Blog Tag: Projects

Powered By Youth Forum 2017

Posted by Peter MUIR

Registration is open for the annual Powered By Youth Forum. Organised by Kids4Kids, the Powered by Youth (PBY) focuses on developing well-rounded, forward-thinking leaders who excel in being change-makers, taking action, and supporting the community.

In the annual 2-day forum, students aged 12-17 take part in ‘Power Groups’ focusing on personal strengths, and ‘Passion Groups’ targeting social issues. Groups then create Community Act!on Projects, go through ‘Step Up’ workshops on pitching, writing advocacy, articulating personal values, and creative messaging. Finally, they pitch to a judging panel for a chance to bring their ideas to life. Successful projects join Act!on for a Cause and are allocated seed funding and a Kids4Kids mentor to help deliver the project and measure its impact.

Click here for more details about the event and how to register.

Global Youth Service Day

Posted by Peter MUIR



Millions of youth, 135 countries – the world changes on Global Youth Service Day. It’s a powerful story of change that grows larger and stronger each April.

Are you still looking for that perfect project?  If so, then check out these ideas to help you get started. Have a project prepared? Then, put your project on the GYSD Map!

To support you in your efforts, click here to download the Youth Changing the World Toolkit.

S2S: A 12-hour benefit

Posted by Peter MUIR

Year 12 DC student Boris Choy reports on the upcoming DC event S2S

S2Srelay logoConsider this coming Saturday 1st March: another lazy Saturday for those without school? Perhaps 12 hours of idleness, 12 hours of inactivity.  Enough time to sit mindlessly through a season or two of your favourite television series. Or perhaps long enough to change your lifestyle. Perhaps long enough to do something worthwhile for yourself and for others.

Saturday 1st March offers you an opportunity to get active – both physically and for the benefit of the community.  From Sunrise to Sunset, you could be, along with 6 to 24 of your closest friends and family, relishing the challenge of competing for only your personal goals.

An un-timed and friendly event open to all, Sunrise to Sunset (S2S) allows for participants to run when they wish and at whatever pace they wish. It proposes that runners in a team take it in turns to run as many laps as they can of a 1.35 km course before passing on the role to the next runner, and so on.

Not only can you reap the satisfaction of giving your body a good workout, but sponsorship money generated from each team goes towards supporting the Chung King Mansions Refugee Service Centre.  These proceeds go towards providing asylum seekers with basic needs, food, and employment.

With Flow Yoga sessions and Discovery Bay’s premier DJs, “Psyke” to energise you in between laps, and not least a barbecue to draw the event to a close, Sunset to Sunrise is definitely worth giving up a lazy Saturday.

The organising committee – a small group of senior students at Discovery College – look forward to you getting involved.  Team registration is HKD 300 per team going towards administration costs covering vests, water, race pack, and food. For more information and to register, go to

CAS Project idea #2

Posted by Peter MUIR

Copied below are details of an event orgnaised by World Vision – the Reveal Realities Photo Contest.  Planning and implementing a competition/event such as this would be a great CAS project – think about revealing the inequality that is reality here in Hong Kong…

This February 20 – the World Day of Social Justice – we (World Vision) are launching the “Reveal Realities” Photo Contest to reveal the realities of inequality in our communities and across the Americas.

This contest will challenge young people across the Americas to share what inequality looks like through their lens. The top photos will be used to advocate government leaders and the general public on issues of inequality and child exploitation, abuse, and neglect. We will do this through a Photography Exhibit that will tour the Americas and an Advocacy Calendar that will be given to government leaders.

DP CAS Project idea

Posted by Peter MUIR

The following details from Feeding Hong Kong gives details of an event that they are holding, one that provides a good example of what could be considered a CAS project.

Feeding Hong Kong launches the city’s first ever Pancake Day Race and would like to invite you to join us!

For the first time ever, Feeding Hong Kong, in partnership with Clifford Chance, is bringing the Pancake Day Race to Hong Kong! The event will take place on Tuesday March 4, 2014 at The University of Hong Kong campus in Pokfulam.

Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) falls between February 2 and March 9, depending on the date of Easter. In 2014, Pancake
Day falls on Tuesday March 4. In the UK, Pancake Day is traditionally celebrated by eating pancakes and running in pancake races.

This is the first race of its kind in Hong Kong. The aim is for the Pancake Day Race to become an annual fundraiser for
Feeding Hong Kong, as well as a fun way to cement relationships with our supporters.

In this madcap relay race, teams of five participants will don aprons, grab frying pans and then compete to toss their pancakes
while completing the course. The event will consist of a knockout tournament, ending in a grand final, after which the winning team will take the coveted Fastest Tossers Trophy. There will be additional prizes for Best Tossing Technique, Best Dressed Tosser and Most Entertaining Tosser. Fancy dress is not just allowed it is encouraged!

In keeping with Feeding Hong Kong’s mission of reducing the volume of food waste going to landfill, there will be onsite compost bins, for all non-eaten pancakes. This compost will then be worked back into the grounds at The University of Hong Kong, via their edible garden, ensuring zero waste.


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.

Eco-Leaders needed!

Posted by admin

Ecoschools logoDC wishes to implement the Eco-Schools programme, and we are looking for “green” Year 12 students to lead this group. Eco-Schools is an international programme that aims to empower students to be the change our sustainable world needs and engaging them in fun, action-orientated learning.  We wish to create a committee with representatives from various year levels, as well as other members of the school community, who will implement a seven-step change to make our school more environmentally friendly. Getting involved in this committee will provide a great opportunity for a small number of students to develop leadership skills while driving a meaningful eco-project. If you are in Year 12 and think you have what it takes to lead this committee, email DC science teacher Mr Burrage on
If you are not in year 12 but are keen to join – we will soon be asking you to sign up to get involved!

Plastic Free Seas Project

Posted by admin

Local NGO Plastic Free Seas is looking for students who are passionate about the environment and are willing to commit to their efforts.

A key part of this (potential) CAS project is to conduct a scientific experiment.  The experiment will research the effect of long-term exposure in sea water on various plastic (waste) items.   The idea would be to take a sample of different types of plastic items (bags, cups, straws, cutlery, toys, packaging) made from biodegradable, recycled, degradable, ‘normal’, foamed, PET, LDPE, HDPE, PS,  and bio plastic, take baseline data, and then put the plastics in a sturdy cage.  The cage will then be anchored at a suitable point that has a constant water flow and minimal expose to direct sunlight.  The items will then be observed at various stages over a long period of time.

plasticfreeseaslogoIn addition to the experiment, the project will involve other tasks to support the aims of Plastic Free Seas, a Hong Kong-based NGO aiming to reduce plastic litter in our marine environment.   This will include promoting events and news in social media, assisting with updating websites, recording other data, and assisting in events initiated by Plastic Free Seas.

This opportunity is open to a very small group of Diploma students who are willing to commit over an extended period of time.  Email/see Mr Muir if you are interested

Burn Calories, Not Electricity

Posted by Peter MUIR

take the stairsStairs or elevator – which would you choose? And what are the consequences of your choice?

The amount of energy an elevator for every floor it moves you is quite high, and not often thought about. A 15 second elevator journey uses up the same amount of energy as a 60 W light bulb does within an hour. How much energy could you save with every floor you walk instead?

Though there are cases when elevators need to be used (for the elderly, moving goods, the disabled and buildings with a large number of floors), it has been observed here at DC that elevators are often used when stairs could be an option. “We are hoping that this campaign reduces the use of elevator use at DC when the stairs could be used” said Year 11 student Michelle Tamura, who is driving the campaign Burn calories, not electricity.

Aside from reasons relating to sustainable use of resources, Michelle added that there are also health benefits for taking stairs rather an elevator. “Using the stairs is a great way to develop fitness, and use energy. Why go to the gym to use the stair machine, when you have stairs at school!”

So next time you are going up or down floors, make sure that you, if you can, burn calories, not electricity.