When we first entered Ping Shek Estate in Choi Hung, we could tell the refurbishment of building facades and external walls is successful, however, the bright, white walls stand in sharp contrast to Grandpa Chan’s home, inside the Ping Shek Estate – His house was dark and old, the windows and the fan were covered by dust, the paint was peeling off the walls everywhere in living room, kitchen and even toilets. Our volunteers could not accept this eldering living in such a poor conditions and started to help repair the house for this 64-year-old elderly.
Grandpa Chan has been living alone in Ping Shek Estate for 25 years. He enjoys his life very much by volunteering and playing chess with other old men in social centre. He spends most of the time outdoor, because he found uncomfortable to stay in his own flat.” When I am cooking, there are small flakes of paint flying through the air.” After listening Grandpa Chan’s sharing, four youth volunteers drew a conclusion that the renovation was needed right away. They then divided duties and get in their position immediately. Three of them tried their best to scrap the peeling paint from the ceiling in kitchen, and painted it in a soft white colour. The thin volunteer have to fight against the poor condition on his own, as the toilet does not have enough space for more than one person. The volunteer need to pay extra attention to avoid the exposed steel rods and electric wires when scrapping the peeling paint. Within the limited space, he could not turn around on the ladder to repair the ceiling efficiently. The work was harsh and challenging for the youngsters, but the volunteers were all passionate to repair the ceiling by spending their weekends.
“I love this! It’s all new and no more dust coming off again!” Grandpa Chan smiled in satisfaction and paid compliment to volunteers on spending their times to provide social services. “You can make more friends, it is good for you to care about society.” During the renovation break, Grandpa was excited to share his volunteer experience with the youngsters and how to live a happy life alone. He encouraged the youth to participate in more activities to stay active. Volunteers all nodded and agreed to his tips and practiced immediately. They started their cleaning works by eliminating the laying dust of kitchen windows. When they applied window cleaning solutions with a sponge, the windows then shined bright like a diamond. They also buffed the clean, dry glass, with a pad of crumpled newspapers to give the windows and the house an extra sparkle. After working with the windows, the volunteers took out the ventilation fan for cleaning too, and they checked carefully to ensure that every corner of the kitchen and toilet was thoroughly deep cleaned.