Blog Tag: Poverty

Hong Kong’s human battery hens

Posted by Peter MUIR

“Hong Kong’s human battery hens” is the title of a recent article featured in the UK’s Daily Mail online edition.  It reports on a set of bird’s-eye images released by the Society for Community Organisation (SoCO) as a part of the groups efforts to increase awareness about the plight of the poor in Hong Kong.  With its reputation as one of the world’s richest cities, the high level of poverty found in Hong Kong it is unknown to many.

Like battery hens: A family of four tries to get on with everyday life despite living in a room where there is barely space to move in the urban slums of Hong Kong
Dinner is served… in the bedroom: Three people have been forced to share this closet-like space because rent is so high and public housing waiting lists so long

How could supporting people such as those shown in these pictures become a part of your CAS / C&S programme?

Oxfam Lai See donation campaign

Posted by Peter MUIR

This year DC is joining the Oxfam Lai See donation campaign.  Please consider making a voluntary Lai See donation during Chinese New Year to share blessings with disadvantaged people in the region.  Oxfam Hong Kong will use the funds raised from this campaign to continue their efforts in providing the basic necessities and improving the livelihood of disadvantaged people in China.  13-year-old Yang Song is one such individual that Oxfam has supported.  Here is his story:

Yang Song, 13, and many of his neighbours in  the village of Mawo, Guizhou, used to spend at least two hours a day to collect water for their home and their crops. They walked seven kilometres each way. Water is heavy, and Song sometimes stumbled with a full bucket, but he is strong for his age. He also walks over a hill every day to get to school, and also walks back and forth at lunchtime for the noon meal. Song’s whole family work hard. Their land is so rocky and eroded that their harvests tend to be a third of what they are elsewhere. Their last harvest only provided food for six months and they had to borrow money to buy the missing food for the other half of the year.   In 2011, Oxfam and a local partner in Guizhou began an environmental and sustainable  livelihood programme in Mawo. The initiative includes supporting the building of water storage tanks – four large ones for community use, and a smaller one for each family – plus agricultural training, seedlings and tools. Song’s family now has water right near their door, and is expecting a better harvest next season. Now that Song no longer has to collect water far away, he has more time to devote to his studies. His parents hope he can go to university someday. They all hope for a live without poverty.

Many people in Mainland China do not have a sustainable water supply.  Your donation will enable people like Song and his family to have access to water and a better livelihood.

The DC piglets

Posted by Peter MUIR

Related to the No Boundaries trip that travelled to the Yangshan and Yao districts in Northern Guangdong province, where students worked with the Go 2 Serve foundation, funds were raised by DC to go towards Go 2 Serve’s Pig Scheme. According to Go 2 Serve, the Pig Scheme offers the opportunity to local people to benefit from raising pigs without any initial financial burden.

Participating Yao farmers start in the program without putting out any money, Go2Serve Foundation deliver two 3-month old piglets to their home and provide pig feed, training and vaccination to help them to be successful in raising their pigs to sell in the market in 4 months. Yao farmer can earn about HK$ 800 with 2 pigs sold in the market. We are committed to the Yao farmers for 2 years teaching them how to raise pigs for sale in the market and eventually breeding their own piglets to raise. Through the 2 year program, Yao farmers will learn pig farming skills, how to manage their income for re-investment and eventually increase their income and living standard. Go2Serve Foundation will also assist the farmers in the areas of hygiene and environmental impact in the village in order to help this program to be sustainable in the future e.g. assist them to apply funding for building methane tanks for pig wastes and ways to recycle pig wastes”.

Pictured here is the local recipient along with the two pigs donated by DC. It is hoped that the income generated from the pigs will enable the family to pay schooling for their children.

Life for refugees in Hong Kong

Posted by Peter MUIR

Chungking Mansions Service Centre has sent out the following details, hoping to receive some support for some people in need.  For those who are not aware, our centre does not get any support from the Government or any major funding body in HK, hence why they rely on the community to help their our clients through grants, sponsorship, donations and partnerships. The following is a call for help.  And, importantly, keep in mind that you can also help directly by volunteering in the programmes that the service centre is involved in.  See more details here on how to get involved.

  • A vulnerable refugee family of 5 is in need of $300/month top-up in rent. They have started their resettlement process and might leave HK for resettlement within a year. It is not practical for them to move-out of their current home as they might not find anything cheaper than their current place. 4 out of 5 members of the family are under our Psychosocial Program for various mental health conditions. The father and mother are also physically ill.
  • An elderly client suffering from various ailment and his 22 year old son live in New Territories. The assistance they get from ISS is not enough especially to meet their dietary needs. A support of $200/month will help them immensely.
  • A single mother with a daughter who have recently escaped persecution (both are traumatized and mother is very sick)is in need of a home and we are finding it difficult to find them a home without rental deposit. To ensure they are safe and we find a decent home, we need to raise funds for rental deposit and or agent’s fee which we anticipate will be around $2,000. Moreover, her daughter who is in a local secondary school is top in their class but the Student’s Financial Assistance Agency doesn’t cover all the expenses. She is in danger of quitting school if we don’t find her additional financial support. If you are interested to help, I have attached here our Educational Sponsorship information (please note there are also other children under our waiting list).
  • A family with 2 children came to HK almost two years ago. They live in Shek Kip Mei in a run-down flat. Both parents have a medical case, the mother has serious back injury and the father is going to be operated on his throat to remove a foreign body. They require financial assistance for their electricity bill each month of around $250.

Habitat For Humanity Under No Roof

Posted by Peter MUIR

Under No Roof aims to provide a platform for youth to empathize with people without decent shelter, people who live in substandard housing. It simulates a slum where “families” live in makeshift shelters. Participants build houses made of cardboard and scrap materials and then spend the night in the shelters.   Under No Roof will take place on Jan 5 to 6, 2013.   It requires a donation/registration fee of HKD600/person (less for a group of 10 participants).  See this UNR 2013-fact sheet for more details of how to get involved.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Posted by Peter MUIR

October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.  This day aims to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries.  So how does it apply to Hong Kong, the city with the most Rolls Royces per capita in the world?

It may be surprising to some that more than 1.23 million people in Hong Kong are living in poverty.  That means that about one in every six people are living on less than about HK$10 a day!  And some sources say that these figures are rising.  So what can you do do address poverty?  What steps could you take to do something about this issue?   Firstly, find out more on the issue of poverty in general on the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty web pages.   You can also read an article by Global Dimension on Poverty and Human Rights, which gives some background to the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Day, and explores the negative impact that extreme poverty has on basic human rights.  Do some research on the organisations listed on the HK NGO list on this website to see what they are doing about poverty, and look for possible ways you could get involved   Also check out the ideas on action you could take on the October 17th website.

The Feeding Hong Kong Bread Run

Posted by Peter MUIR

To mark World Food Day and the Eradication of Poverty Day, Feeding Hong Kong (FHK) is organising its most ambitious Bread Run yet.  On Thursday 18 October, FHK is partnering with Maxim”s to collect surplus fresh bread from up to 100 bakeries – and they need your help to make it happen!

Each week, FHK works with volunteers to collect surplus fresh bread from shops across Hong Kong at closing time. All Bread Run donations are redistributed amongst the FHK charity network the following morning.

  • · Are you: Over 16 years old?
  • · Available on Thursday 18 October between 7.30-9.30pm?
  • · Contactable via email and mobile?

Yes to all? Great!

  • · Register to become a bread runner today. You can sign up as an individual or a pair
  • · Choose 1-2 stores in the area of your choice
  • · Choose your prefered drop-off point (Central, Yau Tong or Kowloon Tong)
  • · On pick up night, turn up at your chosen store(s) at closing time, pick up the surplus bread and deliver it to your selected drop-off point

Now all you need to do is REGISTER HERE and encourage your friends, family and work colleagues to sign up too!

Short on time or already tied up on the 18th? Here are some other ways you can get involved:

FHK passes on a special thanks to Maxims for making this event possible, as well as their  friends at Unison Creative and City University for hosting the drop-off points.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us on

Create Your Own Superheroes!

Posted by Peter MUIR

21,000 children under 5 die of malnutrition and preventable diseases every day. UNICEF believes that their work is not achieved until there is ZERO MORTALITY from preventable diseases, hence their goal “Believe In Zero”.

Universal Children’s Day marked the enactment of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November. As a celebration of the Day, UNICEF HK will join hands with Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University, in co-organising “Believe In Zero, Make A Video” Competition. They are recruiting vigorous and creative young people to raise public awareness on children’s right to survival by video production with the slogan of “Action! Create Your Own Superheroes”, and ultimately, to motivate Hong Kong people to achieve ZERO SUFFERING for children with UNICEF.

A great opportunity for you to get creative for a good cause!

Anti Poverty Week 14–20 October

Posted by Peter MUIR

Some news from… consider how planning something related to Anti Poverty week could be a part of your CAS / C&S Programme.

In September 2000 world leaders committed their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and set out a series of targets, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with a deadline of 2015.

Since 1990 two billion people from around the world have been lifted out of poverty; forty million more children are going to school, many of them girls; life expectancy is improving; three million more children are surviving beyond their fifth birthday; and there have been important steps in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

However, not all of the MDGs are on track. There have been setbacks caused by factors such as the global recession, high food and fuel prices and natural disasters. Progress has also been uneven within and between countries. Nearly half the world””s population still lives with little capacity to cope with unexpected costs, spiralling prices or natural disasters; the gap between them and the rich continues to widen and almost one billion will still be living on an income of less than US$1.25 per day in 2015.

Anti Poverty Week, which is held from 14–20 October, provides us with an opportunity to consider ways we can advocate for further change.

Useful websites: