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Volunteer for Health in Action

3 Aug

Asylum seekers and refugees (ASRs) have limited rights in Hong Kong and they are a group of marginalized and ignored population. Due to the backlog of the screening process, it is not unusual for an ASR to stay in Hong Kong for years, some of them have stayed in Hong Kong for over ten years. They are prohibited to engage in any form of businesses or jobs, except in rare exceptions. During the lengthy screening process and long waiting time, ASRs can only live under limited government and NGO subsidies. Despite their long stay, they are often detached from the society and there is little public awareness of their presence in the city.

Health in Action is a humanitarian organization established in 2011 in Hong Kong, with a focus in promoting community health and wellbeing through the empowerment of underprivileged populations in Hong Kong and in Southeast Asia. Their work is rooted in the core belief that every human being has the right to health. They offer support to people based on health needs, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Health In Action is a registered charity in Hong Kong and is a member of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

Health In Action advocates health equity for the underprivileged, including ASRs in Hong Kong. The right to health implies that the government should provide accessible and acceptable basic healthcare to all living in the city. This also includes other health-related services such as nutritious food and safe housing etc. The right to health enshrined in international human rights treaties, such as International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, is applicable to Hong Kong. ASRs can attend basic medical services at public hospitals with their fees waived. However, experience from ASRs show that there are multiple factors hindering their health care access, including cultural differences, language barrier, lack of awareness of health needs and financial constraints. All these impose negative effects on the physical and mental health of ASRs.

What you can do to help:
Volunteers are Health in Action’s core valuable assets. Their committed team of multi-disciplinary volunteers is continuously expanding, with professionals including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, social workers, lawyers and more. University students are also a crucial part of their taskforce. Health in Action welcomes volunteers of all backgrounds and experiences to join them in working towards health equity.

If you are interested in joining Health in Action as a volunteer, please do not hesitate to let them know by emailing hia@hia.org.hk.

Volunteer for MicroForests

2 Jun

MicroForests is a social enterprise that provides meaningful training and dignified job opportunities to disadvantaged women such as single mothers, new arrivals, and/or women from low income families.

MicroForests was inspired by the Sogetsu School of Japanese Floral Art (Ikebana) founded in 1927 by Sofu Teshigahara. They create living artwork that brings green, peace, happiness and balance to the busy lives of Hong Kong people. Each MicroForests artwork is a unique ecosystem made just for you!

MicroForests launched the “Life Transformation Program” pilot project in September 2014.

The “Life Transformation Program” program uses a cross-sector collaboration model and social capital accumulation theory. As such, the skills training opportunities and revenue generating components of the pilot program include:
* The sale of MicroForests artwork
* MicroForests design services
* Training workshops for beneficiaries
* Workshops open to the public
* Workshops designed for corporate and school engagement

The “Life Transformation Program” offers beneficiaries a well-structured training program with flexible working hours, so she can have the opportunity to earn extra income for her family and create work-life balance. Their program offers various placement and job opportunities to fit our trainee’s skills and career objectives, which include the opportunity to be:
* MicroForests designers
* DIY Workshop facilitators
* Couriers and logistics managers
* MicroForests ambassadors
* Part-time administrators
The aim of their intensive program is to empower their mother trainees to acquire the necessary knowledge and confidence to become qualified MicroForests Mother Designers and facilitators. The training program consists of three levels and take up a total of 48 hours including 8 placement hours and MicroForests study trip.

Poverty Alleviation
In Hong Kong, just around 42,000 housewives said they would re-join the workforce if they were given job opportunities that were suitable to their lifestyle. Issues such as illiteracy, lack of employable skills, and inflexible work environments are the biggest hindrances to disadvantaged mothers from gaining employment in Hong Kong.

MicroForests’s programs directly addresses the issues hindering women from re-entering the workforce by providing skills training and flexible employment. The objective of their programs is to encourage women in low-income families to gain meaningful skills and employment. Through the skills training workshop, they address the issue of poverty amongst women and children, especially single-mother families. As a result, they have seen an increase in confidence and self-reliance from the women who are in their program, which improves the well-being of their families.

What you can do to help
MicroForests is looking for volunteers who are eager to help with a variety of activities in theirs workshops with their mother designers. Tasks where help is needed include: babysitting, activities support, help with promotional materials and in joining their outreach programs. Your main task is to help develop the social support network for the mothers.
If you are interested, please follow this link and complete the form.

Or shop at their online store and buy one of their amazing MicroForests.

Volunteer for the Hans Anderson Club

23 Apr

The Story of HAC…
In 1963, a group of expatriates began serving the underprivileged children and new migrant families in the Diamond Hill district of Kowloon. Hans Andersen Club was named after the renowned Danish story writer Hans Christian Andersen to symbolize the Club’s concerns for and focus on the wellbeing of children and the youth, regardless of their races, nationalities and religions.

Vision
HAC takes families as their servicing target. As a harmonious parent-child relationship can be established through storytelling and creative games, Hans Andersen Club purports to provide adequate training as well as readily accessible resources and trainings on storytelling and on devising creative games, and to serve the grass-root and under-privileged families and their children in Hong Kong. Their goal is to enable children enjoy holistic development and adapt to intellectual based society.

Mission
Cherish our Children, Cultivate our Community

Since the opening of Storyland in 2006, HAC have been committed to provide creative, professional and diversified storytelling services to the community. HAC believes that reading is the perfect way to broaden children’s horizons and nourish their minds. Storytelling also plays a significant role to promoting one’s imagination, self-confidence and parent-child relationships.

This is what HAC does…

Reading Club for Parents
To provide practical skills, theories and experience-sharing, so that parents can become a confident storyteller
Use stories to resolve conflicts and promote parent-child relationship
Storytelling with interaction, creativity and fun

Storytelling Resources
High-quality storybooks are available for members to borrow and read at the Storytellers’ Resource Centre
“Parents’ Resource Kit” with storybook, tailor-made props and activities
“Schools’ Resource Kit” with big books and suggestions for activities
Reading Garden (link to http://www.storytelling.org.hk): A Web-based platform for sharing

Paired Reading Scheme
Cultivate children’s interest in reading and develop good moral values through interactive games, stories and activities

Volunteer Training and Community Services
Organize services for individual and corporate volunteers
Respond to the community’s needs and provide support for those in need

Book Bag Library
Sponsored by Bring Me A Book Hong Kong, the Book Bag Library provides high-quality books for children and “First Teachers Training” for parents.

Share Storytelling Resource
There are over a thousand story books and various kinds of resources for members to borrow free of charge. There is also a stage, dressing room and audio-visual equipment to support all types of storytelling performances.

What you can do to help:
HAC needs your help to run their operations and events, including paired-reading, story-writing, storytelling, drama, art & design, promotion & publicity, editorial & publishing etc. All 15 and above are welcome.

If you are interested in volunteering, please follow this link to their online volunteer registration form.

Serve-a-thon – Turn intent into ACTION

28 Mar

Despite Hong Kong’s wealth, nearly 15 per cent of residents lack the ability to meet their most basic needs. Recent studies have shown those most at risk are elderly who live alone, with 37% unable to afford the basics, and children, with more than one-fourth living below the poverty line.

What is Serve-a-thon?
Serve-a-thon Hong Kong brings together NGOs, corporates, government, media and civil society in collaboration to raise public awareness about the importance of community engagement in helping address social issues.

Over nine days, from May 6th through May 14th, the city will unite in service through hundreds of volunteer activities taking place across Hong Kong. This Hong Kong-wide ‘service marathon‘ offers volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, schools, civic organizations and corporations to come together and serve the community.

More than 75 major cities around the world host some form of service marathon. Serve-a-thon Hong Kong will be the largest-ever collective volunteerism-based event of its kind in Hong Kong. 2017 is the inaugural year of this annual event in Hong Kong.

Serve-a-thon supports those at greatest risk
*Animals
*Children and youth
*Elderly
*Environment
*Ethnic minorities
*Migrant workers
*People with disabilities
*Refugees
*Women

Why Volunteer?
Join Hong Kong’s first-ever collective service marathon and be part of this important initiative that gives back to the community:
– Learn more about Hong Kong’s pressing social issues
– Familiarize yourself with Hong Kong’s vibrant NGO sector and its valuable work serving those in need
– Sample different types of volunteer activities at different times of the week
– Participation is free for individuals and groups
– All volunteer hours will be counted and reported back following Serve-a-thon
– You can join as an individual or as a group

Date: 6-14 May 2017

Please note:
– Sign ups for activities are taken on a first come, first served basis, just simply check the calendar
– Registration is free to individuals or groups (families, friends, neighbors, schools, universities, churches, civic organizations)
– Group names will be posted on the website
– Corporations are required to follow the corporate registration procedure


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. These 17 goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice.

The volunteer opportunities within Serve-a-thon Hong Kong work to meet these global goals while serving the local community. For more information, please visit their website

About the Organisers:
HandsOn Hong Kong (HOHK) is a registered charity that mobilizes and empowers the community to meet pressing social needs in Hong Kong through volunteer services. Founded in 2007, HOHK runs more than 100 volunteer activities each month; in 2015 alone the team organized 1,436 volunteer activities and served 107,000+ beneficiaries, many of whom include children and youth, the elderly, refugees, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.

The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) is a federation of non-governmental social service organizations. The establishment of the HKCSS came about after the end of the Second World War. In 1947, the HKCSS was established to co-ordinate and plan the diversification of various relief and welfare services. In 1951, the HKCSS became a statutory body under the Hong Kong Code of Practice (Cap. 1057). The rapid development of Hong Kong after the war and social welfare services has become one of the focus of government development. The HKCSS has been firmly in the position and has been an important partner in the development of social welfare since the 1970s. At present, the HKCSS has more than 450 institutional members who provide quality social welfare services to the public through its more than 3,000 service units.

Volunteer with PathFinders and help vulnerable children born in Hong Kong

26 Feb

Every child born in Hong Kong deserves a fair start in life. PathFinders ensures that the most vulnerable children born in Hong Kong, and their migrant mothers, are respected and protected.

pathfindersFor PathFinders, the journey began in 2007 when co-founders Kylie Uebergang and Melissa Mowbray-d’Arbela rescued four babies born to migrant women in Hong Kong. Realising a gap in Hong Kong society where women and babies go undocumented and unprotected, PathFinders was founded on the belief that no child should be born alone and deprived of medical support, shelter and identity. Since 2008, PathFinders has served more than 4,000 babies, children and women. A respected charity committed to supporting the welfare of children by providing child protection, mothers’ protection, counselling, shelter, food, access to health, access to education and access to legal support, demand for their services grow from year to year. These numbers are likely to continue growing as more migrant workers enter Hong Kong each year.

One life at a time, PathFinders help mothers make informed decisions about their life. PathFinders are successfully removing their children from risk and are ensuring these children are part of safe and nurturing homes. Here are a few examples showing how PathFinders influences local policies and practices:
– Migrant women who have overstayed their visas as a result of becoming pregnant and losing their employment are no longer turned away from NGOs and government departments because of incomplete documentation.
– Migrant children can now be adopted in Hong Kong through Hong Kong’s Social Welfare Department.
– Migrant children adopted in Hong Kong now have the right of Unconditional Stay, which entitles them to legitimately claim their place in Hong Kong and call it their home.
– The time required for an undocumented migrant child to obtain a Hong Kong birth certificate has been reduced by 75%.
– Hong Kong birth certificates are now certified by the Indonesian Consulate, ensuring that children born to Indonesian mothers in Hong Kong are recognized by the Indonesian government and have access to basic services and education in Indonesia.

pathfinders-logoJoin PathFinders in making a difference. PathFinders is looking for volunteers who are motivated and passionate about helping children and their migrant mothers and here are ways in which you can help.

Playtime with Toddlers
pathfinders-2By assisting PathFinders to run the workshop smoothly, you will help to create a calm learning environment that enables their beneficiaries to get the most out of the class. Your contribution will help their migrant mothers to gain the skills and knowledge that they need to take charge of their lives.

Supplies Distribution
PathFinders have Clothes Collection Day once a month for their beneficiaries to collect some much needed items. PathFinders needs volunteers to help with sorting and distributing supplies and with babysitting. Please help them look after children who are 3 years old and under.

Sunday Outreach Programme
PathFinders is striving to raise public awareness on maternity rights for domestic workers by distributing information packs at different parks on Sundays. Please come and join them.

Education Programme – Life skills educators
PathFinders is looking for individuals who are knowledgeable in topics relevant to their beneficiaries’ daily lives to facilitate their weekly group meetings. They are also open to new topic suggestions! Topics covered include:
– Personal empowerment
– Parenting
– Women’s health
– Legal rights
– Relationships & culture

Access to Healthcare Programme
pathfinders-1Many of PathFinders’ beneficiaries, particularly newborns and mothers in the last stages of pregnancy, are in critical need of medical care but are unable to afford treatment. PathFinders is looking for medical professionals who can provide pro bono, basic medical services for expectant mothers and children. They are especially seeking registered professionals operating in Kowloon.

Meet and Greet with PathFinders Limited
If you would like to learn more about PathFinders’ services, please come and join their volunteers workshop. For more information, please visit their website or register to volunteer by following this link.