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Actress Turned Yogi Margaret Chung on Her Cause for Kids

The Organisation that Goes Above and Beyond

Hong Kong actress, yoga instructor and now founder of non-profit organisation – Beyond Children’s Special Needs Foundation – Margaret Chung is a jack of all trades. Since becoming a mother to daughters Isabella and Michela, she’s not only taken the responsibilities of a mum but she also found a new calling.

 

When Margaret’s first born, Isabella was diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome called Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome she became more passionate about raising awareness for families and their kids with special needs. Through her own experiences, she was able to meet with other families whose children required special needs. Seeing that the public funding for these families was not even close to what they needed to get by, she established Beyond in hopes of helping families care for their little ones. “One of Beyond’s missions is to support families with grants so that they are able to receive the right therapy and treatment that they need. That also goes for the equipment that can help ease their day to day as well,” Margaret explains. “We would love to help as many families as we can, but we do prioritise those who are from low income households because we feel that they would benefit from our programme the most.” 

 

It’s now been years since Beyond began, and though it hasn’t been easy, what started as a single woman project is now beginning to thrive. Without the knowledge of how to run her own organisation, Margaret was blessed with friends around her who helped her jumpstart Beyond through partnerships and events. Accumulating little successes along the way, over the years, Beyond has amassed quite a few accomplishments.

 

“With what we do, we’re not striving for a sense of appreciation. Seeing kids and their families enjoy events that we’ve put together and benefitted from the programme through progression in therapy or even gaining confidence within the community is undeniably heart-warming.” 

 

When asked about how she wears multiple hats, Margaret finds peace and strength through yoga. It was from 2000 when she dove deep into the practice and 2004 when she began teaching and took a back seat with her acting. “I learned a lot through yoga. Some things that I didn’t think applied to me at the time came in really handy later on in life… especially when I became a mother.” 

 

Margaret is a firm believer that she’s come this far by practicing self-care; which is her number one advice for families who cope with special needs children. “It's natural and ok to put your kids priorities first but you need to take time for yourself even if it's just a moment's time.” To promote her philosophy, she tries to set up workshops and even yoga sessions that are geared towards caregivers only – reminding them that they too deserve time to themselves. 

With such a rewarding and meaningful cause to promote, how can people get involved with Beyond? Margaret is thankful for all the help she’s received so far, and she welcomes any form of support, from volunteering to funding. But her biggest hope for Beyond is creating awareness. “By talking about special needs more, we make families feel confident and comfortable in the community,” Margaret says “this makes all the difference”.