Archive | March, 2015

Interpreters needed by The Child Development Centre

31 Mar

Scientific research has consistently found that during the very first few years of life, the brain is growing and learning at its most rapid pace. This means that it is absolutely vital that we are able to reach all those in need during this critical window of time.

cdc paper dollsTimely action is the key to effective early intervention for children with special needs – time spent waiting equals time lost! This also minimises future economic costs on society and enhances their quality of life and learning potential since early intervention in later years is much harder and up to three times more costly to manage.

The Child Development Centre envisions a society where each child, irrespective of background or ability, receives an affordable, easily-accessible, world-class education in a compassionate, supportive and inclusive environment.

The Child Development Centre (CDC) works to:
– Provide tailored early intervention for all children with developmental or special educational needs delivered by a dedicated team of skilled professionals
– Empower and guides parents and service providers
– for the inclusion of all children into the community through public awareness and education

All at the CDC envision a future where:
– All our children have an equal right to education irrespective of their race or language.
– All those with special education needs are accepted, supported and included by and into society.
– Individuals with special educational needs are employed as valuable and productive members of society – currently 95% of them are unemployed globally.
– The “special” in special education is no longer necessary.

cdcTo achieve this, the CDC provides a series of consultations, screenings and assessments as well as clinics, educational programmes and therapies to help children reach their potential.

Volunteer interpreters are needed in the English programmes to help with meeting families and from time-to-time with written translation.

CDC needs help with Japanese, Nepalese, Hindi and other South East Asian languages as well.

Please contact the CDC if you feel you can help in this way. This volunteer work would be only occasional but it is extremely valuable for the CDC to have a bank of interpreters that CDC can call on when necessary.
Please email us on

The Lunch Club

27 Mar

Hong Kong low-income workers’ salaries do not reach the poverty line and despite their monthly incomes, they are unable to be self-reliant and to support their family in their most basic needs. Today, about 154 700 households, representing 517 100 people, are recognized as ‘low-income’, accounting for 53.2% of the total poor population.
– The poverty line set up in 2013 for a 4 person’s household represents a monthly income of less than HK$ 15,400.
– 24.7% of the low-income workers are part-time or under-employed (compared to 8.8% of Hong Kong’s overall working population).
– 88.7% of the low-income workers are lower-skilled and over one third has no secondary education.
– The poorest spend half of their monthly budget on food but still can’t afford a nutritional balanced diet.

lunch clubWhat can we do to help them? The French Chamber Foundation has created the Lunch Club. Located in the heart of Wanchai and operated by Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service, the Lunch Club welcomes low income workers 5 days a week serving dietician-supervised meals for a low cost of HK$10. The rest of the cost (around HK$30) is subsidised by the Foundation.

The philosophy behind the Lunch Club stems from the following observations:
– Low income workers tend to spend less money for their lunch and, as a consequence, they eat non balanced food, mostly poor in nutrients.
– Social workers only have rare opportunity to connect with low income workers and to discuss their real needs.
– Many low income workers are not aware of the welfare and career support they could be entitled to.
– Many low income workers have low educational attainment and their lack of skills prevents them from any chance to move up the ladder.

Moreover, the hot meal canteen serves as an important entry point for social workers to connect with the Lunch Club members, identify their needs and help them make progress in their working career and consequently be able to improve their livelihood.

The Lunch Club serves 250 meals, and welcomes more than 100 workers every week.

What can you do to help? The Lunch Club welcomes volunteers over lunch time to help serve meals and meet its members or to take part in talks and activities.

Or you can make a donation to The French Chamber Foundation, or make an in kind donation of
– personal care products
– food supplies, and
– services

If interested, do not hesitate to send an email to The French Chamber Foundation Limited at email for further information.

About The French Chamber Foundation Limited:
The French Chamber Foundation is a project by the French business community to give back to the city that nurtured its prosperity. It has been created at the initiative of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hong Kong.

The Foundation focuses its efforts on areas critical to the working population of Hong Kong: children and youth, low income workers, families and communities and improving the life environment in Hong Kong.

The French Chamber Foundation focuses its work on alleviating poverty in Hong Kong and has particularly at heart the situation of low income workers and their families.

URGENT APPEAL! Cyclone hits Vanuatu – Help Children Now!‏

17 Mar

vanuatuAt least half of the population of Vanuatu, 132,000 people including nearly 60,000 children need urgent assistance now!

Image: VANUATU-WEATHER-CYCLONEUNICEF staff members working in the field office in Port Vila, despite being themselves affected, are working with partners to offer support, including the provision of water containers, purification tablets, soap, and temporary sanitation facilities. Besides, UNICEF is securing warehouse and supporting immediate repairs to the national immunization cold room. UNICEF also assists in coordinating a suitable measles vaccination campaign following the cyclone.

As schools are being used as evacuation centres, UNICEF will also support children’s education, including providing school-in-a-box kits, and protect children by setting up child friendly spaces in evacuation centres.

How you can help:
HK$1,500 – provides 7 first aid kits to treat the injured children
HK$2,850 – provides 2 basic family water kits to enable children to drink and wash safely
HK$4,200 – provides 3 sets of school-in-a-box kit, which is a ready-made education solution, used in emergencies and each can benefit 80 students

Your support can save lives. UNICEF appeals for at least HK$23.4 million (US$3 million) to support their relief work in Vanuatu. Donate NOW!

Founded in 1946, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s leading United Nations organisation working specifically for children, with the mandate and influence to transform their lives. The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK), one of the 36 National Committees, was founded in 1986 to raise funds to support UNICEF’s work worldwide and to promote, advocate for child rights in Hong Kong. They believe their work is not completed until all champion for child rights to achieve four Zero Sufferings for children.
ZERO Mortality ⇔ Right to Survival
Every child has the right to enjoy food, clean water, health services and a standard of living, etc. adequate for survival

ZERO Underdevelopment ⇔ Right to Development

Every child has the right to education, leisure, participation in cultural activities and understanding their basic rights, etc.

ZERO Abuse ⇔ Right to Protection
Every child has the right to special protection in situations of armed conflict or conflict with the law, and should be protected from any forms of abuse, neglect or exploitation

ZERO Isolation ⇔ Right to Participation
Every child has the right to freedom of expression; social, economic, cultural and religion activities; association and peaceful assembly; information from diverse sources

Earth Hour: Get Involved

8 Mar

Do you want to save electricity and perform a good deed for the Earth alongside people, companies and schools in 162 countries across the world? Then why not join Earth Hour 2015! The spirit of Earth Hour is about much more than switching off our lights for one hour. At its heart, Earth Hour is about human beings making meaningful changes to our lifestyles to ensure the sustainability of our living planet.

earth hourIn Hong Kong, 2.8 million people, over 3,900 companies, organizations and buildings, and over 320 primary and secondary schools took part in this spectacular lights-off event in 2014. Our electricity consumption dropped by 4.12 per cent during the hour. We also reduced our carbon emissions by 153 tonnes – equivalent to the emissions made by 2,186 flights between Hong Kong and Taipei. The latest research by WWF and Global Footprint Network reveals that if everybody in the world consumed resources at the same rate as we do in Hong Kong, we would need 3.1 Earths to fulfil our needs. But we only have one planet, and it is now time for us to come back “down to Earth” and start consuming less and consuming wisely. We have to reduce the level of our consumption and keep it within what our one planet can provide.

This year, you can help the Earth by taking part in the worldwide lights-off event on 28 March and sharing your moments with your friends via #earthhourhk online. Companies can connect through #earthhourhk to share their involvement with staff and business partners. Schools are encouraged to create a “school version” of the Earth Hour event during school hours – don’t forget to use #earthhourhk to share your involvement with other teachers, students and parents at your school!

What can we do to save our planet?

Date: 28 March 2015

Time: 8:30-9:30pm

Location: Wherever you are

About WWF-Hong Kong:
WWF is a leading global conservation organisation, with a global network active in more than 100 countries.

WWF’s mission is to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. WWF was founded in 1961 with headquarters based in Switzerland. Operating for nearly fifty years, WWF has forged unprecedented global partnerships with governments, other NGOs and the private sector, and has inspired individuals to take action and make a difference.

WWF-Hong Kong has been working since 1981 to deliver solutions for a living planet through Conservation, Footprint and Education programmes.