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Social Justice

Charlie’s football project in Philippines continues into 2019!

By | CAS, Personal Projects, Social Justice | No Comments

Charlie Stewart, Class of 2018, shares the way he’s continued to serve a community he cares about, one that started from his time as a Gr. 9 student creating his Personal Project at CDNIS.    Read how he practices the CDNIS Service Learning Pledge #10, “I commit to continually apply my passions, skills and knowledge to my communities no matter where I am in the world”, from his story below, and watch Charlie’s beautifully-shot video that captures the work he’s done with the community in Dumaguete, Philippines in February-March 2019:

“In 2015, the grade 10 personal project started for our year, and we were told to create a project that would have an impact on a community through something we are passionate about. My parents had connections with ICM (International Care Ministries) and they were a major help in connecting us with the children. After finishing the project, we all felt like we had to return because of how much we and the children enjoyed playing together but we never had the time until I started my gap year. I feel that the planning and preparation that goes behind an event like this closely resembles a presentation summative assignment that we do in class. Planning, research and preparation have to occur in both instances. One school project in-particular was very similar to what we did in Dumaguete. In geography class we created an interactive presentation about people living in poverty, I feel that this kind of project helped me understand more about the many issues around the world and think of different creative ways of helping solve these issues or benefiting the people in need.”

Paint Your Hammer! with Habitat for Humanity

By | GIN & Clubs, Social Justice | No Comments

See the event wrap-up video here!


What were the specific goals of this campaign?

The goal of this campaign was to get students of the Lower School engaged with the Habitat club’s aims and to help children be more aware of the importance of substandard housing.

How were they met, or not met?

The goals were met moderately. There was active advocacy apparent in the club, as there were photos of build trips and the destinations of money was clearly stated. Students would carry the photos around and explain to Lower School students why they are participating this event and what cause our club represents.

However, there could have been more pictures of the build trip displayed, and more student volunteers available to advocate, in order to reach more children.

How effective was the advocacy campaign, and how do you know?

The advocacy campaign was moderately successful. Although participants knew about the cause they were supporting, it could have been more actively advocated. This is because, when asked interacting with the children, many of them already knew why they were painting, either from previous year’s knowledge or this year’s new advocacy campaign. Some of the kids were either unclear on why they were at the event or what the money went to. This can be a point of improvement for next year.

What strengths of this campaign will you keep, and what learnings might be helpful to consider for future events?

Our volunteers this year were very enthusiastic and the kids seemed to have a great time at the event. The running of the event itself was very well organized, with a good organizational process.

In the future, there are two important points of improvement. Firstly, the advocacy prior to the event could be improved. This is because the advertising and advocacy in preparation for the event was very disorganized. Many parents did not know why this event was happening until later, because of the late posting into the school Flash.

Secondly, the advocacy component in the event should be improved. This can be accomplished by selecting and informing the participating volunteers about Habitat’s missions and goals beforehand, and have more print media of the build trips available. This will ensure more active advocacy next year.

Habitat for Humanity: Thailand build trip 2018

By | CISPA Outreach, GIN & Clubs, Social Justice | No Comments

From Sep 27 to Oct 1, over 26 HFH CDNIS volunteers went to help build a home for a couple living in Rayong, Thailand. We were able to gain an experience where the gruelling work that goes into our comfortable homes became tangible. Experiencing the manpower that goes into building a single house in Thailand made each day’s end indescribably rewarding. This gave us an opportunity to connect with others and the local community as we worked together in combatting the need of shelter.

See the video and the full set of photos!

Tippy-Taps and container gardens – a Lower School family support Filipino communities

By | Social Justice | No Comments

Read about a family with boys in Gr. 3 and Gr. 1 that helped communities in the Philippines become stronger:

Josh and Adam really valued their trip to the Philippines.  They visited ultra-poor communities in Bacolod with International Care Ministries.  We visited two different types of slum communities.  One closer to the city, an urban slum, and the other farther out in a rural area.  We met and spent time with families that survive on less than HK$4 a day and they were so welcoming.  We delivered Manna Packs, or nutritious food to the communities.  Malnourished children is a serious problem in these communities and many children do not grow properly due to insufficient nutrition.  In addition, the communities lacked infrastructure that many of us simply take for granted – electricity, clean water, and plumbing.  

The boys made container gardens using empty plastic soda bottles.  These gardens were transported to the communities so that members could learn to grow their own food.  The boys also enjoyed building tippy-taps, a basic hand-washing station.  These stations help promote proper hand washing in households that don’t have running water. The boys observed that the ultra-poor do not have a lot of possessions, but they value what they have and are willing to share.  Together with members of the community, we build a toilet – some families do not even have this basic facility.   ICM is doing amazing work in the Philippines and transforming lives through teaching and training families how to support themselves and providing them with the necessary tools to survive beyond poverty.  The trip with ICM was a rewarding experience and it was a true privilege to work with the charity to help those in need.  

Hearts guiding hands: Gavel x GIN winners share their experiences

By | GIN & Clubs, Social Justice | No Comments

Jesse (GIN club: RESPECT):

The plight of refugees and education for all are the two issues that matter to me most. Reading the news about the migrant crisis in Europe a few years ago made me sympathise with the hostile way Syrian refugees were being received in their host countries, and the limited opportunities that they were being given with respect to work and education. I wanted to do something to help so I decided to start locally with the refugee community in Hong Kong, and since tutoring has always been an interest, I applied to become a leader of RESPECT (Refugee Educational Support Program – Everyone Can Teach!). Three years of working with refugee children every week at the Refugee Union centre in Sai Ying Pun have since flown by! 
I spoke about my involvement in RESPECT at the Gavel x GIN competition because I wanted to share my experience of working with the children with the school community. My speech focused on my relationship with a young girl that I had the pleasure of knowing from the very start of my work with RESPECT, and the way she endeared herself to me as we got to knew each other. Distilling this 3-year experience into a 3-minute speech was difficult but I just about managed!
At RESPECT we’re always trying to improve our sessions and help out the families in any way we can. Upcoming initiatives include being in contact with suppliers to supply feminine sanitary materials to the mothers in our network and incorporating a digital curriculum using iPads into our lessons. I’ve learned in these three years that taking action is all about initiative – coming up with ideas and then putting them into action without being forced by others. 
Mana (GIN Club: The Reading Tree)
I have always been passionate about education at the enabling power it had on youth to change their circumstances by building their skills and capabilities. Growing up in Hong Kong, in a very secluded area of Central, I had never been exposed to other children who didn’t have the same privileges I had, I thought it was the norm. At a more mature age, going to Indian orphanages and Hong Kong educational centres, I was exposed to a very different reality. These were children who had the capabilities to succeed but not the opportunity. This is what made me passionate about making changes to access to education and the right to opportunities that allows children to explore and succeed.
In realising that education was very significant to me, I sought to find GIN clubs that had similar aims and passions. I came across The Reading Tree, and was instantly active in trying to make differences in the local community by participating in local Buddy Reading Programs. From just being involved in the school club, I decided to expand my impact by joining the Kids4Kids Advocates Leadership Team, which let me participate in even greater depth.
I was actually never supposed to deliver the GavelxGIN speech! I was the writer, but someone else was supposed to deliver the actual speech. I think it was quite funny that I ended up delivering it, but I think it made it more authentic because it was written by me. I approached the speech by making sure I made it clear why TRT is an important GIN club in the context of our school and local community, but also what it meant to me individually. I tried to improvise a bit and make the speech more interactive by pointing out individuals in the crowd who could relate to TRT and went on our CAS trip. I think this is what made my speech successful, as I had tried to personalise it and get the audience involved.
The year has ended for our club in terms of events, but we have so much to plan and prepare for next year. Our next campaign will be looking at how to interlink advocacy and fundraising more cohesively. We have a lot of great fundraisers that make us a lot of money to help sustain our programs, but we would still like to make it clear why we fundraise and the importance of our actions. 
I have learned that in taking action, the most useful tip is to initiate. Whether you know if it will turn out or not, just start planning and change things as you go along. I learned early on, that if you don’t get the process moving, it most likely will remain stagnant, and you would have accomplished nothing towards your goal. Just initiate and learn as you go!

CDNIS families supporting HK’s homeless with ImpactHK

By | PYP, Social Justice | No Comments

A group of students and parents walked with Impact HK on Sunday evening.

The group met at the Guestroom near Sham Shui Po, and loaded up with bedding, oranges and bottles of water which were labelled to let the homeless know where the Guestroom was located. The Guestroom is a place where the homeless can come and access a fridge with free food and water and get counselling, nutrition, soap for showers, bedding, play sports, etc.

The group was split into three groups, according to what they would carry and distribute (oranges, bedding and water). Jeff from ImpactHK took everyone on a walk of the poorest sections of Sham Shui Po and helped the group identify those in need and distribute these items to the homeless. Jeff was well known and it was evident the friendships and trust he has established with the homeless.

The Guest room is run by volunteers plus 9 “community helpers”, who were once homeless but are now off the streets thanks to Jeff and ImpactHK and living in permanent housing. They work three 4 hour shifts a week. This is part of their rehabilitation back into society so that they can work towards a full time job. It was explained that a homeless person shall need a transitionary period to re-join society.

To learn more about this charity, please take a look at their website: http://www.impacthk.org/

Everyone in the group was deeply touched by what they saw and how they helped.

“Impact HK started with the aim of doing once kind act per month for the homeless in Hong Kong”. CISPA Outreach hopes to make this a monthly visit for students/parents/faculty to walk with Impact HK. If you would like to join us for our next walks (hopefully in April and May, dates to be confirmed) please let CISPA Outreach know.

The Power of Words – public speaking meets global issues!

By | GIN & Clubs, Social Justice | No Comments

A huge success to the public speakers of our community! On January 10th and 11th of 2018, the Young Masters Gavel Club and the GIN Clubs came together for the second annual Gavel x GIN Speech Competition, yielding great results. This year, we saw participation from all 10 GIN clubs as compared to the 5 clubs that participated in the last competition, providing equal representation for all clubs. The audience this year had also vastly increased, demonstrating that our initiatives have reached the minds of many in our community. Not only this, the prize pool had increased from the $1,500 of last year, to $3,000, all with the help of CISPA. With this increase, the Young Masters Gavel Club was able to award the top three participants, giving a little bit of help towards each cause.

In this speech competition, each GIN club nominated one member to represent their cause. They then worked together with members of the Young Masters Gavel Club where nominated GIN members would either prepare their own speech and acquire feedback from Gavel members, or have a Gavel member speak on behalf of the GIN club, gaining knowledge on their cause. Speakers from both GIN clubs, and the Gavel club, prepared their speeches and delivered it to audience and judges, revealing many of our community’s passionate speakers. This was a great opportunity for our community as speakers were able to spread knowledge of many important issues, share their own experiences of these issues, and promote the art of public speaking.

After some rigorous thought by our judges, the winners of the competition were decided, with first place going to Mana Mehta of the Reading tree, second place going to Pak San Fung of the Environment Club, and third place going to Jesse Wang of the Respect club. Congratulations to all of our contestants, and look forward to the competition next year!

 

“Paint your… HOUSE!” Habitat for Humanity & Lower School!

By | CAS, GIN & Clubs, MYP, PYP, Social Justice | No Comments

The goal of this campaign was to not only raise awareness for the issue of inadequate housing through fundraising and active advocacy campaigning but to also provide the opportunity for Lower and Upper school students to make a difference and to give their time and efforts to support a great cause. Hosting this event will help us achieve our short-term and long-term goals which are to raise enough funds to help subsidize our build trips both for this year but also for future build trips. Having a Paint-Your-House will help to educate, engage and reinforce the students’ understanding of the significance of a home and what it means to them.

We were able to raise a large amount of money to subsidize a build trip for our future build trip participants. The lower school students we talked to during the event expressed their interest in our club and the issue for inadequate housing as well. This had left our event extremely successful while meeting all our goals.

Continuing this event annually has increased the effectiveness of its advocacy component, as students have the opportunity to participate multiple times. Images provided of our build trips, and the fact that our members, and visitors from HFH Hong Kong, including the CEO, engaged with the students directly, ensuring that they are educated about the goals of Habitat and what it advocates for.

Here is a link to some photos and a video summary of the event.

Talks by Upper School students to Gr. 5s about refugees & taking action

By | CAS, GIN & Clubs, PYP, Social Justice | One Comment

On Wednesday, 18th October 2017, Upper School students from 3 refugee support clubs presented shared the current realities of refugees living in Hong Kong and how their clubs try to help in areas of literacy, food and sport.  Members from the “RESPECT”, “Cooking for a Cause” (see their presentation) and “Free to Run” student clubs got the Gr. 5 students interested in the issue with the help of photos, videos and stories, so much so that there wasn’t enough time for all the questions during the Q&A session.  By the end of the talks so many Gr. 5s were very keen to get involved themselves and learned about opportunities that open up to them once they are in the Upper School.

The Upper School students found it rewarding too:

“We thought that the grade five students participated eagerly and seemed enthusiastic to be part of the change. Judging by the number of hands going up every time we asked a question, they seemed genuinely interested in learning more about our club and the ways they could get involved in the future!”  – Jesse from ‘RESPECT’
“It was my pleasure to teach the 5th graders on not only refugees in general, but also what we do as a club. I was really happy when I saw the students interested in listening to what we do, since it is not really often to learn about refugees through the aspect of cooking. Therefore, I really hope they learned something from our club and our stories, which they may continue in the future if they are interested in joining CFC.” – Joyce from ‘Cooking for a Cause’
“It is a great experience for us to be able to share the importance to help refugees and we are happy to see the grade 5 are actually interested in it. I can see that they really have deep understanding on refugees and I hope to see them joining our club after they reach to grade 7, even though I would have already graduated.” – Kenne from ‘Cooking for a Cause’

Habitat For Humanity Popcorn & Italian Soda sale

By | CAS, GIN & Clubs, MYP, Social Justice | No Comments

The goal of this campaign was to increase community awareness on the role of Habitat at our school as well as the need for adequate housing and fundraise money to subsidize build trips for future trip participants though a popcorn and Italian soda sale.  We were able to raise a large amount of money to subsidize a build trip for our future build trip participants. The students we talked to during and after the event expressed their interest in our build trips as well as telling us that they enjoyed reading the facts. Leaving our campaign goals met.  Students said that the HFH facts on the popcorn bags were accessible and interesting to read and share with the peers.  Many students contributed to our house signing component that we added and we were able to explain what Habitat was while they signed it.  We were able to get over 90 signatures in support of World Habitat day (2nd October 2017).  When talking to our friends, they said that they actually read the facts unlike if it was put on wordy posters.

What students thought about the event:
“There was a really good advocacy component as Habitat was able to place facts and information in an eye-catching place. It really taught me new information about the issue of inadequate housing in Hong Kong and what Habitat for Humanity is doing to help.”
“Writing facts on the paper bags at the Popcorn and Italian soda sale was a really great way for us to learn more about the club. But the added component of advocating for World Habitat Day by getting us to sign little paper houses that Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong was doing with the public, was even better as it made me feel more involved with the cause.”
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