Monthly Archives: August 2016
Posted by Peter MUIR
Try to imagine just for a moment what life would be like if you weren’t able to enjoy reading . . . International Literacy Day is approaching and student leaders who love to read are invited to join ‘Books for Breakfast’ on Thursday 8th September with Room to Read’s Founder John Wood and writer ambassador Nury Vittachi.
Room to Read is inviting groups of student leaders from schools all over Hong Kong to join them in celebrating Room to Read’s achievements so far and to find out how YOU can take LEADERSHIP FOR LITERACY in your own school communities.
Buffet breakfast served 8.30 – 9am.
Presentations 9 – 10am.
PLACE: INFINITI LAB, 2/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Rd East, Wan Chai
If you are interested please contact Mrs. Jackson, Mr. Muir, or Ms. Mather as soon as possible!
Posted by Peter MUIR
Sunshine action is looking for volunteers to support its food distribution programme. During September and October the organisation will distribute over 3000 Food bags for the less privileged and elderly in Hong Kong through at least 30 local centers. This is estimated to directly benefit over 6,000 people.
Volunteers are needed for food packing this coming Saturday September 3, between 8:30am – 12:30noon.
The venue for food packing is the Buddhist Lim Kim Tian Memorial Primary School, Kwai Fong Estate, Kwai Chung (five minutes from Kwai Fong MTR A exit)
If you wish to get involved you must email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +852 68884028
Posted by Peter MUIR
Before reading on about this petition asking retailers to install refrigerator doors, think about whether signing a petition alone will lead to change. What else could be done to reach these goals? How could you advocate for this change?
According to World Wildlife Fund of HK (WWF), their recent survey on Hong Kong grocery retailers’ commercial refrigerators found that it is common for grocery retailers to have refrigerators without doors. This increases the risk of food safety and wastes electricity as well.
A refrigerator with no doors consumes nearly 5,000 units of additional electricity every year than a refrigerator with doors. There are approximately 18,0000 refrigerators with no doors in Hong Kong grocery retailer brands. According to the information above, it is projected to reduce emissions of 51,000 metric tons of carbon annually if all refrigerators have doors installed. This is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide for over 200 million trees to absorb a year.
Refrigerators with no doors also accelerate climate change. If retailers simply install two refrigerator doors, the monthly electricity savings is equivalent to the electricity consumption of an average Hong Kong household. Installing doors for refrigerators is one of the effective solutions to ease climate change and protect our Earth.
The WWF survey also found that it is more difficult for the refrigerators with no doors to maintain the temperature within the food safety margin. According to The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the Food Hygiene Code states that all retailers should check the food on time and ensure all the potential harmful food to be installed at 4 degrees Celsius or below. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends that the standard cold storage temperature should be 5 degrees Celsius. The test found that the refrigerators without doors cannot reach 5 degrees Celsius most of the time. It has been recorded as high as 11.4 Celsius in some particular places. According to the Laws of Hong Kong, milk or milk-based beverages during the sales period should be kept below 10 degrees Celsius. However, it is currently common for grocery retailers to have refrigerators with no doors, meaning this cannot fully ensure the food is constantly maintained in a safe environment.
If you wish to sign this petition, do also think about how you can take action to better support these goals.
Posted by Peter MUIR
Every minute, 8 people are forced to flee their homes to escape war, persecution or terror. These refugees are people like you, people like me – except they had to leave everything behind to save their life.
The United Nations’ (UN) World Humanitarian Day is held on 19 August each year. World Humanitarian Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe. This World Humanitarian Day, the UN and its partners are calling for global solidarity with the more than 130 million people around the world who need humanitarian assistance to survive. Under the theme of ‘One Humanity’, World Humanitarian Day will highlight how the world came together in Istanbul for the World Humanitarian Summit earlier this year, and made commitments to support people affected by crisis and ensure that aid workers can safely and more effectively deliver to those in need. Since 2004 Christian Action’s Centre for Refugees has been serving the unserved through many difficult and challenging periods of their lives.
Our team of volunteers, staff and supporters are what keeps this wonderful Centre ticking day in and day out. Today, we salute you and share our admiration and gratitude for all that you have done to support the remarkable number of people who have walked through our doors these 12 years.
We have had the pleasure of being in touch with many refugees who have been resettled and gone on to lead successful and fulfilling lives. Many are so grateful and still hold Hong Kong close to their hearts, especially this center of ours and the amazing people they met over the years.
As we approach World Humanitarian Day, we ask that you continue to work with us to give a little hope to our refugees. The families and individuals we mention below are especially vulnerable and would greatly benefit from your support. Please consider how you can get involved in supporting these people as a part of your CAS or Community Engagement.
- A single male from East Africa arrived in 2009 to seek protection from HK due to ethnic persecution back home. He is truly vulnerable due to a number of medical conditions (unmanageable diabetes, tuberculosis and skin problems) which is being managed by the local hospitals. He had lost half of his body weight since his arrival and is struggling to go about daily chores due to his weak physique. He is under medication and needs to go to the clinic or hospital every day to receive treatment. Due to his condition, he is unable to share a room with another refugee but he cannot afford to have his own place without help from others.
- A family of 3 from East Africa is suffering from depression and suicidal ideation due to the trauma they endured. The father’s brother was killed in civil war and he himself was later abducted by a rebel group & imprisoned for several months. What he encountered during his imprisonment still remains fresh in his memory. Both parents are under our Psychosocial Programme and are taking medications.
- A family of 4 from a Middle Eastern country left their home due to religious persecution. Their daughter was abducted back home and is slowly getting over her traumatic experience thanks to our Psychosocial Programme where she has a dedicated counselor. To ensure that she feels safe, our Center, together with another agency, found them a decent housing location but there is a rental gap each month. In December 2015, the HK Government substantiated their case and granted them protection.
- A family of four from a Middle Eastern country who are victims of bombing and raids are severely traumatized and isolated. The lack of movement and social interaction has had severe psychosomatic effects on the mother, who has had 3 miscarriages since their arrival in HK. Their private sponsor recently left HK and is no longer able to support them.
- A single mother from a Middle Eastern country with 3 daughters was tortured and threatened to be killed before fleeing, and has also endured domestic violence for many years. She is now separated from her husband and struggling to overcome her trauma while taking care of her 3 children on her own. Not having the financial means to deal with the growing needs of her 3 daughters in an expensive city is not easy.
- A young and aspiring runner from war-torn Somalia needs your help to continue to train, as this is his way of effectively coping with his depression; running gives him a much needed escape from the memories of his war torn country and experience of abuse at the hands of religious extremists. He has won numerous competitions to date, and maintains a strict training and dietary regiment to pursue professional running in the future.
- A newly arrived former human rights activist from South Asia bears the signs of the torture he experienced back home as a result of his involvement in a high profile political case. Fearing for his life, he fled to Nepal where he initially sought asylum. He was granted refugee status and protection by the UNHCR, but eventually found his way to HK where it is safer for him. We hope to help him work around his trauma under our Psychosocial Programme but his immediate need is to cover his rental gap.
- A vulnerable man from South Asia who has been in HK for nearly a decade is suffering from depression, isolation and hopelessness. He is a victim of religious hate crime involving physical assault and other forms of harassment both back home and in HK. We are hoping to find him a suitable room that is clean, safe, and located near the Centre so he can continue to access necessary services. He is under our Psychosocial Programme for 3 years now and we are hoping that he would continue his progress but this worry is quite heavy on his shoulders.
- An elderly man and his son from a conflict-torn country in South Asia fled due to political persecution. They have been in HK for over 6 years. The elderly man is suffering from multiple medical conditions and has had a major surgery done last year but is still suffering from other conditions; he has a very poor physical and mental health. Both have been granted refugee status and have started their resettlement application, but the process can take many months to complete.
- A single mother of 6 children and 1 grand daughter was abandoned by her husband a few years ago, leaving the care of the children with her. She is struggling to make ends meet daily and is always struggling to pay their basic utility bills and provide for extra support to her children who are all attending school. With her poor health and poor language skills, she is stressed every single day.
Posted by Peter MUIR
DB Green and Plastic Free Seas have set beach cleanup dates are set for the rest of 2016. This presents a good way of getting involved in Community Engagement – however as different year levels have different CE expectations, please check with your learning advisor. Regardless of whether or not you include it in your CE portfolio, get involved!
At each beach cleanup there are experienced leaders to enhance your beach cleanup. Learn more about the local plastic pollution issue as well as understanding the global picture!
Gloves, bags and water refills will be provided.
Please wear closed toe shoes (no flip-flops!), sun protection, bug spray and bring a full reusable water bottle!
Invite your friends and family to join!
Posted by Peter MUIR
BMSE Senior Theatre is a group of elderly residents from Discovery Bay and Mui Wo who have used their own story to form a musical to present the development of Hong Kong from 1960s till now. This year, they will have a charity musical performance on October 29th to raise funds for the children with development difficulties.
The group is looking to find student volunteers who will help share their story and help promote the group and their event. Students will be expected to film the musical rehearsal and interview some of the elderly in the community centre near the DB North plaza. The video will need to be finished before 30th September 2016.
If you are interested, please email Kate for more details at email@example.com before August 19.
Posted by Peter MUIR
Students in Years 7-12 are invited to apply for the position of Community Engagement (CE) Captain. The CE Captains will consist of chosen students from each secondary year level who will play a role in managing and developing Discovery College’s CE programme. This leadership opportunity will enable successful applicants to develop communication skills, skills in promotion and marketing, organisational skills, and foster information literacy and social capital.
This is a great opportunity to not only get actively involved in CE, but also develop your interpersonal and organisational skills. Being a CE captain would be a great thing to have on your CV!
To apply, simply fill out this short application form before August 24th.