Blog Tag: Equality

Supporting Heep Hong Society

Posted by Peter MUIR

A message from a group of year 10s about their Community Engagement project..

Our group is trying to help the Heep Hong Society, which is helping children with special needs, to raise money and especially awareness. In Hong Kong, the special needs population has increased over the past few years. In 2007, only 5.2% of the population had such special needs. In 2013, the number has risen to 8.1% (Census and Statistics Department HKSAR, 2015). There is nothing we can do to cure people from this unfortunateness, but we can help make them feel welcome in the world and feel involved with the society. That is what we are trying to achieve. To tell and let people know that people with special needs should be treated the same way as everybody else. We are trying to inform the DC community that when you know someone with special needs you can still be friends with them and try to encourage them that they still can achieve a lot in their live. This is what your provided quiz is about: to let you find out what famous people actually have special needs, and this hopefully will result in us being more open and helpful towards people with special needs, either if it on the streets or if it is someone you know. So feel free to donate to support the Heep Hong Society when we hold our activities after Chinese new year. 

Revealing the reality of inequality

Posted by Peter MUIR

The Reveal Reality Photo Contest challenged young people to reveal the realities of inequality in their communities. The top photos will be used to advocate governments and societies across the Americas.

UNICEF Family Inclusive Play Day

Posted by Peter MUIR

A request from UNICEF to join their Play Day to experience inclusive play!
UNICEF playright
We believe every child, whether healthy, or with physical, intellectual or linguistics infirmities, is all entitled to ‘Right to Play’ as stated in the Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Since 2012, UNICEF HK has partnered with Playright Children’s Play Association to launch the ‘Playright UNICEF Inclusive Play’ Project. We endeavour to set up the first ever ‘inclusive playground’ in Hong Kong.
Play’ is the common language among children. An inclusive play area can achieve the idea of social inclusion. Come and support!
Event Details
Date : 11 May 2014 (Sunday)
Time : 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Venue : Tuen Mun Park multi-game area & adjacent open space
Target : children aged 3 to 8 and their parents
Method : on-site participation; free of charge
Game Area : Water War, Light Gallery, Water Bed, Spring Board, 3D Court,
Mirror Wall, Music Corridor, Tyre Formation, Rocking Board,
Roller Slides, Pillow Rest

Become a volunteer on Play Day
Service period
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
.Set up and clear up
.encourage and assist children’s free play as a play facilitator
.bring smiles to children & their families
Organisers will purchase personal accident insurance and provide lunch box for volunteers on the event day

Click here to register today!

Inquiries: 2338 5151 / (Mr Yeung)


DC Labour Rights group launch website

Posted by Peter MUIR

The DC Labour Rights group has launched their new website.

DC labour rights logoThe group is committed to making a change in labour rights globally. They are currently researching and raising awareness on Vtech in order to change working conditions within their sweatshops. For the past 2 years, they have been working on a campaign to improve VTech’s factory conditions. There have been reports of VTech’s ‘factories’ in fact being sweatshops. Consequently, they decided to research further upon this issue. Having done this, it seemed that the workers of VTech were under truly horrible conditions. The group is now raising awareness to promote understanding of this issue and also labour rights in general.

You can contact us directly through email:

Supporting our neighbours

Posted by Peter MUIR

A number of DC students have been active in delivering community engagement activities in Yat Tung, an estate in the Tung Chung area.  Here is a report on the group’s work, written by Year 12 student Boris Choy.

Ironically enough, applying international mindedness, a key aspect of IB programmes, can sometimes mean a lack of focus on issues that are closer to home.  Home is Hong Kong, the country where we all live. Being a hub of expat activity, Discovery Bay is a prime example of a community with little incidence of, or exposure to, many of the real-life problems threatening the Hong Kong demographic. To be frank, we live very privileged lifestyles, blessed with surplus and good education.

Not all of the same can be said about other areas of Hong Kong including our very own next-door neighbour, Tung Chung.  In regards to areas like this, we are sometimes told by our parents to avoid them, “for your own safety” they say. Yet, while we can ignore the impoverished or underdeveloped neighbourhoods and live in isolation, it does not change the nature of their existence. Outside of the business districts and the suburban lifestyle we find ourselves in are indications of Hong Kong’s massive wealth disparity.

Yat Tung Estate is a government subsidised residential structure provided for Tung Chung inhabitants, many of whom struggle to pay rent. A lot of these residents are patrons of the Comprehensive Social Security (CSS) programme, which provides financial support for basic housing and education. Located not so far from Tung Chung’s shiny central business district, the Yat Tung Estate houses half of Tung Chung’s resident population; many of these families have roots from Pakistani, Indian, Nepalese, and Mainland Chinese minority groups.

The majority of Yat Tung households suffer a huge financial struggle, as entire working families earn less than HKD 20,000 by the month. Money, or the shortage of it, is often the foundation for series of domestic problems such as violence, corporal punishment, and home gambling dens. Often cases have been found where women who have emigrated from the mainland cannot report cases of abuse because they rely on their husbands for residency or financial stability. Hong Kong triads and drug rings also take advantage of the neglected position these people are in to conduct illicit trade, often resulting in a path taken with negative results.

As a result of the impoverished lifestyle, the Yat Tung area has been plagued by tragedy in recent years. Often residents are reminded of their frustrating situations by incidences of suicide, gang violence, or drug related problems. This is a lifestyle that has taken its toll on the youth. With 40 percent of residents being under 18, a positive environment is essential to allow for a future or career outside of the poverty cycle that plagues Yat Tung. Without this positive environment, many find themselves subject to lives of petty crime or susceptible to involvement with the triads and the illicit drug trade.

Harriet Cheng, Discovery College’s social worker who also acts for the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council, is offering solutions at a grassroots level. With 45 DC student-volunteers from Years 7-13, Harriet and her crew recently visited Yat Tung Estate. While they understand that change at government level will take time, they are not distracted from supporting what matters – the people. Often, volunteers find themselves in all sorts of places immersed in interaction with the community.

With focus towards the youth, they frequent Kindergartens, organising programmes of games and activities for to invoke a child’s creativity and initiative. This allows them to worry less about misfortunes close to them and gives them a chance to achieve something better. On the other side of the spectrum, Yat Tung is home to host of elderly people surviving on little or no income. What is worse, lack of family means that they are perpetually lonely. The prospect of cheerful volunteers gives them someone to talk to, someone to listen to, to share their stories with. “They all need someone there to know that they don’t have to go through all of it by themselves.” says Harriet, “Someone to show that people do care.”

Students have been humbled by how gratefully Yat Tung residents received them and their support. Year 11 DC student Chantel Woo found it “surprising how little gestures that don’t take much on our part, like taking the elderly oatmeal and toothbrushes, can really brighten up their day.”

Chantel felt also that by giving a little, she was receiving a little. She feels that her exposure to another side of Hong Kong has helped her break the international school bubble and better understand the disparity in Hong Kong, a reflection that Harriet aims to achieve for all her volunteers. “Because we are an international school, we focus on issues all over the world, but this sometimes leaves us isolated from all of the things happening around us.” attests Harriet, “These are the homes and the lives of Hong Kong people.” Such focus on local issues will help to support our own population.

How many slaves work for you?

Posted by Peter MUIR

It is reported that there are over 27 million slaves worldwide – roughly the combined population of Australia and New Zealand. These people may be women working long hours in garment factories to make our clothes; factory workers with minimal pay, producing phones and computers; or children in debt bondage picking cocoa and coffee beans for our chocolate and coffee.

Today, August 23, is International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.  This day  commemorates the beginning of an event (the uprising in Santo Domingo) that played a significant role in leading to the abolition of the slave trade across the Atlantic.   On this day we should also realise that slavery still exists today, with people living in poverty the most likely to have their rights ignored and be coerced into slavery.

How many slaves work for you?

Check out this website to uncover how many slaves work for you by assessing your consumptions habits.

Half the Sky Hong Kong Screening

Posted by Peter MUIR

The University of Hong Kong will be hosting a screening of Half the Sky – a documentary featuring stories of the issues that women and girls from around the world face and the concrete steps to fight these problems and empower women.

Venue: Lok Yew Hall, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Date: Monday 3 December 
Time: 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Cost: Free for school and university students, HKU faculty and staff. 100HKD donation for all others (online registration required for all guests).  All proceeds will go towards Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program.

Click here for details

Half the Sky Movement & Documentary

Posted by Peter MUIR

A little late for last week’s Day of the girl, but just in time for International Day of Rural Women!   Inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book of the same name, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide brings together video, websites, games, blogs and other educational tools to raise awareness of women’s issues and to provide concrete steps to fight these problems and empower women.

On the International Day of Rural Women….(a quote from the UN website)…

“Empowering rural women is crucial for ending hunger and poverty. By denying women rights and opportunities, we deny their children and societies a better future. This is why the United Nations recently launched a programme to empower rural women and enhance food security.”

How can this day inspire your CAS involvement?

Girl Rising

Posted by Peter MUIR

Today, October 11, is the first-ever International Day of the Girl!  On this day I thought I would share a trailor of a soon-to-be-released movie titled “Girl Rising”.  The movie tells the stories of 10 girls from 10 counties who have faced incredible challenges to receiving an education. The movie is a part of a project is being created because organisers believe that Girls + Education = The Future!


Celebrate Day of the Girl on 10-11-12

Posted by Peter MUIR

The Day of the Girl is about highlighting, celebrating, discussing, and advancing girls lives and opportunities across the globe.   Here is a list of 11 ideas for you to consider in getting involved in this day.    The event website also has a pretty neat toolkit that you can download to assist you in planning and implement events for this day.