THE ONE HK 2016 Award Winner
Fr. Giosue Giovanni Bonzi
The missionary whose love knows no boundaries
Father Bonzi considers Hong Kong his home although he actually grew up in Italy. He joined the seminary at the young age of 12 and moved to the city with the Italian PIME missionary fathers in the late 1960s. Upon his arrival he began working with neglected youth and adults with severe intellectual disabilities. In 1977 when one of the organization’s leaders, Father Enea Tapella, was killed in a motorbike accident, Father Bonzi was determined to continue his selfless work.
Several months later a Catholic fellow offered Father Bonzi the use of a flat which he quickly transformed into a loving home for persons with disabilities. It was christened the Father Tapella Home (FTH) and became the first of many small group homes which were established under the charitable organization The Society of Homes for the Handicapped (SHH).
Over the next few decades Father Bonzi proved that his commitment and dedication to serving others had no bounds. When the Society was founded they were working with seven people; by 2001 they had placed 1,896 in homes, training centres and hostels. In 1997 they opened the Rehabilitation Centre, a halfway house to support persons with psychiatric disabilities to integrate into the community. Training centres and workshops followed. In January 2001, the Society was renamed the Fu Hong Society (FHS).
Today, Father Bonzi devotes all aspects of his life serving others whether he is volunteering at homes, motivating and nurturing volunteers, fundraising or educating others about people with disabilities. The FHS helps more than 4,000 disabled persons each year.
More recently, he founded and directs the Casa Famiglia Services, a self-financed small group home project, which creates an authentic family home and life for persons with disabilities who are orphans or whose parents are incapable of taking care of them. Father Bonzi has also been a driving force in the founding and development of Fu Hong Best Buddy Hong Kong, to promote one-to-one friendship between persons with and without intellectual disabilities
THE ONE HK 2015 Award Winner
Sister Agnes Ho Kwai-ping
Executive Director of Home Care for Girls
“An Angel among Imperfect Mortals”
During her two years as a missionary in Ethiopia, Sister Agnes was exposed to the harshness of a world outside of the confines of Hong Kong. There she saw extreme poverty and illiteracy and set out to teach both the young and old how to survive and thrive.
Fueled by her deep love for humanity, her desire and passion to help humankind did not stop once she returned to Hong Kong.
After a touching encounter with an abused 14 year old girl who needed a home and counseling; Sister Agnes was inspired to help as many girls as she could who were in similar circumstances and helpless. Thus in 1999, Home Care for Girls was born.
Home Care for Girls provides short-term residential and educational services to over 26 teenage girls aged 14-18 who have had to leave their own families due to a various array reasons (ranging from abuse to lack of money). Volunteers are trained to provide both individual and family counseling and mediation to the girls and their families. The Home relies heavily on donations and volunteers to support their good work – and most importantly on the strong faith of Sister Agnes. To this day, the home continues to help many of Hong Kong’s under privileged girls.
Sister Agnes is also known for her pioneering efforts in the development of Hospice Care in the community. Believing that those who were sickly or dying deserved joy and support until their last moment, she ardently pursued this program at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital working alongside many great and determined minds. Her efforts convinced the hospital that this was a necessary service and led to the hospital taking leadership of the hospice as well as establishing the first hospice in Hong Kong.
Her faith, drive and dedication to both the young and old to this day has not waivered, she simply believes “God wanted us to love others as He has loved us”.