A Dream Coming True
It was in December 2019, towards the end of our pilot 9-month ReWirement Action Program, that the idea of ReWirement Village first emerged among the Co-Creators of the Program.
We were inspired by the book How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations by Marc Freedman, founder of Encore.org in the US.
The book’s key insights are
- It is futile to attempt to find the magic formula to ‘live forever’. As Abraham Lincoln put it: “And in the end it’s not the years in your life that counts, but the LIFE in your years.”
- According to the author, age segregation is more serious a social problem than race segregation in the US, because the ageing citizens are confined to a world of their own, away from the society, left alone to enjoy themselves (if they could afford it) till they die, and no longer expected to be relevant or able to make any contribution to the society.
- The author argues that there is only one way to truly ‘live forever’, and that is, to be connected to younger generations, passing on whatever wisdom you may have to them, and enable and support them to fulfill their dreams and aspirations.
- This has been a wake-up call to most, if not all, of us seniors, including myself. I have not thought about the issue this way; so did many of the Co-Creators. Subsequently we researched about the subject to find out more about what other groups of senior citizens are doing about this in other parts of the world. We were surprised that we could not find too many inspiring cases. A couple of promising examples are found in Singapore and Taiwan and we came across the Chinese term of 全齡村 in the process.
- We decided to explore building some sort of a ReWirement Village in HK. First of all, we need to build an MVP, Minimum Viable Product. Then we came across this site in Wu Kau Tang, many of you have visited in recent months.
- We have now decided to rent one unit in the village as a base, with a rental of HK$3,000 per month. The lease, which is 1-year fixed and 1-year flexible, will commence on June 15. Dialogue in the Dark will also be renting a unit in the same building. We have arrangement with them that in case the unit is not being used by the other party on a certain date, one party could use two units at the same time, with a total 8 nos. of sleep-in residents.
- Another bonus of leasing this unit is the free use of a piece of land for organic farming. The initial piece is roughly the size of half a basketball field. We have already started work on it to prepare for planting. We would like to plant vegetables, fruit trees, and herbs. When the farm becomes functioning, we will have the opportunity to farm more land. This is just too good to be true. We could offer our ReWirees a unique opportunity to learn about and practice organic farming.
- We are working out a Membership System with the following proposed terms. Please feel free to comment.
We should try to keep it simple for easy administration.
Tentative categories: Founding Members (joining before Dec 31, 2020)
Ordinary Members or Family Members (from Jan 1, 2021)
Rationale for two types of membership: Founding Members enjoy more privileges than other Members as they are building the organization from scratch.
Membership fees and contribution
Founding Members: HK$1,000 entry fee plus 100(?) hours of volunteering labor from at least two generations before Dec 31, 2020
Two generations: either older OR younger than the member, e.g. parents or children
Rationale: involving cross-generational participation
Founding Members’ rights
- Contribute to planning the design and development of the Village
- Contribute to executing the plans
- Access to use the residential facilities in the Village at a discounted fee
- 1 free overnight stay for up to 8 persons before the end of December 2020
- Organize events for family and friends at the Village
- Take part in cultivating the communal organic farm
- Eligible to be elected as a member of the Steering Group
- Monitor the financial performance of the Village
Founding Members obligations
- Contribute volunteering hours to help build the village
- Support the Steering Group’s decisions
- Exercise self-discipline in the use of the Village’s resources
- Protect and enhance the image of Village
Commencement date: July 1, 2020
- Your actions:
As ReWirement Action Group past and future Co-Creators, you are invited to join as the Founding Member of the ReWirement Village and contribute to building it up as a pilot to a fully-fledged, world-class ReWirement Village in due course.
Application is simple: just send a note to us (email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will do the rest.
Volunteer Labor on Tuesday
We will be working on the land every Tuesday. Both Gilbert (from Shatin) and I (from Central) will be driving and could give lifts to anyone who needs it.
Please let me or Gilbert know if you could join us next week or any week.
Let me remind me it’s hard labor, but extremely rewarding and enjoyable as you are making history – literally.