Monthly Archives: January 2013

73 million sharks killed globally each year

Posted by Peter MUIR

73 million sharks killed globally each year for shark fin trade, a trade that is centred in HK.

Shark fins drying

This picture, taken earlier this year, shows thousands of shark fins being dried on a rooftop in Kennedy Town.  The picture paints a troubling picture of the state of shark conservation.  How could you take action to help address this issue?  Here is a related post, and this report from WWF outlines more action you can take:

WWF has been advocating that the public “say no to shark fin” and we launched the No Shark fin Individual Pledge last year. So far more than 7,100 individuals and 147 corporate have pledged not to eat or consume shark fin products, while 114 restaurants and hotels have committed to provide Alternative Shark Free Menu, either providing alternatives for customers, or implementing a total ban on shark fin dishes . Yet, as the photos show, Hong Kong remains a key shark fin trading hub.

To help combat this problem and minimize local demand for shark products, we need your help: starting today, please ask everyone you know to pledge not to consume any shark fin products.

In order to strengthen worldwide trade regulation (e.g. CITES and ban on illegal trade) and the public’s demand  on consuming sustainable products, WWF calls for the Hong Kong government to collect and release full trade statistics of shark fin including information on species, volumes and country of origins.  This type of scientific identification of random samples of shark fin, through DNA testing for example, is essential for developing verification purposes.

WWF and other environmental groups have launched a petition, We’re urging the Hong Kong government to make a public policy of not to serving shark fin in official functions.

ESF Junior Coaching Course

Posted by Peter MUIR


Are you interested in sports?  Are you keen to expand your knowledge about sports coaching?  There is an opportunity for senior students to take part in a Coaching course with ESF.  Aims of the course include developing understanding of organizing and leading sports events, become knowledgeable about the planning and delivery of coaching sessions, and ultimately be able to organize a sporting tournament.  The course will be eight weekly one-hour sessions held at DC and will cost $300.    The course will initially only be open to Year 12 students. Dates are to be confirmed.  For those who complete the course, there will be opportunity for continued volunteer efforts, and perhaps even paid employment.  If you are interested sign up today on the DC Community Engagement webpage sign up page or click here.

Chungking Mansions Refugee Support Group

Posted by Peter MUIR

DC will soon be establishing a Community Engagement group that will support the efforts of the Chungking Mansions Service Centre. The Chungking Mansions Service Centre is the only full-service drop-in service centre providing humanitarian assistance to refugees, asylum seekers and torture claimants in Hong Kong. Their mission is to provide a holistic support system to refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong which increases social, financial, cultural, mental and spiritual well-being. Since 2004, the centre fills a large gap in social welfare services by providing essential humanitarian assistance such as shelter, food, clothes and other daily necessities. In addition, they are the only source for educational, psychosocial, recreational and spiritual support.

Areas where the service centre works are:
1. Provision of essential basic needs
2. Food programme
3. Case work, advice, and advocacy
4. Support for new arrivals
5. Education support and programming for children and adults
6. Youth Development Programme
7. Recreational activities
8. Assistance for unaccompanied minors
9. Therapeutic/counseling support
10. Outreach work

The DC group will initially be open to Year 12 students only. Though the group will develop ideas of their involvement, activities might include:
• Volunteering in small groups to projects/events/activities at Chungking mansions
• Developing and leading lessons – aimed at children and/or adults – such as English, computer skills, crafts at Chungking mansions
• Fundraising/awareness events at DC
• Organising and hosting fun days where your clients visit and use our school facilities

This offers students a great opportunity to be involved in a meaningful CAS Project. To show your interest, Sign up today on the DC Community Engagement webpage sign up page or click here.

Year 10 students required!

Posted by Peter MUIR

As a part of Fairtrade Fortnight (25 February to 10 March) DC will be hosting our own events to create awareness about bringing better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.  We are looking for Year 10 students to form a group to help organize these events.  Sign up today on the DC Community Engagement webpage sign up page or click here to sign up.

Organisers required for Mother Language Week

Posted by Peter MUIR

Mother language day
Year 11 students are wanted to form a committee that will organize the DC Mother Language Week (February 18-22).  International Mother Language Day (Feb 21) was initiated by UNESCO in the year 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.  Sign up on the DC Community Engagement webpage sign up page or click here to sign up. Sign up today!

An idea – Global Issues Multimedia Exhibition

Posted by Peter MUIR

CAS (or C&S) Project Idea – Global Issues Multimedia Exhibition

Organise an exhibition that features multimedia pieces focusing on global issues.   Develop the exhibition guidelines, make the event open to all ESF students, promote the event, seek sponsorship for prizes, find judges, and host the exhibition at DC. 

Looking for members of the DC Sustainability Committtee

Posted by Peter MUIR

Keen to make DC more environmentally friendly? A new Sustainability Committee is being formed and is looking for eager students to get involved and make a difference.  The Committee Aims are:

  • To raise awareness about issues on Sustainability among students.
  • To create environmental change around school through a number of student led initiatives eg recycling bins, throttle the bottle, nude food, meat free Mondays, environmental audit, waste audit, green campaigns such as plants in classrooms.
  • To write a school green policy.
  • Implement green reps in school
  • Brainstorm ideas and priorities – follow Community Engagement Calendar to help with themed weeks or days such as water days; earth hour etc.
  • To represent DC at the ESF Environmental Conference on 28th Feb (at DC).

Structure:
Primarily this will be a student led committee with teacher guidance. You will be required to collaborate with others throughout school such as: Teachers, Facility management staff etc.

CAS / C&S
Being an active member of the Sustainability Committee can be a valuable and meaningful part of your C&S (MYP) or CAS (DP) Programme, and offer much scope for achievement in the required learning outcomes of both programmes.

Anybody is welcome to join the committee – the main requirement is being eager to make a change.   To apply to become a committee member, please email julia.surman@discovery.edu.hk a response to the following questions:

  • How can you contribute to the committee?
  • What skills do you bring with you?
  • What are your initial views on how we can improve our environmental performance at DC?

Organisers needed for Help the Helper week

Posted by Peter MUIR

Ever considered what your helper/maid/aunty does for you?  Here is an opportunity to organize an event to show appreciation to the helpers that work in the DC community.  We are looking for Year 9 students to establish a committee to organize our “Help the Helper” week planned for early February.  Show your interest by signing up on the DC Community Engagement sign up page or click here to sign up. Sign up today!

CAS / C&S Idea – Computer Reuse Project

Posted by Peter MUIR

An idea for a CAS / C&S project – Investigate the different material used to build computers and how these materials are disposed of or recycled.  Set up a programme to source old computer items, fix and rebuild them, them pass them on to disadvantaged members of the community.  These websites might help… http://www.freegeek.org/ and http://nextsteprecycling.org/.

Well Being in Youth Project

Posted by Peter MUIR

Here is an opportunity for secondary students to get involved in research aimed at exploring the health of youth around the world.  The University of Hong Kong and Chinese University Hong Kong are involved in an international project looking at health and well being in youth. As you may be aware a group of DC students has already been involved in this project looking at their diet and exercise.  Discovery College has agreed to continue to support the project as it has an aim to understand and support healthier lifestyles.  For DC students in years 7-10, being involved in this research can be a part of C&S.
If you are interested in taking part read the iHealth flyer

If you wish to participate please:
1.       Obtain consent from your parents/guardians
2.       Ask your parents/guardians to fill out the Parental survey
3.       Fill out the Adolescent Questionnaire
4.       Return the completed questionnaires to Michael (MikeChow@hku.hk) [this can be done electronically; via email]
5 .    Print and sign a copy of the consent forms which will be handed back to Michael at a fact to face meeting.
See Mr Lassock if you have any inquiries related to the iHealt(H) Study