The Sister Schools Scheme was first set up and jointly operated by Lions Clubs International District 303, Hong Kong & Macao, China and the Education Department of Hong Kong every year since 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons, until 1997 when Lions Club started to take over the Scheme and run it on its own.
Under the Scheme, one special school is paired up with one or more mainstream schools. Categories of special schools include visual impairment, hearing impairment, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, emotional and behavioural disorders and hospital schools. The Lions Clubs subsidises the paired schools and organises services and activities together with the schools. Through organising recreational and educational programmes, the scheme helps to broaden the social circle of disabled children, reaches out more to the general public while mainstream students can learn to accommodate the needs of their counterparts.
Through this programme, disabled children are provided with opportunities to reach out a wider community and ordinary students can learn how to be supportive and develop a positive attitude towards the disabled community. This Scheme is a great opportunity for disabled children to be socially inclusive, leading to the goal of integration into the community.