Greater Sydney LOCKDOWN has passed the ‘2 months’ mark. In response to the concern about people’s mental wellbeing, CFS will host a ‘Mental Health Month Creative Weekend’ on 16 -17 Oct. 2021. to bring the whole family together. This event was originally scheduled for Moon Festival in Oct 2020. The Creative weekend was planned over 3 days: children (6 – 10 yr old) making Traditional Chinese Lanterns and young people/adults (aged 11 yr +) creating succulent terrariums.  We were expecting over 100 children and over 100 young people/adults participating in this event. This creative weekend was funded by the first community matching grant awarded by the City of Sydney Council (CSC). Both CSC and CFS contributed $3,500 to this project to celebrate the cultural practices (e.g. lanterns, moon cakes and family reunion etc.) surrounding the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Due to the cautious approach held by CSC, our venue (the state of the art ‘Ideas Room’ at Darling Square Library) was not open even the first wave of COVID-19 was well under control by September. This event was rescheduled for Feb 2021 Chinese New Year’s Lantern Festival (元宵佳節 Yuánxiāo jiājié) to ride on the ‘lantern’ theme. Unfortunately, due to the Avalon cluster in Dec 2020, CSC once again suspended ALL venue-hire to their library facilities. The Ideas Room was NOT available in Feb 2021. I had no choice but to reschedule the event to for ‘Moon Festival 2021’. In my submission, I wrote “I hope by then ‘everyone who wants a jab would have gotten a jab’. “September 2021” was the original target for completing the Federal Vaccine Roll out for Australia. 

I could never imagine that I had to reschedule this ‘Creative Weekend’ for a third time. Each time, I had to summit tons of paperwork explaining the reasons for the change and to demonstrate how I could ensure the event would be able to launch at the new dates. I hope this will be my ‘Third time LUCKY’. CFS is tapping onto the CYBERSPACE! We are now offering 4 VIRTIAL Workshops via ZOOM in different languages (Cantonese, Mandarin and English) over the weekend of Sat – Sun of 16-17 Oct. This is to coincide of the Mental Health Month in October! Every year, CFS hosts an event in October to promote mental health to the community (via our website, e-Newsletter, Facebook page and community events). 

I remember receiving a text message from an SBS Radio Producer asking me whether I knew anyone who was affected by COVID-19 and would be happy to share their stories. Have you heard of any stories about how small NGOs have been affected by COVID-19 lockdown? I think the story I just shared here is definitely a good example! It was about ‘RESILLIENCE! GROWTH! COMMUNITY! CREATIVITY! RESOURCES, RECOVERY and SUPPORT! All the values in the CFS LOGO! 

Martin Luther King Jr 1963

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