they do not have any identity documents. CEDAR visited a school in Zimebabwe last November and 2/3 of the 350 students there do not have birth certificates.  Indeed, this phenomenon is prevalent in the country. Many parents will not let their babies out of their homes because of traditional beliefs.  They believe there is ‘Evil Eye’ on the streets and their babies will be in danger once they are exposed to the outside.  Thus many children have become unregistered and cannot be promoted to high school education. The HIV/AIDS orphans even feel more helpless because they cannot inherit their parents’ processions without identity documents. 

CEDAR’s Partner ‘Trinity’ is committed to the education on the parents about the importance of birth certificates so as to change their rooted traditional beliefs.  Yet, with a limited number of government offices in the country, some parents have to take a one-day trip for registration if they live in remote areas.  A lot of them are unable to register because they do not have money to travel.  Trinity is planning to fund their trips in the near future so more children will be able to enjoy higher education and the other benefits that they are entitled to. 

Another CEDAR partner ‘Family AIDS Caring Trust’ (FACT) recently launched a programme called Buddy System.  The main idea is to pair up a HIV+ orphan with a buddy who is not HIV infected.  FACT encourages mutual support between the buddies, such as the healthy buddy can remind his/her counterpart to take medication on time. FACT hope that with this programme, the HIV infected orphans will feel cared and supported even though they do not have their own families.     

An executive of FACT said, ‘I wish that the orphans will feel that they are normal and are no different that the others, that they are loved.’  CEDAR supports the both partners through the ‘Join Hands Join Hearts’ Children Ministry Scheme. ‘And most of all be warm in your love for one another; because in love there is forgiveness for sins without number.’ (1 Peter 4:8). We hope all the kids in Zimbabwe will access to the basic needs and experience God’s love in their lives, that the AIDS orphans will be relieved from the pain of loss and unroot.

Pray for Children’s ministry in Zimbabwe:

  • May Our Lord provide all the needs for the children in Zimbabwe so that they can maintain their well being.  May our Lord not only provide HIV/AIDS orphans with medication, but also let them feel cared and supported in the community.
  • Pray for the Buddy System Programme led by FACT.  May our Lord grant wisdom to the organizing team so more HIV/AIDS children get paired-up and receive support.
  • Pray for the project of identity registry led by Trinity. May our Lord grant resources to Trinity and protect the children and their parents on their journeys to obtain proper registrations. 

Donate Now! Click here.

Other Methods of Payment

  1. Cheque payable to ‘CEDAR FUND’
  2. Deposit to HSBC A/C No. 600-385678-001, enclosing with the Pay-in slip
  3. Autopay (only applicable to regular fixed donations), enclosing with a completed Autopay Authorisation Form (Download: WORD or PDF)
  4. Visa/ Master Card

Download Donation Form

Please send a completed Donation Form, enclosing with cheque or pay-in slip, to CEDAR FUND, G.P.O. BOX 3212, HONG KONG.

Donation Form: WORD or PDF

[1] CEDAR is an approved charitable institutions and trusts of a public character under section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Please click Inland Revenue Department website to check for details.
[2] Donations over $100 are tax deductible in Hong Kong with our receipts.
[3] Please DO NOT fax any donation information.