WEEKLY

BE THE CHANGE PART. 1
柬單生活(上)

說起做善事,多數會即時想起捐錢。當然,出錢對幫助有需要的人非常重要,但如果能出力親身參與,當中的體會和得著可能會更多。棋人一直對慈善活動不遺餘力,早前就參加了由以立國際服務(ELIV)策劃的柬埔寨探訪活動「柬單生活」,過了充實又有意義的5日4夜。一連兩期的Chessman Post會和大家分享過程中的點滴,今期先和大家介紹一下以立國際服務的背景和服務,讓大家認識這間做著非凡活動的台灣社會企業。

以立國際服務於2010年在台灣成立,是台灣最早成立的社會企業之一,一直秉持「在地賦權,永續發展,啟發志工,創造改變」的理念運作,主要是籌辦國際義工計劃,帶領義工到東南亞及中國等多個國家服務。機構的英文簡寫ELIV代表「Empowering Lives through Innovative Volunteerism」,即是透過創新的義工服務去幫助有需要的人,正是以立的宗旨。

同樣是做善事回饋社會,社會企業在本質上和我們比較熟知的非牟利團體或慈善機構不同,他們並非依靠政府資助或其他人的捐款去運作,而是選擇了使用商業形式,透過售賣產品或服務獲利,再將純利的若干部分用於達致特定的社會目的,目標是能夠自負盈虧、永續發展。拿以立國際服務來說,其收入來源是從國際義工計劃參加者所繳交的報名費中收取行政營運費用,相應地以立則為參加者提供安排整個義工計劃行程的服務,包括機票、食宿及服務內容等等。當中每年純利的固定比例則直接用於隔年的服務地區的建設,其餘還會用於研究與發展服務地區的需求、開拓服務據點、贊助隊員的社會創新計劃及社會企業的永續營運等,保持一個良性循環,以幫助更多的人。

社會企業這概念對香港人來說始終比較陌新,可能你會問為甚麼不單靠非牟利團體或慈善機構?為甚麼需要社會企業?事實上只靠政府或以捐款為主的非牟利團體,並無法完全解決世上日益增加的各種社會問題,特別是涉及其他國家的社會問題或環保等世界性議題,就更缺乏足夠的資源,於是才出現社會企業,希望利用商業模式來解決這些問題,提供一個自給自足的解決方案。對社會企業來說,這種運作能令他們能夠有效持久地達致他們的社會目的;對參加者而言,則可以滿足他們想參與義工的需求,而且過程都經過專人妥善安排,甚至可按參加者的目標而特別度身訂造內容,保證參加者能獲得一定的體驗和收獲,所以現時便有不少公司會在籌辦企業培訓或團隊活動訓練時,選擇參與以立的‎活動;而對被服務者而言,則可受惠於以立的服務,生活得以改善,特別是以立提供的服務並非只為解決短暫的問題,而是可以有長久影響的,例如教導當地居民正確的種植方法等,正是授人以魚,不如授人以漁。三方各取所需,是真正的三贏局面。

經過7年的時間,以立國際服務已發展得相當成熟,2012年還成立了兄弟組織「以立國際服務協會」,是合法註冊的非營利公益團體,專門負責收集大眾的捐款,其人事及營運費用卻由以立國際服務承擔,令捐款可以100%運用於以立的海外計劃,幫助更多有需要的人,相當難得。現時以立的服務地區已涵蓋台灣、柬埔寨、緬甸及內蒙古等地,招募義工的對象亦由台灣人,擴展至香港及日本。想知我們今次與以立的柬埔寨之旅的所見所聞,那就謹記留意下一期了!

(待續)

撰文:王卿儒
相片:由以立國際服務提供
美術:李介琳

When it comes to charity, one would probably relate to donation. Without a doubt, financial assistance is very salient to the needy. However in terms of personal growth and exposure, to participate in charity activity in person is an entirely different experience from mere cash donation. Chessman has always put giving back to society at heart. Recently we participated in a charity programme organised by ELIV (stand for Empowering Lives through Innovative Volunteerism). It is a 5-day-4-night home visit programme to Cambodia. In these two volumes, Chessman Post will share the inspiring encounters we had in Cambodia. We will first explore the background, services and incredible programmes offered by the Taiwan-based ELIV this week.

ELIV was founded in 2010 in Taiwan and is one of the earliest social enterprises in the country. It is dedicated to champion local community empowerment; sustainable development; volunteer recruitment and making changes. ELIV focuses primarily on organising global voluntary services: bringing dedicated volunteers to regions in South East Asia and Mainland China etc. It seeks to live up to its name to help the needy by organising creative and inspiring voluntary services.

Social enterprises and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) differ in nature despite their dedication to charity works: social enterprises rely on commercial profit to sustain its operation instead of government funding or donations. These profits are made from selling of merchandises or service charges. Certain proportion of profits is than allocated to support the cause of the social enterprises in a self-sustainable manner. In the case of ELIV, the administrative surcharge subjected to application of global voluntary service is its major source of income; in return, ELIV provides service in organising the logistic of the service programmes such as flight tickets, accommodation, service programme planning etc. The profits are divided into a fixed ratio: one to the construction of infrastructure in service-receiving countries; the remaining is dedicated to researches on existing and potential services, such as evaluation of needs, service expansion, sponsorship of new programmes and sustainable development of the enterprise etc. The sole objective is to maintain a healthier operation of the enterprise and help more people.

To many Hongkongers, social enterprise is a relatively novel idea. Many might wonder: why not rely on NGOs or charity organisations? Why do we need social enterprises? As a matter of fact, relying on government funding or donation alone is incredibly challenging for NGOs to tackle the worsening social issues, especially when it comes to global issues such as environmental protection or social issues in other countries. The birth of social enterprise is to tackle the issues of limited funding and resources. To social enterprises, this operation model can help them achieve their causes in a self-sustainable manner; to volunteers, the sufficient resources guarantee a fruitful experiences through meticulous and tailor-made planning by the enterprise. That said many corporations chose to participate in programmes by ELIV for team-building and corporate trainings. As in the eyes of the service-receivers, ELIV can guarantee a long-term service and thus help resolve their imminent needs. These continuous services include educating locals the proper farming technologies etc.

After 7 years of continuous development, ELIV has become very well established. In 2012, ELIV founded its subsidiary organisation ELIV International Service Association (以立國際服務協會). It is a registered non-governmental organisation that focuses on collection of donation from the public, while its human resources and operational funding are provided by ELIV. Thus, 100% of the donation can be utilised to operate the service programmes and help as much people as possible. Currently the service of ELIV covers Taiwan, Cambodia, Myanmar and Inner Mongolia etc.; volunteers are primarily from Taiwan with an increasing number of volunteers from Hong Kong and Japan. For more details to our encounters in the Cambodia trip, please stay tuned to our next volume.

(To be continued)

Editor: Eric Wong
Photo: Provided by ELIV
Art: Carol Lee

ISSUE #143

BE THE CHANGE PART. 1

 

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