The relationship between Dragages Hong Kong and the Hong Chi association, which looks after children with mental disabilities (autism, integration and socialisation difficulties), began in 2010. Initially, the Sensory Garden project concerned only a very small part of the school, an old-fashioned, grey institution built back in the 1950s.
We showed the idea to our architects, who sketched out the plans for the project. The surface area of which was then multiplied by 3! And the idea germinated. We designed 5 different zones, with 1 zone = 1 sense, to be able to provide a new form of learning therapy via the exploration of all 5 senses. And then we rolled up our sleeves.
It was incredible the chain of people who got involved, both employees and subcontractors! Everybody was happy to get their hands dirty. We discovered that we harboured a number of artists among us, who painted the walls, decorated the plastic huts…
We unveiled new talents! Everyone got to work. 90% were volunteers. We carried out the building work at weekends so as not to disrupt the school, with 2 teams of volunteers taking it in turns.
Teachers and parents – whom we consulted regularly – even painted the extraterrestrial-themed wall fresco themselves. They chose the theme themselves, along with the children.
We also made sure the project was in line with sustainable economy of resources principles. For example, we recycled a cable holder to turn it into a slide, repainted old oil cans, recovered public play equipment from the local public transport company, etc.
It’s fantastic to be able to help these kids spread their wings by developing their 5 senses and their awareness of their bodies. They are used to seeing volunteers coming into their space…
I learned what it means to give: giving your time and seeing the smiles on their faces truly is more rewarding than receiving… .
Facts & figures
DRAGAGES HONG KONG
Education & employability
- 283 voluntary employees
3,547 hours of volunteering and financial sponsorship
- 350 children
Hong Chi Winifred Mary
Cheung Morninghope School
Terre Plurielle (Bouygues Construction’s corporate foundation)a