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Ladies of Energy 2023: Dee Dee Chan Displays on The 12 months That Was

Ladies of Energy 2023: Dee Dee Chan Displays on The 12 months That Was

2023 was a significant year for Philanthropist, Hotelier and Mental Health Advocate Dee Dee Chan, as she welcomed a daughter for the first time. Here she shares her biggest achievements from the past 12 months and tells us what she’s looking forward to in 2024.

Nothing can prepare you for the sheer emotional rollercoaster of becoming a mother for the first time. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer emotional rollercoaster of becoming a mother for the first time. But even though it resulted in significant changes to her priorities, giving birth to a daughter provided Dee Dee Chan with an opportunity to widen her skillset and renew her philanthropic commitments. She explains how she’s intensified her efforts to provide university students with access to mental-health services.

How would you describe your 2023?

2023 was a year of discovery, wonder and reinvention. Hong Kong opened up after a long, difficult period and I became a mother for the first time to a baby girl who lights up our lives. Looking at the world through my daughter’s eyes reminds me of the importance of trying to leave it a better place than it was when we entered.

Chan realised this year the importance of continuing to do the things she loves

What were your biggest achievements in the past 12 months?

Our charitable foundation, The Seal of Love, has widened its focus to include mental health for university students. The mental-health crisis is real, and Hong Kong isn’t isolated in its battle against rising mental illness among young people. My family members and I have all affected by the effects of suicide, as we lost a young family member this way in 2009. In response to this crisis, our foundation is partnering with PolyU to launch the Resilient Students Training Hub [ReST Hub], a programme aimed at preventing mental illness among undergraduate students. It’s a huge accomplishment, as it signals a shift towards supporting prevention versus remediation and I hope it prompts more donors to move in this direction.

Another big achievement was the birth of our daughter. My partner and I waited for her for a long time and we experienced many challenges in our conception journey.

What was your secret of success in the past year?

To know not to take things personally when they don’t work out. When one door closes, it’s often not the right circumstance anyway, and God has a better plan in store. Persevering in the general direction I want to go has always paid off in the long run.

Were there any challenges you had to overcome?

Matrescence has been a challenge as well as a joy. Matrescence is the process of becoming a mother. It’s physically, emotionally and mentally demanding, but it’s also been my greatest joy and reward this year. Everything else that used to take centre stage in my life has now shifted and is less important than enjoying the daily moments with my family.

Chan is now a certified babywearing peer helper

What lessons did you learn this year?

I learned it’s very important to keep doing the things I enjoy, such as wakesurfing, painting and learning new skills. I dived into learning the art of babywearing and wrapping my baby with woven wraps. Babywearing has its roots in traditional and indigenous cultures and now it’s having a bit of a renaissance as new research is coming out about the benefits of nurture and attachment parenting. There are so many beautiful textiles and wrapping methods, the possibilities are endless. I believe both caregivers and babies are happier being close to each other through this practice. I just got certified as a babywearing peer helper so I can help other caregivers embrace the art of wrapping and babywearing.

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What advice would you give last year’s self?

Trust God and keep going: the best is yet to come.

What are you looking forward to in 2024?

I’m looking forward to harvesting many of the seeds planted in the last few years: watching philanthropic projects take root and seeing my daughter become her own unique self.

Source: Prestige Online

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