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Wofoo Social Enterprises

Junior Chamber International Hong Kong is honoured to invite the President of Wofoo Social Enterprises, Dr. Joseph LEE, GBS, OStJ, JP to share his concept and methods of sharing.

Dr. Joseph Lee has participated enthusiastically in public affairs through different methods since 1970s; later this inspired him to establish Wofoo Social Enterprises, using benefits management regime, effectively allocate and use its resources to provide diversified services to the society.

“Creating a harmonious society by a people-oriented approach” 

1. What inspired you to establish Wofoo Social Enterprises?

Dr. Lee: I have participated in the Rotary Club, involving in many social services since the 1980s. Coinciding with the immigration in Hong Kong in the early 1990s, whilst many people were considering about migration; so as to understand more about the society’s needs and appreciate the development of Hong Kong, I decided to stay in Hong Kong. In the process of serving the society in different ways, it drove me to develop social enterprise and the idea of establishing a foundation. Therefore, I took the first step in establishing Grace Nursing Home; hence brainstormed the idea of creating a collaborative platform for multiple services after establishing Wo Foo Foundation the following year, thus commenced the operation of Wofoo Social Enterprises.

(Image: GRACE Nursing Home Celebrates 10 Years of Establishment)

2. What challenges do you face when achieving the mission of Wofoo Social Enterprises?

Dr. Lee: People is the biggest challenge to achieve the mission of “Harmony brings a family prosperity, cohesion makes a nation wealthy”. Whether they are competent in the social enterprise team, citizens who are keen on public welfare when seeking collaboration opportunities in the society should have a people oriented approach and co-create a wealthy environment so as to be harmonious and prosperous.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6.)

3. Why are respect, integrity, care and responsibility the core values of Wofoo Social Enterprise?

Dr. Lee : When I was appointed to the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, I thought about “What are the core values of Hong Kong?”. At that time, the government did surveys revealing over 10 common values; however, respect, integrity, caring, and responsibility are believed by most citizens. In the past, many Christian teams indicated that these 4 values were dominant; therefore, when Wofoo Social Enterprise was founded, we decided to put religion, society and education these elements into our core value.

4. What are the obstacles you face when you promote character education?

Dr. Lee :  Character education is gradually being valued by more institutions and people, through canonical imitation and behavior transmission, shaping an environment and practice to nurture the students to become responsible members of the society. However, character positioning and interpretation are obstacles in this development; the reason being there is a deep-rooted awareness of grades in our society, it is more difficult and it takes longer time to balance character and grades.

(Image: Dr. JOSEPH LEE, GBS, JP was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Social Sciences by Hong Kong Baptist University in 2011)

“One person is weak powerless, like a drifting Robinson; he can accomplish many things only with others.”

5. What is your ideal sharing philosophy? What are the elements needed to achieve the desired goal of a shared idea?

Dr.Lee :  Besides personal and enterprise development, the most crucial thing is the sustainable development of the society. On the other hand, it is not only the ideals of business or individuals, it is the need of the society to have a common idea to promote consistent shared values. Communication is an essential element in shared ideas, often we need to accept each other’s ideas when seeking collaboration opportunities in order to promote development.

(Image: Establishment Ceremony of Wofoo Leaders’ Network)

6. At present, society advocates the concept of co-creation, but there are many difficulties in its implementation. What are the solutions to overcome these challenges?

Dr.Lee :  In the process of co-creation, it is essential to break our inherent thinking habits and reach for consensus from other people’s perspective; as everyone has different thinking, characteristics and views, learn to approach and communicate more are the best ways to overcome the challenges.

7. Amongst the 4 sectors: Government, Business, Citizens, Education – what is the biggest obstacles when working with them?

Dr.Lee :  It is a must to understand their ways of thinking and their sense of empathy in each sector. Secondly, it is crucial to know why should they work with you; there are already many difficulties in one sector, let alone four sectors with different environments and ideas.

In these 4 sectors, they use their own characteristics and profession to collaborate with different organizations in order to help more people creatively. However, the biggest obstacle is undoubtedly how to find a suitable platform for all sectors to communication

(Image: Wofoo Social Enterprises and Vocational Training Council organizing event at Maritime Services Training Institute)

“Encounter with Junior Chamber International Hong Kong”

8. What is there to admire about Junior Chamber International Hong Kong?

Dr.Lee :  Every time I join the activities held by JCIHK, the JCI Creed really touches me because it emphasizes on the importance of service to humanity, as well as the meaning and purpose to human life. The reason being the members from Junior Chamber come from many different religious backgrounds and they come together through mutual religions. I believe religion and values are both important ways for human development; and this is same as the core values of Wofoo Social Enterprise.

9. How does Wofoo Social Enterprise and Junior Chamber International Hong Kong achieve the work of co-sharing, co-create and co-working?

Dr.Lee :  I believe each organization has its own strengths and weaknesses, there is not an organization which can promote the projects comprehensively alone. Wofoo Social Enterprise and Junior Chamber International Hong Kong can learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses through collaboration. Wofoo Social Enterprise co-operate with many government organizations and universities, Junior Chamber International consists of passionate members from different industries, though communication with different enterprises and supporting partners to create the best synergy.

(Image: Group Photo of Dr. Joseph LEE, GBS, JP and National Publication Team)

Last but not least, Dr. Joseph LEE expresses that youngsters are the most important resource in the society and therefore we should communicate and understand more, walk hand in hand together to build a peaceful and harmonious Hong Kong.

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