Archive | July, 2016

Make-A-Wish® Hong Kong

29 Jul

make a wish 2
Make-A-Wish® is the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 39 international affiliates. With the help of generous donors and volunteers, Make-A-Wish Foundation International has collectively realized more than 350,000 wishes worldwide.

make-a-wish-350x233Make-A-Wish® began in the USA in 1980, aiming at the granting wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses to enrich their lives with hope, strength, and joy after the fulfillment of the first wish. At that time, a 7-year-old American boy, Christopher Greicius, afflicted with leukemia wished that he could become a policeman. As a result of several caring individuals, the officers of the Public Security Department of the State of Arizona helped make his wish come true on 29 April 1980. The little boy was given his very own police uniform and badge and got to ride in the police car, as well as circle around the town in a helicopter.

Those who helped make the boy’s wish come true hoped that other children with serious illnesses could also experience the same kind of happiness of having a wish come true. And so they set up Make-A-Wish®. Their convictions in helping the seriously ill feel better, gradually gained positive feedback from other countries around the world. Since 1998, Make-A-Wish Foundation International has dedicated April 29 as the “World Wish Day”.

make a wish hkMake-A-Wish® Hong Kong was founded under the administration of Keswick Foundation. In 1998 they registered as a non-profit charity organization in Hong Kong and became a member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation International, which has its headquarters in USA.

To date Make-A-Wish® Hong Kong has granted more than 1,630 wishes

Their Mission: To grant wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy

What you can do to help
Volunteers are the backbone of Make-A-Wish® Hong Kong’s mission. By volunteering with Make-A-Wish® Hong Kong, you will be able to contribute your valuable time, talent and expertise to bring unforgettable moments of joy to children. Make-A-Wish® Hong Kong believes it will also provide you with a heartwarming and rewarding experience.

Make-A-Wish® Hong Kong provides a variety of opportunities for volunteers to contribute their time and special talents and help make wishes come true. They are looking for volunteers in a variety of areas including:
make a wish* Visiting Wish Children
* Granting Wishes
* Organizing Celebration Parties
* Assisting Their Events
* Fundraising
* Providing Clerical Support

For more information, please visit their website.

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36th Hong Kong Scout Troop needs Volunteers

23 Jul

scout 1The 36th Hong Kong Scout Troop was formed in 1955. Based at St John’s Cathedral, they are an English speaking, outdoor-oriented unit open to all 11-16 year olds.

The 36th Hong Kong Scout Troop is looking for adult volunteers to bring kids hiking and on outdoor activities. If you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch with them directly via their Facebook page.

About Scouts in Hong Kong: Scout activities were first brought to Hong Kong in 1909. In 1911, some British merchants and military personnel started to organize Scout Groups. Today the Scout Association of Hong Kong aims to be the best voluntary organisation for the development of young people in Hong Kong for the betterment of our society, by operating an education movement for young people providing them with challenging and progressive training programmes for their physical, intellectual, social, spiritual and aesthetic development.

Hong Kong Dog Rescue Needs Flag Day Volunteers

18 Jul

What is a Flag Day Appeal? A number of days each year are allocated by the Lotteries Fund Advisory Committee (LFAC) allowing various nonprofit organizations meeting the eligibility criteria to raise funds through the sale of ‘flags’.

Why are they called flags? Before stickers were invented the ‘flags’ consisted of a small piece of paper printed with the logo of the nonprofit that would be pinned to the donor’s shirt with a pin, looking like a little flag.

hkdr 2Hong Kong Dog Rescue will be holding their Flag Day Appeal on 27 July and needs about 50 volunteers to help them sell flags on the day.

Date: Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Time: 6:30am – 12:30pm

Place: Central

If you are interested in helping, please register by visiting their website.

hkdrAbout Hong Kong Dog Rescue: HKDR was founded in 2003 for the specific purpose of saving dogs and puppies from the Hong Kong Government’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) Animal Management Centres, where around 7,000 dogs and puppies are destroyed every year. A lot them of were family pets that had been abandoned on the street or in country parks, while others have been directly surrendered. Many are puppies that are the result of irresponsible owners not desexing their pets, or are those born to abandoned or stray dogs. They all have one thing in common and that is that they are homeless and unwanted, and have just four days to live unless they are chosen for re-homing.

Only a small percentage of these dogs and puppies are lucky enough to be rescued by HKDR, after which the larger ones will be taken care of at their main Tai Po Homing Centre, while smaller dogs awaiting re-homing will stay at the Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre. Puppies usually live at the HKDR base on Lamma Island or stay in foster homes, and they are taken to Whiskers N Paws at Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau, every Sunday from 2pm to 5pm where potential adopters can meet them and hopefully take them home.

hkdr 3As much as possible, puppies and smaller dogs are placed in temporary foster care where they can live in a home environment before being permanently adopted. HKDR’s foster network plays a vital role in helping dogs overcome the trauma of being abandoned or their previous unhappy circumstances, such as those that are rescued from breeding farms.

Alongside the rescue and re-homing efforts, education is also an important part of HKDR’s mission, and as part of that the Education & Training Centre was opened in July 2013, directly opposite their Ap Lei Chau Homing Centre. This small venue is used for a variety of workshops and classes, all of which are designed to help improve dog- human understanding and so reduce the number of pets being abandoned. Whiskers N Paws also hosts the HKDRPositive Partners’ Training Courses, which are designed to promote responsible pet ownership as well as reward-based training methods.

For more information about HKDR and their volunteer opportunities, please visit their website.

Make It Better – workshops for underprivileged children

17 Jul

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that embraces the creative process of making art to help improve the well-being of a person – emotionally, mentally and physically. The process involved in artistic expression is effective in managing feelings and behaviors, and can also help to reduce stress, improve self-esteem and awareness.

SAF Make It Better Workshop – September 26, 2014

SAF Make It Better Workshop – September 26, 2014

Art therapy can help people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living, as well as people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art. Those experiencing art therapy are removed from the constraints of the cerebral, verbal and judgmental, instead taking comfort and understanding from the here-and-now realm of imagination and intuition.

The Make It Better project is a Sovereign Art Foundation initiative that offers weekend and midweek workshops to underprivileged children living in Hong Kong’s most disadvantaged parts. Programme locations include Sham Shui Po, Tai Wai and Kowloon City – areas known for terribly cramped living conditions and appalling poverty, where the working-class residents are frequently isolated from the wider society that we enjoy.

make it betterMake It Better works with families affiliated with locally established organisations to provide empowering learning activities reinforced by art to the children of such families. Make It Better seeks to give these children the time, attention and opportunities they may not otherwise receive and offers one-on-one assistance in all workshops, allowing the children to discover themselves, their communities and positive options for their future.

The SAF team has developed a 30-week programme, each of which is divided into 4 modules. Each module identifies a relevant learning and realization experience, and a corresponding artistic activity is designed to support that concept in a non-verbal, non-competitive and creative environment. Make It Better embraces principles from Art Therapy practice, incorporating them into programmes with an aim to utilising and fostering a child’s own creativity in order to help and heal, providing safe spaces where children from disadvantaged areas and backgrounds can feel free to express themselves and to develop socially and emotionally.

For many children, MIB workshops are the largest scale experiential art spaces they will have ever encountered. Each module is designed to encourage the growth of a child’s own self-expression, while ensuring the continued development of appropriate and healthy social interaction with other children from different backgrounds. Through shared activities, the hope is children will feel empowered, able and ready to grow into not only happy and centered young adults but future leaders in our communities, no matter their circumstances.

The SAF team work with Hong Kong University’s Master of Expressive Arts Therapy students for guidance on the latest techniques and to produce research and data. They also work closely with established organisations in impoverished areas of the city to properly understand the specific needs of each community.

The programme is continuously growing and reaching more children in need, and they are now working with children who have serious learning and other disabilities. They have seen that their programmes have a tremendously positive impact and are committed to making it better for the children of Hong Kong.

How can you help?
The Sovereign Art Foundation is constantly in need of volunteers for their regular Make It Better workshops. They pride themselves in offering their programme participants one on one support during each workshop, giving them the time and attention they deserve – and are so often deprived of.

If you are willing and able to support the SAF at their weekend workshops in Hong Kong, please visit their website.

make it better logoAbout The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) : The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) was established in 2003 with a well-defined twin focus: to recognise the growing wealth of contemporary art talent in Asia, and bring the proven benefits of art therapy to underprivileged children. The beauty of the SAF model is that they are able to achieve both goals in an eminently sustainable way. The Sovereign Asian Art Prize, now recognised as the most prestigious prize in its field and region, raises funds by auctioning those artworks that reach the final stage of the competition. The proceeds are then shared equally between the artists and the Foundation, to be used for SAF charitable projects across Asia.

In this way, over the past 12 years, SAF has raised and distributed more than US$5 million to support a variety of art-based programmes for children throughout Asia.

To find out more about their charity programmes see their ‘Who We Help’ section of the website.

UNICEF HK Make a Video Contest

13 Jul

Since 2012, the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) has been organizing Make A Video to encourage youth to express their views through over 200 videos. This year, co-organized by Hong Kong Arts Centre ifva and fully supported by Hang Seng Bank, the project will invite Hong Kong youngsters to share their challenges and turn their life stories into one-minute videos. By creating one-minute video of their own, UNICEF HK encourages children and youth to share their anxieties, concerns and viewpoints with the society, to showcase the idea of ‘A minute in the telling, A quarter for listening’. Thus, they hope to enhance the public’s understanding towards children and youth, as well as parent-child communication. A public screening will be arranged for winning videos.

unicef make a videoDetails of contest:
Theme: To mom & dad
Categories:
– Junior Secondary School Category (Form 1 to Form 3)
– Senior Secondary School Category (Form 4 to Form 6)
Requirements:
* Individuals must be students aged 12-17 (As of 21 August 2016)
* Only individual entries will be considered
* Individuals can only register for one category and submit one piece of video work

Application Method:
Step 1: Submit an entry form online
Step 2: Work submission

Video Format:
– Video length must not exceed one minute (including opening and credits)
Format: MP4 (H.264, 25P FPS)*
– Resolution not lower than 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
– Maximum file size of 500MB

*Awardees or invited entrants are required to submit the winning video in MOV (ProRes 422 or H.264, 25P FPS) format for future screening purposes. Entrants are required to retain all production files until the contest ends.

Prizes:
Each category will have the following awards
– The Young Creative Award
– The Most Representative Video Story Award
– The Most Influential Award
– The Best One-minute Video

All entrants will be awarded a certificate of participation once entries are confirmed. A public screening will be arranged for winning videos.

You can see last year’s videos here.

Application and Submission Deadline : 21 August 2016 (Sunday)

For more information about the contest, and to register, please go to their website.

About UNICEF Hong Kong:
unicef logoThe Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) was founded in 1986 and was established as an independent local non-government organization to raise funds through public donations, partnerships with companies, special events, etc. to support UNICEF’s work. UNICEF HK also promotes and advocates for children’s rights via organizing education and youth programmes in Hong Kong.

Room to Read HK looks for Chinese-speaking volunteers!

11 Jul

Thanks to the incredible momentum that has been built in Hong Kong, Room to Read‘s HK office is now looking for some Chinese-speaking enthusiasts who can raise Room to Read‘s profile in the local community!

room to read 3If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering with Room to Read HK, and is excited to talk about Room to Read in Cantonese or Mandarin, please an email Kitty at kitty.au@roomtoread.org with a cc to Tijana Zderic at tijana.zderic@roomtoread.org.

About Room to Read: Room to Read envisions a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.

room to read 2To achieve this goal, Room to Read focuses on two areas where they believe Room to Read can have the greatest impact: literacy and gender equality in education. Room to Read works in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond by building and stocking libraries, building bright ventilated classrooms, publishing books in the local language, training educators and providing one-on-one support to teachers, and supporting girls to stay in school by providing material support—such as school fees, clean uniforms or transportation, in addition to mentoring and life skills training to help girls succeed in the classroom and beyond.

room to read john-woodFor more information please visit their website.

Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society

9 Jul
Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society

Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society

Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society (HKDCS) was established in December 2003 and it is the only society dedicated to the conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises of Hong Kong. Effective from 14 July 2005, HKDCS has been recognized as a charitable organization, with Inland Revenue file number 91/7756.

In recent years, Chinese white dolphin has become one of the most celebrated wildlife adored by the Hong Kong public, and has also been an important member of our fragile marine ecosystem. However, the general public still knows only a little of these mysterious creatures, and local cetaceans have not received the full protection from human yet.

dolphin watch 3In order to enhance the knowledge of general public on cetaceans in Hong Kong and around the world, and to effectively protect them in a long run, HKDCS aims to:

To arouse public awareness on:
– biology and conservation of Chinese white dolphins and finless porpoises in Hong Kong, and cetaceans in other parts of the world
– preservation of dolphins and their habitats in Hong Kong
– impacts posed by dolphin-watching activities to dolphin and the importance of raising standard of dolphin-watching industry in Hong Kong
– global issues of whales and dolphins such as captivity, whaling, fishery bycatch and marine pollution

To conduct scientific research on wild dolphins in Hong Kong and nearby regions like China and Taiwan

To educate the school children on the importance of dolphin conservation

To offer opportunity for research interns and volunteers to participate in the conservation of local cetaceans

To provide a forum for dolphin-lovers to gather, interact and share dolphin-watching and conservation experience

dolphin watch logoThrough scientific research and educating the public, HKDCS hopes to protect the local dolphins and porpoise residing in Hong Kong waters. In this section, learn more about the HKDCS mission, a message from our chairman, as well as the structure of our society including the lists of scientific advisors and committee members.

How to get involved
Take action today by getting involved in the cetacean conservation efforts of HKDCS.

dolphin watchJoin HKDCS on the next dolphin research trip, become a research intern or volunteer to participate in a full range of research and educational activities. Stay in touch with HKDCS by subscribing to their eNewsletter, or read about the latest dolphin sightings and activities featured in their intern blog. You can also support HKDCS by making a donation to support their research programme and public awareness campaigns.

Volunteer
Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society relies largely on volunteers to carry out research, educational programmes and administrative work. HKDCS cordially invites their members to fill these volunteer positions and to help out at various programmes organised by HKDCS.

If you are interested to help out, please email HKDCS (info@hkdcs.org) and they will keep you informed about the next activity or event. The dolphins and the HKDCS team can’t wait to meet you!

Research Intern
If you are an undergraduate or graduate student majoring in Biology, Environmental Science or any other related subjects, and are interested in learning more about a career in wildlife research, you are most welcomed to apply for the HKDCS research internship programme to engage in hands-on experience as a dolphin field researcher. Please click here for more details on the duties, requirements and how to apply.