Operation Red Packet is an annual event at CDNIS where students and teachers donate some money that they had collected as “lai-see money” (紅包） from Chinese New Year. This year, it was hosted by the Amnesty and UNICEF organizations, and the money, as part of both groups’ foci, went to AIDS Concern, a local NGO that helps to provide equal healthcare to AIDS sufferers. Both organizations felt the need to create more public advocacy on this disease, to deliver more education on HIV, to provide support for affected people in Hong Kong. The event was a great success, seeing as we received much support and many donations from students, and teachers were very enthusiastic; overall, there was a great response from the CDNIS community, and we really feel that we got the message across and were able to raise more than $7600 (thank you CDNIS!). We hope that next year’s Operation Red Packet will be just as successful, if not more!
The Reading Tree is a club that aims that seeks to establish a transferable English curriculum in order to support learning environments within the local and global community. Our club is separated into 3 main sectors; Communications & Marketing, Fundraising and Education (Lower School, Kids4kids, Myanmar) and each has their own duties within the club. The following are a few events our club has done this year.
Event #1: Lilypad programme (Lower School Buddy Reading Team)
The Lower School Buddy Reading team, now renamed as the Lilypad program, has been fostering the reading and comprehension skills of Grade 1 students here at CDNIS. The volunteers develop lesson plans for the kids every week that are interesting and also educational. We plan to refine our lesson plans so that each kid has a more personalised plan that will help their reading skills grow even further.
Event #2: Kids4kids Booth (Kids4kids Team)
Kids4kids is a reading session that seeks to teaching local school children aged 4-6 english.The kids4kids team plans each reading session for the children, from the fun activities and games to picking books for group reading. Each session introduces a new everyday topic with related activities. Some examples include, worksheets, presentations and crafts. It is a programme with our club is actively involved in. Our Kids4Kids program has received an award from the organisation we are working with for the “Most Creative Session Planner” this year, a great honour for our dedicated kids4kids team. This year, in order to encourage volunteers to participate in kids4kids and tell them what it is about, we set up a booth and had cupcakes to attract people from outside of the club to take part in the programme. This was very successful, with many volunteers wanting to come again after experiencing the fun reading sessions once. They helped not only for the team to grow and expand, but also helped the children in the program. Each individual child had their own buddy who could teach them at the child’s own pace of learning.
Event #3: CD Player Drive & TRT Website (Myanmar Team)
The Myanmar Team is working to increase the sustainability of the Myanmar CAS week education program by developing interactive audio lesson plans, aiming to further build on the knowledge taught to the children through the CAS sessions. We had a successful CD player drive to collect various CD players which would be brought and left in Myanmar, along with CDs containing the audio lessons, for the teachers and students to use all year round. We have also developed a website in collaboration with the Communications Team to house the resources we have developed, so others aiming to teach children English can use and benefit from them as well.
Event #4: GIN Event (Communication Team)
The communications team had recently planned a GIN Event with RESPECT during InGINuity week to advertise our club and show the upper school community what our club does. The GIN event included a short skit about the importance of education, and an activity session with grades 1 students which ran similarly to the Kids4Kid sessions our club does. We played games and had one on one reading sessions with them, which they throughly enjoyed. The audience members were also invited to join the activities and participate in the reading sessions with them.
Event #5: CDNIS Bid 2 (Fundraising Team)
The fundraising team had raised more than $10,000 at the annual CDNIS BID and have collected a variety of MP3 devices to use for audio books in Myanmar. We plan to organise more fundraisers that advertise our club’s mission to empower through education and pull the CDNIS community together for a common cause.
For his MYP Personal Project, grade 10 student Chester Chan organized and hosted a student led “Football for All” charity fundraiser on October 1st, 2015 to support “InspiringHK Sports Foundation”. A total of 60 players (all ages) from CDNIS, and underprivileged children and youth from Hong Kong participated.
The event raised funds to support InspiringHK Sports Foundation to establish and promote equality for the underprivileged youths in Hong Kong through sports to improve their social mobility. From the bright smiles, hearty laughter, and jolly faces of everyone, it was no doubt that everyone had an extremely enjoyable time. The outcome led to a positive vibe and all participants were able to develop new bonds, connections, and relationships through the enjoyment of sports. The event offered a new experience for participants and allowed the students of CDNIS to have a deeper understanding about inequality in Hong Kong society.
Please read Chester Chan’s reflection on his experience here and how he thinks this Personal Project connects to the CDNIS Service Learning Pledge.
The Refugee Educational Support Program (also called “RESPECT”), is a program dedicated to providing learning support for refugee school children. We are a group of CDNIS Upper School students who, for an hour every Saturday, meet with between 10 and 20 refugee students. We help the students with maths, reading and writing (in both Chinese and English), and also have conversations and read books with them.
All tutors participating in this program recognize that they have passions, skills and knowledge to offer their communities. We all understand that we have the ability to share our knowledge and resources with people less privileged than us. We have also considered the needs of our communities, to make informed choices about how we contribute. We know that school is hard for refugee children, who often don’t speak the language that their lessons are taught in, and made the choice to help them by providing tutoring support.
As part of The Reading Tree’s mission to establish a transferable English reading curriculum to support learning environments in the local and global community, we are purchasing class sets of books. This reading curriculum will be used at the Basis Education Primary School in Bagan, Myanmar during the upcoming CAS week trip in mid November.
In order to raise funds to purchase these books, The Reading Tree hosted a Canadian Thanksgiving card sale from October 8th to 12th. This sale was not purely a fundraising effort but also encouraged our school community (students and teachers alike!) to thank each other for hard work, commitment, and guidance. The campaign was successful in sharing appreciation throughout our school community. This experience also showed us areas we could strengthen our skills as a GIN club in order to improve the quality and success of future campaigns.
Two Upper School Students, Naomi Yeung (grade 12) and Inez Ferrands (grade 9) recently participated in the Kids4Kids Powered by Youth Forum and pitched their idea for an app to help Hong Kong’s domestic helpers feel a sense of security. Watch this video they created to hear more about their planned initiative. Their pitch won $3000 to develop their idea!
Here is a statement from Naomi: “During the research process for our script for the pitch, Inez and I have learnt a lot about the issues of the safety of the domestic helpers. Mr. Fung, a news reporter who attended the Kids4Kids camp has inspired us to solve the issue of the safety of the domestic helpers as he made a report about the abuse of the domestic helpers in Hong Kong.”
Habitat for Humanity at CDNIS’ Paint Your Glove Event took place in late September this year and lasted for a total of five days. Lower School students from Prep to Grade 6 were invited to sign up to decorate their own glove, which will be sent away to be used on a real HFH build site. The annual event raises awareness for Habitat for Humanity and the issue of substandard housing and the proceeds are used to subsidize CDNIS’ international build trips. The money from this year’s PYG went to sending upper school students to the Philippines for a 5-day build trip, where they transported thousands of bricks and built the walls of several houses. Students got the opportunity to interact with locals from the village and see first-hand, the impact they were making. Overall, this was an incredibly successful fundraiser that raised over $30,000 HKD for Habitat for Humanity’s CDNIS Campus Chapter and we would like to thank all the parents, staff, and students that made this event possible.
Click the link below to see the event for yourself though our Paint Your Glove video!!
As part of the CDNIS Annual Fund, the Coordinators of Local and Global Engagement offer the Service Learning Experience Subsidy to help financially support students who dedicate their time, energy, and passion to service projects (either locally or internationally). This October, two Upper School students were recipients of this subsidy to help support their participation in the CDNIS Habitat for Humanity build trip to the Philippines.
Below are their thoughts on the experience:
This September, we attended the Habitat for Humanity trip to the Philippines to build homes for a community in need. Habitat for Humanity is a non-governmental organization founded in the United States and they strive to have “A world where everyone has a decent place to live”. It advocates for affordable housing, supports sustainable development, and promotes dignity and hope for everyone. Inadequate housing is a significant global issue that needs to be addressed as it is a leading cause for poverty.
We arrived at a National Housing Project in a small village of Calauan, Los Baños, Philippines where we spent three full days building a couple of houses to improve the living conditions of the community. We built the homes for different families, hauling over 2,565 bricks and grouting over hundreds of bricks as a group. It was a fabulous experience to get to work on different building projects to help the community and also to interact with the locals and share our wonderful experience with them. We were able to provide direct support to the community as a step towards making a difference to help eradicate inadequate housing in the Philippines. Like the Habitat for Humanity CDNIS Campus Chapter Facebook Page by clicking on this link to check out more of the photos from the build trip and to stay updated with the club’s initiatives as well as upcoming fundraising events!
– By Ashley Zee (Grade 11) and Isabel Tse (Grade 12)
On September 9th, active world volunteer d’Arcy Lunn visited CDNIS and presented to students in grade 4 and 5. As a social and environmental activist with several ongoing projects, he shared unique stories on how and why he is making a positive difference in the world. d’Arcy has been working with the United Nations to create resources for ‘The World’s Largest Lesson’ to teach students about the Sustainable Development Goals, launched this September. Learn more about the World’s Largest Lesson here.
Grade 4 students heard about d’Arcy’s journey to becoming a global citizen and were presented with the idea that we should aim to do more good in our communities than harm (his Teaspoons of Change initiative). Grade 5 students heard about how d’Arcy uses social media to raise awareness about issues that he is passionate about as part of their Unit of Inquiry: “with connection to a wide audience comes great responsibility.
On Saturday, September 12th, 16 Upper School Students were sponsored by the CDNIS Annual Fund to attend the Powered by Youth Forum hosted by Kids4Kids. Students attended workshops that built upon their strengths (power of voice, creativity and technology) and interests (passion in environment, human rights, poverty and youth issues). Additionally, the Powered by Youth Forum gave CDNIS students the opportunity to meet with other students who are also interested in environmental and social justice issues from other Hong Kong International and local Schools. These students will have the opportunity to use the skills and motivation gained from the Powered by Youth Forum within their GIN Clubs and the wider CDNIS community.