Blog Tag: Global Issues

Taking action – improve health & wellbeing

Posted by Peter MUIR

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 2.22.44 PMAre you interested in employment in medicine or healthcare? Do you care about the world’s health challenges?

If so, then perhaps you could focus on taking action to help improve health and wellbeing, and help take steps towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals 2 (Hunger and Nutrition), 3 (Good Health), and 6 (Clean Water & Sanitation). Some ideas include:

  • Create an awareness campaign aimed at improving nutrition  and an understanding of issues with food security
  • Encourage healthy eating and exercise to fight obesity
  • Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation
  • Promote healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

What other ‘global goals’ could you get involved in addressing?

Global Goals

Posted by Peter MUIR

The Global Goals for Sustainable development will be introduced next week, September 25th.  The goals take over from the Millennium Development goals, which led to improvement but were not actually achieved. Watch the video below on these goals, which may provide you with an idea for your own goal for your Community Engagement efforts. Investigate the issues surrounding these goals, develop your own SMART goal based on one of the 17 goals, create an action plan, and then act!

The Worlds Largest Lesson Introduced by Malala Yousafzai from World’s Largest Lesson on Vimeo.


We will live in what world?

Posted by Peter MUIR

On September 25th 2015, 193 world leaders will commit to 17 Global Goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty. Fight inequality & injustice. Fix climate change. The Global Goals for sustainable development could get these things done. In all countries. For all people.

Here is you chance to star in the We the People video and tell everyone about the future you want to see. Pick one of the #GlobalGoals that mean the most to you and film yourself, and potentially feature in the final film alongside Ashton Kutcher, Bill and Melinda Gates, Malala Yousafzai, One Direction, Richard Branson, and Stephen Hawking, among others.

Then, of course, you can think about what you can do to help achieve these goals.


DC team runs a 24 Hour Race

Posted by Peter MUIR

hour race DC team

Over the past month, 16 DC Year 12 and 13 students have been busy working towards a goal. This goal is to help stop human trafficking and slavery.

Last weekend these students represented Discovery College to help ‘Stop the Traffik’ by participating in the 24 Hour Race. It was the first time that DC had participate din the event, which saw teams run a continuous relay for 24 hours. Held at the Peak, the event aims to raise awareness to combat the issue of human trafficking while raising funds to benefit anti-slavery charities.

This race included about 30 local and international schools in Hong Kong, with events taking place in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur over the same weekend.

The goal of the Discovery College team is to support The Mekong Club, who aims to ‘create educational platforms, events, forums and resources to raise awareness and capital to combat modern day slavery and human trafficking’.

To help raise funds a bake sale will be held on the 27th November, where an information booth will be set to provide information on the issue, which is said to affect 21 million people worldwide who are regarded as modern days slaves.

If you consider that t is not acceptable for people to be sold, then take action by supporting this DC group. Help make a difference now by donating to the team through the team’s Just Giving account.

Hong Kong’s Ecological Footprint hits a record high

Posted by Peter MUIR

globalfootprintAccording to the Living Planet Report 2014 published by WWF across the world, global wildlife populations have declined by 52 per cent in the last 40 years! Humanity’s Ecological Footprint is now 1.5 times the available biocapacity – in other words, it takes 18 months for the Earth to regenerate what humanity consumes in 12 months.

The situation in Hong Kong is even worse: our per capita Ecological Footprint recently hits a record high of 5.4 global hectares – the 15th largest in the world. This huge “ecological deficit” ranks Hong Kong as first in Asia – not something that those living in Hong Kong should be proud of. To put it in perspective, if everybody on the planet lived a Hong Kong lifestyle, we would require 3.1 Earths to fulfil our resource needs.

All Hong Kong residents have a shared responsibility in reducing our impact on the planet.  Businesses, citizens and schools alike need to put real effort into reducing our Ecological Footprint today.  WHat could you do to reduce your personal eco-footprint?  How could you reduce your family’s eco-footprint?  And what about DC’s – how could we reduce our impact?  There are many opportunities for students to lead the way and make change here – change that could make a difference in the impact we have on our planet.  Of course, such meaningful action would be a valued part of your Community Engagement efforts.   Speak to Mr Muir if you are keen to learn more.

Earth Hour 2014

Posted by Peter MUIR

Earthhour 2014

Earth Hour is an hour from 8.30pm on March 29th when people from all over the planet think about and take action to celebrate this amazing planet that is (currently) the only place we can call home.

What started off as a simple action  – calling on people to switch off lights for this hour – has turned into one of the worlds largest movements by participation, with millions of people from over 150 countries getting involved.

Why not get some friends together and take action by planning, and then implementing, an event in DC, or go one step further and get residents of DB involved!   There will soon be resources added to the event website, as well as details about how Earth Hour will be celebrated across Hong Kong.

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.

GIN852 Film Festival

Posted by Peter MUIR

Hong Kong’s very own Global Issues Network Conference is holding a film festival, and you are invited to join it!

GIN852 logo2

The GIN 852 Film Festival is an opportunity for students to showcase films and video resources related to the GIN852 conference objectives. The conference aims to provide a basis for solving local Hong Kong issues, and to encourage long-term course of actions to combat urgent problems in Hong Kong. The theme for this year’s conference is “Sustainable Planning, Immediate Action”.

Powerful images can often tell a story in which words could not express. Films, advertisements, public service announcements and documentaries send powerful messages. Each school that participates in the conference is invited to submit a clear and concise short film. The film may be used as a representation of a project at our school, or a public service announcement about a critical issue.

The film is to be 1-3 minutes long. Possible ideas include:
• Documentary – A short documentary featuring real life events about an activity that your school has done to raise awareness or work towards solving a global problem.
• Short narrative film – A short film telling a story that is based around a global issue. Creative elements can be incorporated in the production.
• Public service announcement/Awareness video – A PSA highlighting a global issue and sends a strong message encouraging action.

For more details, refer to this document GIN 852 Film Festival Requirements

Films are due by February 10 – they need to be submitted to Mr Muir , where we will then choose the best film from DC.

Looking for global citizens to represent DC

Posted by Peter MUIR

GIN852 logo2We are looking for a group of students to represent DC at the GIN852 Conference – Hong Kong’s very own Global Issues Network conference.  If you are keen to make a change – then this conference is for you!

The GIN852 conference aims to achieve the following goals: To provide a basis for inter-school collaboration in solving local Hong Kong issues; and to encourage long-term course of actions to combat urgent problems in Hong Kong.  Conference activities include action groups, keynote speakers, a film festival, simulations, and a school exchange fair.  Students who attend will both an audience and also involved in presenting to other students.  The theme for this year’s conference is “Sustainable Planning, Immediate Action.”

This event will be held at International Christian School March 1st-2nd 2014 and is open to students in Years 10-12.  The cost for each student and supervisor is HK$250, which includes conference materials, and food.  To sign up – click here

A box of soap

Posted by Peter MUIR


A group of Year 8 students organised a Soap Drive, to support the Box of Hope initiative.  Box of Hope asks students to donate a small box containing useful/educational items that will be donated to underprivileged children in Hong Kong and Asia.  DC secondary students were asked to support Box of Hope by donating soap to help improve personal hygiene for those that cannot afford basic necessities.  A total of 173 bars of soap were collected, and will be added to those donated by Primary students.  We, the organising group, would like to pass on their thank you to those who donated, and would also like to pass on this message from Aesop “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

From Karthik Immaneni, Jasper Tong, Faizaan Adtani and Jerry Lin (Year 8)