Monthly Archives: February 2016

Go beyond the hour

Posted by Peter MUIR

Earth Hour 2016 is approaching!


By now, you probably know all about the most famous Earth Hour action: switching off all non-essential lighting. Since the first Earth Hour, held on 31 March 2007 by WWF-Australia, the event has become a beacon of global concern about climate change and the world’s largest environmental action. The size of the event has grown enormously, with millions of people around the world supporting subsequent Earth Hours.

Switching off for an hour is actually an easy challenge. What can you do to go beyond switching off non-essential lighting (on 19 March 2016 between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. local time)? What action can you take to consume less and consume wisely? Keep in mind that small, daily changes to a person’s lifestyle can make a big difference to our planet. What will you do?

Gender Equality Awareness

Posted by Peter MUIR

A group of Year 10 students recently held an event at DC to raise awareness about the issue of unequal wages and gender inequality in the workplace.  Here is there report on that event:

The issue of unequal wages and unfair treatment in the workplace is something that has a very real effect on women around the world. There are countries where women cannot even have a job without permission from their husband, even more progressive countries have restricting laws, policies and ideals. In America, for each dollar that a man makes, a woman doing the same job will make anywhere from 50 to 80 cents. Due to preconceptions and prejudices women make up less that 20% of the world’s CEO’s. The root cause of this situation is a lack of access to education by young girls across the world, women making up two thirds of the world’s illiterate population.

While Hong Kong is very progressive, having a very high men to women ratio in the government, jobs that are less high profile can have the same inequalities as the rest of the world. One group that campaigns against this is The Women’s Foundation Hong Kong, a non-profit organisation who provide many programmes for women who wish to join fields such as S.T.E.M or who wish to learn financial literacy or life planning skills. They also hold these classes for women who live in poverty, trying to break the poverty cycle. They provide scholarships and work towards empowering female leaders in the workplace. They also conduct research into things like gender stereotypes in Hong Kong’s media, women’s entrepreneurship and women in male dominated workplaces in Hong Kong. The organisation holds regular events, ranging from talks from leading women in their fields and camps for younger girls.

To help this charity and its cause, we have done a number of things around the school. The main action that we took was setting up an ‘unfair’ bake sale, where male students had to pay $2 more for each product than the female students. This is to simulate the average wage gap. By doing this we were able to provoke discussion among both male and female students. Many boys complained about how it was ‘unfair’ and ‘sexist towards boys’, but we explained to them that this was the reality for most women around the world, every single day. It was not just boys that found it confusing, quite a few girls did not understand either. Most students we told found the concept of a wage gap shocking and unfair. We hope that they were inspired to do further research of their own and that they decide to take their own steps to take action against this issue.

Another step that our group took was to compile a list of books with a strong feminist message, biographies about women who have made significant contributions to our society or novels with strong female main character and message. We requested for these books to be stocked in the DC Library and hopefully they will be ordered soon.

Gender equality

Community Engagement: What is in it for you?

Posted by Peter MUIR

Keen to improve your academic success, health or increase your employability?  Then Community Engagement is the answer!

Though Community Engagement is taking steps for the benefit of a community, there are also a number of benefits to students. Some of these benefits that you can gain from volunteering and getting involved in the community include personal wellbeing, academic success, and developing skills required in university, the workplace, and in life! Some previous posts in this blog – here and here – talk about these benefits. Also check out this article from Youth Service America for more.

#LoveLocksHK campaign

Posted by Peter MUIR

View this clip to see how Care For Children’s #LoveLocksHK campaign raised enough funds to place 1,400 children out of orphanages and into local, loving families.

KELY Support group

Posted by Peter MUIR

KELY_Support_Group_logoKELY Support group is a non-governmental organization that provides confidential support to both international and local youth of 14-24 years old in Hong Kong. Fostering a positive community with methods of help and guidance stemming from peer support, KELY actively aims to cultivate the next generation of leaders through social programs that target social, communication and self development.

If you would like to support KELY, feel free to fill in this form in order to receive the latest volunteering opportunities (aka subscribe to them!). KELY is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers and is open to all ages, ethnicities, and talents.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to initiate a CAS activity of your own- feel free to recruit a few friends and start your OWN fundraising for KELY here! Collaborating with friends and initiating such event is a great way to boost your planning, communication and cooperation skills!

Bring me a book

Posted by Peter MUIR

BMAB logo_billingalDid you know? Hong Kong has one of the lowest rates of family literacy in the world. Just 12% of HK parents engage with their child in pre-school literacy activities (such as singing songs, telling stories and reading books). This is less than a third of the international average (37%).

Why is family literacy important? Research has found that access to quality books is crucial for reading success, and that reading out loud to children is the most important activity for their school success.

Bring Me A Book is an organisation that has helped over 120,000 children in accessing quality books through various programmes. Over 17,000 educators
and parents have participated in their read aloud training programmes.

How you can help:

  • Going to their office to help make plastic protective covers for books
  • Becoming a trained storyteller for storytelling sessions at community centres and libraries
  • Contributing new content for their website and social media platforms
  • Creating and managing a storytelling programme in the community

Find out more here

DB Beach Clean up this week

Posted by Peter MUIR

DBgreenbeachcleanupFebDB Green and Plastic Free Seas will be holding the next beach cleanup this Saturday 20 February and would like to invite DC families to participate. This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about caring for our environment, and to be involved in a community activity.

Organisers will supply the gloves (reusable, one-size fits all gloves and rubbish bags). Participants must bring their own reusable filled water bottles, wear closed-toe shoes, appropriate clothing for the weather and bring suntan lotion/ bug spray as required.

Kids4Kids Sharing For a Cause

Posted by Peter MUIR

Discovery College is planning to be a collection point for Kids4Kids Sharing For a Cause programme. Sharing For a Cause is a Hong Kong wide student-led donation campaign organized and executed by the Kids4Kids Advocates Leadership Team under Kids4Kids’ Youth Empowerment Program. Sharing for a Cause’s mission is to alleviate the problem of invisible poverty in Hong Kong by collecting from those with many and donating to those without.

See Mr Muir if you are interested on getting involved. More details on Sharing For a Cause programme can be found here.

Kids4Kids Summer Internship

Posted by Peter MUIR

k4ksummer-intern-recruitmentLooking for a way of supporting the community and develop personal skills this summer? If you are between 15-17 and will be in Hong Kong, then join Kids4Kids summer internship program!

Internship Duration:
2 weeks – July 4 – July 15, 2016
4 weeks June 4 – July 29, 2016 or August 1 – August 26, 2016
8 weeks July 4 – August 26, 2016
Limited places only. Click here to see the website and application form or email for more information.

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.