by jonathanhamilton on October 6, 2013

Still don’t know what to do for your CAS project? Get some inspiration from Karl Naumann and Sean Au’s project – making a beats album!

Karl and Sean have been making beats for over a year. Their love and passion for music gave them the idea of creating a beats album for their CAS project, with Creativity being the major focus. They have already been making, editing and mastering individual beats, since January.

Although Karl enjoys almost each and every aspect of their project, the drum sectional is his favourite. As a drummer, he says he always finds himself looking for the perfect kick, clap and snare most of the time, trying to make the perfect layers.

Just like any CAS Project, there are a lot of difficulties and obstacles in their way. It is a time-consuming project, as it takes up to eight hours to make and master a track. In addition to the large amount of time and effort required, it is difficult to find time to work on the project together, especially as grade twelve students.

Karl’s message to grade 11’s and future DP students: Do the majority of CAS during your grade eleven year. There will be more and more academic work, especially in grade twelve. There will be less time to do personal things, for you will be “running from crisis to crisis”.  [note from Mr. Hamilton: students still need to be involved in CAS activities throughout grade 12.  What I think Karl means is try to meet the eight learning outcomes in grade 11, then you can concentrate on doing the CAS you like to do that keeps you sane in the busy grade 12 years!)

If you are interested in what they are doing, take a look at Karl’s Soundcloud site and be inspired!
(an article from the 2013-2014 CAS Committee)


Hong Kong Poverty Line

by jonathanhamilton on October 6, 2013

The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is a problem to start with.  The Hong Kong government has just released their analysis of the poverty situation in Hong Kong and the setting of a poverty line.  Full details can be found at the Commission on Poverty website.  A great place to start reading if you are conducting research to educate yourself about a serious global issue.

Visit congenital heart disease patients

by jonathanhamilton on April 29, 2013

Travel with Sunshine Action to visit the congenital heart patients they support.  By visiting you will get to understand more about this issue and the work that Sunshine Action does.  Any students should make sure they travel with their parent.

“We will go to the 2nd visit of the 5th group of 9 Congenital Heart Disease Children & patients sponsored by Sunshine Action in 廣州武警总队医院 Guangzhou Armed Police Hospital on TUE 07 MAY 2013 上廣州探小朋友 – Meet at 8:45 am  in LO WU  at GNC shop 出閘前有間 GNC 舖頭等!!!

Most of the CHD surgeries sponsored by SUNSHINE ACTION are in the range of RMB 35’000-80’000, so our sponsorship varies depending on the complexity of the surgery and the situation of each case, but you can start saving lifes with a small donation from HK$100.– to be part of this life-saving program and join forces to make these children be a lot happier & healthier the rest of their lifes.

Most of these families are farmers with as low as  an average RMB 500/month income to support the whole family.

Please come and see to understand more of what we do….

If you are interested to go, please confirm with me asap.


Sunny Mak – 耀陽行動觡 Sunshine Action
[ ] – HK Charity IRO-91/10271
HK Mob: 852-9387-3243 Fax: 852-3016-9853
Donation: [ ]

Interested in Marine Biology?

by jonathanhamilton on April 19, 2013

You can undertake marine biological/ecological research at The Swire Institute of Marine Science. Visit for more details and email Ms Sylvia Yiu at to express your interest. You’ll need to get your resume (curriculum vitae) together. I do not know the age restriction but would think this is suitable for grades 10, 11, or 12.

Volunteers needed at St. James’ Settlement Food Bank

by jonathanhamilton on April 10, 2013

From St. James’ Settlement:

We would like to invite you to support our hot meal service. St. James’ Settlement People’s Food Bank serving the hot-meal service (lunch and dinner) to the needy in Kowloon East and Sham Shui Po in April. Kindly refer to below details of volunteer service for your information.
1.  Volunteer service:  Assist the process of making meal box such as wash and preparation
Date: From 15/4/2013 (Every Monday to Saturday)
Time: 10:00 – 13:00 or 14:00 – 17:00
Venue:  Unit 32, 1/F, Shing Yip Industrial Building, No.19-21 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong
No. of volunteer: 4 person per section

2. Volunteer service:  Meal box home delivery service to elderly
Date: From15/4/2013 (Every Monday to Saturday)
Time: 17:30 – 19:30
Venue: Shop 1 – 3, G/F, Man Hing House, Tai Hang Sai Estate, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon
No. of volunteer: 4 person

Amnesty’s volunteer opportunity at the Nesbitt Centre

by jonathanhamilton on March 29, 2013

Excited for Amnesty’s volunteer opportunity at the Nesbitt Centre? You can sign up for one (or more) of each of the following 3 days (please indicate which days you can attend) We’re looking at a 10am to 3pm window. Further information will be given at our next meeting this Wednesday 🙂
(if you can’t see this page then like the Amnesty Facebook Page)

Project Leader Required!!!

by jonathanhamilton on March 28, 2013

Are you currently in Grade 9, 10, or 11?
Were you interested in this year’s
Project: Birthday or Operation Red Packet?

We’re looking for a few students to suceed this project in the 2013-2014 school year.

The goal of our campaign is to raise awareness of how a tiny bit of money from your daily life can make a difference to someone else.

The good news is that you can take this just about any direction you want to: the charity of choice; methods of advertising; target audience; etc. will mostly be up to you.

Please email Lorraine Lau if you’re interested, or have any questions!

HK Paws Foundation

by jonathanhamilton on March 26, 2013

From their website:

Animals Rescue & Rehoming
Our animal rescue work typically involves five steps:

1. Rescuing injured or abandoned animals
( usually from construction sites, garbage dumps, villages in the New Territories,
back alleys of the urban city, or from poorly run local shelters. )
2. Taking the animal to receive medical care.
3. Cleaning up the animal including anti-flea treatment.
4. Finding a temporary foster home.
5. Finding a permanent home for the animal.

Each of these steps requires extensive human resources and financial resources. In terms of human resources, the rescue operation relied heavily on volunteers, while financial support has mainly come from the Foundation’s founder, Kat Cheung, who remains to be the active volunteer in action as well.

Aged 16+? You can volunteer with Playright..

by jonathanhamilton on March 25, 2013

Pathfinders Thank You!

by jonathanhamilton on March 11, 2013

Between the coins and $10, $20, $100, and even $500 bills from your red packets,
We have raised a grand total of $15,275.40!

Along with the DDD money, these donations will be given to PathFinders,
an NGO working to achieve:

“A fair start in life for every migrant child born in Hong Kong.
A fair community for migrant women.”

Thank you to all Upper School teachers and students who supported this campaign.
A special mention to classes 7B, 8B, 10G, and 12E for raising over $450 each!

Sports Equipment Drive!

by jonathanhamilton on March 5, 2013

If you have any old sports equipment, please donate them to the underprivileged children in Hong Kong from March 4 to 15 at the 9/F or 3/F by the P.E. office!

Promotional Video: Sharing for a Cause 

What to donate?

  • Rackets
  • Balls
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Bats, Sticks
  • Miscellaneous (water bottles, sweatbands)

Annual shark kills ‘hit 100 million’

by jonathanhamilton on March 3, 2013

Testing the website

by jonathanhamilton on March 2, 2013

I have made some changes to the website and I am now testing the structure.

YMCA Camp Counselor
The YMCA is looking for volunteers to help out at their Easter camp. From all accounts this is an excellent experience.
Go to US Announcements to find the pdf document


by jonathanhamilton on March 1, 2013

Why do people volunteer?

Meet and Greet at the Chungking Mansion Service Centre

by jonathanhamilton on March 1, 2013

From the Hands on Hong Kong website:

Given the sensitive nature of the wonderful work Chungking Mansions Service Centre (CKMSC) does, volunteers who wish to volunteer there are required to attend a “meet & greet” session. If you have attended a session you will automatically be able to see the CKSMC events, however, only when you are LOGGED IN on our website. Volunteers who have not attended a M&G session will not be able to see the events. The upcoming meet and greet session is now online for you to sign up:

Date: 23 March, Saturday

Creativity, Action: CNY

by jonathanhamilton on February 22, 2013

To celebrate the coming of the Year of the Snake, the Chinese Department of our school had held the annual Chinese New Year (CNY) Celebration in the LLAC. Among all the spectacular performances, you must have remembered the dragon dance performance, which is certainly one of the most remarkable pieces. It was performed by various students and teachers who only went for three training sessions conducted by a professional dragon dancer before the show. It will definitely be a fun way to earn your Creativity and Action hours for your CAS if you are interested in participating next year.

International Mindedness?

by jonathanhamilton on February 21, 2013


Help needed at the Mission for Migrant Workers

by jonathanhamilton on February 21, 2013

Who: Grade 9 – 12 students
What: to help in Chinese-English translation for the audience and help to distribute promotional materials for the day
Why: to help make the 32nd anniversary celebrations and Connecting Cultures and Community project culminating activity a success.
When: Sunday March 3
Where: Chater Road from 10:30AM to 6:00PM (You can take shifts if you cannot make the whole time)

Contact Cynthia at 25228264 or email

Six volunteers needed at KELY

by jonathanhamilton on February 21, 2013

Click here for details about KELY

They are looking for students to be involved as volunteers at the KELY office, or actively engage in some of their projects as peer supporters in some of their longer term projects.

At the moment, we are starting to work on a drug-free education programme called Keeping It REAL, that will last for only the spring semester with a group of 20 ethnic minority youth attending a local designated school in Kowloon. We wondered if there would be around 6 students this semester who would be interested in joining our programme as “peer supporters” committed to helping, learning and developing ideas with the other youth, for their own drug-free strategies in Hong Kong.

Email me, or Sky on if you and your friends want to help out.

CAS: Walking in Oceon Park

by jonathanhamilton on February 13, 2013


Spotlight on ….. Vivian Wong!

by jonathanhamilton on February 8, 2013

Vivian Wong, a grade eleven student, participates in a large variety of CAS activities. She plays tennis, does yoga and life-saving for “Action”; she takes Piano classes regularly for “Creativity”; and, she spends a lot of time on her “Service” which involves running the Tutor Club, organizing IMG Sunday School and attending various trips to help people.

Being the head of Tutor Club may be a highlight of Vivian’s CAS. Tutor Club was started to raise funds for Room to Read through fees that lower school students pay for their tuition classes, led by upper school student volunteers. As head, Vivian attends both Tuesday and Thursday tutoring sessions and sometimes has to improvise to match lower with upper school students when one is absent. She has to monitor each student’s progress and send updates to parents. Despite the huge responsibility, she actually finds this a valuable and special experience. She finds that parents realize the value of the Tutor Club which makes her “extremely happy.”

In addition, Vivian is also the Volunteer Project Coordinator of HandsOn Hong Kong, a non-government organization in Hong Kong. She is in charge of the IMC Sunday School project, which allows students from Yao Tong and Tze Lok to attend classes every Sunday, mainly encouraging local students to communicate in English. Besides attending and volunteering for the lessons every Sunday, she also has to send out reminders to volunteers and keep track of their attendance. This experience allows her to develop her organizational skills.

In spite of the heavy workload and stress from school, Vivian still puts a lot of time and effort into CAS, especially in “Service”. Providing services is not only to fulfill the requirements of IB, but Vivian genuinely enjoys helping people in need and gaining experience from these precious opportunities. Vivian’s advice to CAS students:  “take the chances when available and look for some when they aren’t.”

Operation Red Packet: PRE-RELEASE

by jonathanhamilton on February 3, 2013

Be one of the first to watch this promotional video for Operation Red Packet, before it goes viral.  Further details to be released on Monday Feb 4.  Open the email on Upper School Daily Announcements for all instructions.

Packing bags for Sunshine Action plus other opportunities

by jonathanhamilton on January 31, 2013

February 23rd is packing day!  Visit for information about Sunshine Action.  Contact Sunny Mak at for details about this event, but I believe the address will be:

Room 703A, 7/Fl, Block B, Hoi Luen Ind. Centre – 55 Hoi Yuen Road – Kwun Tong – HK

From Sunny:

We have 3 major packing days during the year covering the following main Festive holidays:

– Beginning of MAY: for Parent’s Days, Buddha Birthday and Dragon Boat Festival. e.g. [ ]
– Beginning of SEP: for Mid-Autumn Festival, National Day and World Food Day. e.g. [ ]
– Beginning of DEC: for Christmas, Winter Solstice, New Year and CNY e.g. [ ]

Our partner NGOs applied them for the poor families and some poor elderly too. In same of the cases, the same school or corporation can also help in the distribution to the final beneficiaries in a separate date.

Each food bag weight approx. 5-6 KG, including 2 kg of Rice, 1 Kg or Noddle, some canned foods, etc… with a min. cost of approx. HK$80/bag
For corporations and organizations which would like to join these events, would require to help with fund-raising.
We normally have 8-10 assembly lines and each line would need to pack between 400-550 food bags depending on the final number.

Children below age of 18 are welcome but must be accompanied by parents or adults and they are sole responsible for them. Due to these event require certain level of physical effort, we suggest students feeling unwell or physically not suitable in not to join.

You can also review our volunteering calender at: [ ]
Many thanks for your attention and please let me know if you have any further questions. Best regards,


Want to volunteer at a local hospital?

by jonathanhamilton on January 29, 2013

Thinking about volunteering at a hospital?

HK Baptist accept volunteers and details can be found by visiting

3rd Walk for Living water: 16 March 2013

by jonathanhamilton on January 28, 2013


Family Volunteering ideas from SassyMama

by jonathanhamilton on January 23, 2013

click image above for more information!

Interested in a career with the media?  Have a look at this opportunity.  Successful involvement would show commitment, and the benefits would be worth it.

This is to certify that Xxxxx has completed 11 sessions (60 hours) of voluntary service as Priscilla’s Home, one of the thirty-two service units of Fu Hong Society.

Priscilla’s Home is a residential service unit for adult trainees with severe grade mental handicap.  During this period Xxxxx has helped with looking after our trainees and has shown great patience in his interaction with others.  His gentle demeanor and warm smile has made him well accepted in the group.

It is our pleasure to have Xxxx and we hope this has been a good experience for him.  Priscilla’s Home would always welcome him back in the future.

If you are interested in contributing to your local community and building relationships with people from different backgrounds contact:

Fu Hong Society
G/F No. 2A Po On Road,
Cronin Garden,
Sham Shui Po,
Tel: 2745 0424

MLK Day of Service

by jonathanhamilton on January 10, 2013

What are you planning to do that will have an impact on your community?

This year the annual Beat the Banana run organised by the World Cancer Research Fund Hong Kong (Stopping cancer before it starts) will be on Sunday March 17th.

Here is the link to further details:

Get a group of friends together.  Or try to beat our record of 72 participants!

Modern Day Slavery & Sex Trafficking

by jonathanhamilton on January 10, 2013

There is a discussion tonight on human trafficking that you, Amnesty Club members, and 24 Hour Race participants may be interested in.  It’s hosted by Nicholas Kristof, an award winning journalist with The New York Times.  Free to join and all are welcome.  The downside is it is at 11:00 pm our time.  Follow the link below to register your interest.

Jonathan Hamilton (@hellojon40) has shared a tweet with you

by jonathanhamilton on January 9, 2013

“I paid her parents money for her” – The girls trafficked within #India — BBCWorld (@BBCWorld)

HK Outstanding Students Association

by jonathanhamilton on January 7, 2013

The HK Outstanding Students Association is looking for competitors and volunteers for the talent show on March 1. Visit for details about the event and application process.

FFF Feedback & Interact Plug

by jonathanhamilton on January 7, 2013

This year’s annual Family Fun Fair was held on November 25th and was a day full of fun and exciting activities for the lower school kids. Many upper school students were involved in the planning and execution of the event through school clubs or service organizations. In particular, the CDNIS Interact Club upheld its tradition of assisting CISPA in running their games in the big gym. The games, which included bowling, pin the eye on Mr McMaster, nerf gun, stacking cups, slipper toss, have always been a key attraction of the fair to the younger kids. Many of them are ecstatic to see the prizes they can win which range from candy and small trinkets to full size figurines and plush ponies. The children’s excitement is probably the motivation for thirty Interact Club members to volunteer to run the booths as it is Interact’s keen belief that infecting joy in the community is extremely important. If this is something that you would like to have as part of your CAS profile, don’t forget to sign up for the Interact Club next year!

Spotlight on …. Project: Birthday!

by jonathanhamilton on December 17, 2012

Lorraine Lau is the organizer of Project: Birthday. For those who do not know about Project: Birthday, read on. The purpose of Project: Birthday is to encourage students to give up birthday presents and ask for donations from family and friends instead. She aims to collect $3000 HKD and donate it to Birthday Happiness every month to fund one birthday party for thirty to thirty-five underprivileged children in Hong Kong. Initially, Lorraine wanted to incorporate her position in Amnesty as her CAS Project. As her birthday approached, she realized the superfluity of the birthday presents that she has been receiving every year. Instead, she wanted to donate and coincidentally learned about Charity Water, which requires participants to ask for donations in place of presents, in order to buy drilling rigs to drill wells for places that have a lack of water supply.

Lorraine found it very difficult to pitch the idea of Project: Birthday to teachers and start the program. Lorraine was refused a chance to start this project in January and was asked to start at the inception of this school year, as the timing was “awkward”. It was difficult for Lorraine to spread the message to different grades in the Upper School. She tried to solve this problem using her spare to talk to all TAP teacher supervisors and get permission to promote Project: Birthday. As Lorraine said “social barriers make it difficult to get the message across”. Although she eventually got approval, the process was not an easy one.

Despite all the difficulties faced, Lorraine was able to commence Project: Birthday in September of 2012 and has been donating to Birthday Happiness (NGO). With the establishment of Project: Birthday, Lorraine is donating $3000 HKD a month.  She is currently looking for students in grades 10-11 who are interested in this project to contact her to sustain this project. If you are interested in joining Project: Birthday, please contact Lorraine Lau for any additional details!


CAS Project: Beat the Banana!

by jonathanhamilton on December 17, 2012

Do you want to organise this year’s school team entry to Beat the Banana?  Could be classified as your CAS Project….  See details below:

Dear Banana Run Supporters,

The 8th “Beat the Banana!” Charity Run is Open for Registration NOW
Run the Race. Fund the Research. Spread the Word

Hong Kong’s craziest fun run celebrates its 8th birthday on 17 March 2013 when Beat the Banana! Charity Run returns – with added excitement for runners of all ages. Registration is now open at . Places are limited. Sign up now, and join the fun.

Organised by World Cancer Research Fund Hong Kong, this run has seen more than 7,000 participants enjoy the thrill of chasing a giant ‘banana’ along Hong Kong’s waterfront since it began in 2005.

As well as raising funds for cancer prevention, runners get the chance to be involved in a great family-friendly Sunday. Registration is now open for anyone who wants to sprint, jog or walk the 3km Fun Run, the 6km Elite Race or the brand new 1km Kids Run introduced only from this year.

This new race, the WCRF HK-WELLCOME 1Km Kids Banana Run, is dedicated for kids aged eight and below. Public nominations for the first ever ‘Banana Kid’, to be dressed as a life-size banana leading the new 1km race, are now being sought.

Is your kid under 8 years old, fast, sporty and loves fancy dressing, and you are willing to accompany him or her to run through the race? Join the fun by nominating him or her to become leader of the race. Nomination will be closed on 11 January 2013. Find out more from

Underlying the recreational nature of the event is a serious message about the link between cancer and physical activity. Being physically active helps protect against bowel and breast cancer – two of the most common forms of cancer in Hong Kong. Learn more about how regular physical activity may help reduce your cancer risks at

Building a healthy lifestyle can be fun. Sign up either as individuals or teams in support of this annual signature event aimed to promote the importance of physical activity and a healthy diet. By signing up, runners will help spread the health messages for the worthy cause of cancer prevention.

It will also be fun to invite your friends and family to form a team and compete for the Biggest Team and/or the Top Family & Friends Team Fundraiser Awards. Alternatively, you may email us at if you want to offer us volunteering support for the event.

See you all on 17 March 2013.

Best regards,

The Banana Run team
World Cancer Research Fund Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2529 5025
Fax: (852) 2520 5202


Cancer: Not only a rich-world disease

by jonathanhamilton on December 5, 2012

Cancer: Not only a rich-world disease


by jonathanhamilton on December 4, 2012

Season 1 sports of the SEASAC tournaments have finally come to an end, and T-Wolves have once again demonstrated to us all their commitment and dedication to their teams. After weeks of intense training, T-Wolves definitely represented CDNIS well in all of the Season 1 tournaments. Just in case you have missed the results of the tournaments, they are listed as below:

SEASAC Boys Volleyball: 3rd out of 10
SEASAC Girls Volleyball: 5th out of 12
SEASAC Boys Soccer: 5th out of 12
SEASAC Girls Soccer: 11th
SEASAC Boys Golf: 4th
SEASAC Girls Golf: 5th

If you feel like you have missed the opportunity to participate in any sports in Season 1, Season 2 is coming up soon, so stay tuned to what is available and don’t hesitate to go for the try-outs!

Service is a bigger focus of Experience Week this year!

by jonathanhamilton on November 29, 2012

During the second week of November, students from grades nine to twelve put school work on a halt and travelled around the world as part of the school’s annual Experience Week program. All of the trips are unique in their own way, and incorporate at least one CAS component in their activities. The Fiji trip, in particular, incorporates all three elements of CAS (creativity, action, and service) and has received tremendous positive feedback from students.

Much of the activities are dedicated to service, as the students built rafts and houses for the local villagers. The houses are part of Habitat for Humanity’s initiatives in Fiji, and thus can be directly related back to the activities of our school’s Habitat club. They also spent time doing fun activities in the area, such as snorkeling, rafting, and hiking. At the same time, the students agree that there was a meaningful cultural lesson they learnt from being immersed in the Fijian heritage. It is an experience week destination that many recommend for next year’s students and would like to revisit some day.

It was a cold and wet night…

by jonathanhamilton on November 28, 2012

From Pierre Lacoste:

Last weekend some of our students ran in relays for 24 hours to raise money for Running To Stop The Traffik to combat the scourge of child trafficking in Nepal and East India. It was a great sight to see all the enthusiasm and energy of them running during the day on Saturday but it was an awesome sight to see them struggle and persevere all through the night in the wet and cold weather. It is hard to explain the commitment and determination needed to do this unless you have tried something similar. I am in awe of these students and encourage more to join in next year. I might even bring my camp stove to make some hot chocolate next year.

Please take a moment and recognize the following students for their achievement.

Lea Choukroun, Georgie Beale, Rahul Singh, Maddy Gonzalez, Jacob Morishita, Maple Tang, Sofie Samuelsson, Karen Bongrain, Linus Chan, Monty Beale, Anson Wong, Sabrina Yang, Anne Lau, Clement Wong, Daphne Pang, Tanisha Singh, Jason Chen, James So, Mollie Chase, Tiffani Wong, Tom Halder, Joyce Wong, Pascal Snelling, Megan Wong, Hilda Lau, Alex Orr, Mollie Lentchner, Matthew Orr, Julian Snelling, Sabrina Wong, Marco Clark, Edward Yu

Interact Elderly Home visit – Saturday December 1, 2012

by jonathanhamilton on November 28, 2012


by jonathanhamilton on November 28, 2012

Who: Any Student in Grade 9 – 12 who wants to gain hours for their Community and Service or CAS committments
When: Tuesday 4th December AND/OR Thursday 6th December (you can volunteer for one or both days)
Where: CDNIS Swim Pool
Time: 3:30pm-6:00pm each day (2.5 hours each day)
Responsibility: Timekeeping / Marshalling / Runners

How do you volunteer?
Simply email Coach Simon your name, grade and student number indicating which day (one or both) you are available. We are looking for 10 volunteers each day, so you can volunteer with your friends.

VOLUNTEER DEADLINE: Monday 3rd December

Spotlight on ….

by jonathanhamilton on November 20, 2012

The Mission for Migrant Workers (MFMW)!

Need to fulfill service hours for CAS? Want an internship at a charitable organization? Feel passionate about the injustice towards workers rights in Hong Kong? The Mission for Migrant Workers (MFMW) is the organization for you!

As an NGO in the local Hong Kong community, MFMW assists migrant workers who are in distress. Situated in the heart of St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Central, volunteers indefatigably support migrant workers who are victims of physical and sexual abuse, unjustified labor laws or advocation. The mission of MFMW believes in migrant empowerment and crisis intervention. It is one of the few organizations that immediately addresses the urgent needs of migrants, understanding their vulnerability in Hong Kong.

Numerous opportunities are available as students to volunteer with MFMW. Working as an intern, volunteers could translate Chinese documents to English for helpers to read. If socializing is your skill, you could participate in outings with the helpers to beaches or parks, or even attend certain protests. If you’re good with technology, teaching helpers how to use the internet (ie. Skype, MSN) could change their lives for the better. If you love the arts, you could collaborate with the helpers to put on a special performance. They are a myriad of ways to help MFMW, either through your talents or simply the passion of getting involved in the community.

Only through volunteers could MFMW fulfill their vision:

“We dream of a society where families are not torn apart by the need to survive. We dream of, and will actively work for, a homeland where all can live decently and with dignity.”

Why is this girl so amazing?

by jonathanhamilton on November 13, 2012

Go to this link to see why!! What an inspirational speaker.

Walking Tours of HK

by jonathanhamilton on November 12, 2012

Please kick to the link and find the detail and hiking trip enrollment.

Parents: CAS Coffee Nov 23rd

by jonathanhamilton on November 11, 2012

Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) is a core requirement of the IB curriculum. Students must successfully complete the CAS programme to receive their IB diploma.

Learn about CAS and find out what your child has to do to achieve success. Come to the coffee morning hosted by the CAS Committee on Friday 23 November,  9:30am in the library rotunda. This session will be especially helpful for parents with children in Grade 10 and 11, but all parents are welcome. Please RSVP Jonathan Hamilton

Spotlight on … Tutor Club!

by jonathanhamilton on November 10, 2012

Most of you might have heard of a club where students are encouraged to work with a lower school student, where you get to be the teacher, where you get volunteer opportunities and where you get to participate in activities with lower school children. As you might have guessed, it is the Tutor Club. The Tutor Club runs every Tuesday and Thursday after school. Every Upper School student who signed up to be part of this project will be interviewed and then assigned to a lower school student to work with him or her to improve Chinese, Math and English skills.

Dayin Chen from grade 12 established the Tutor Club two years ago. Organizing such a large project required patience, compromise and attention to detail as Dayin worked with both lower and upper school students and parents to coordinate schedules.  Every tutor is required to organize a teaching plan that will suit their student and be original in their teaching style. The fees that are raised through Tutor Club are donated to the Room-To-Read organization.

Feedback from parents has been very positive and supportive.  Last year, parent Heather Sheridan had both her daughters in Tutor Club for Chinese.  This year, her middle daughter continues Tutor Club in Chinese and Math.  “My daughter, Ceci, loves working with the older students.  She’s been to Sylvan and had private adult tutors, but this has been entirely different for her.  She looks forward to going to Tutor Club.  It’s such a positive experience for both her and her tutor.  I couldn’t be happier.”

Tutor Club is a good way to be part of the school community, be innovative, and also give back to society.

Admissions office needs your help:

by jonathanhamilton on November 8, 2012

Jan 19     (8:30 a.m. to around 5:00 p.m.)
Jan 26    (8:30 a.m. to around 5:00 p.m.)
Feb 23    (8:30 a.m. to around 5:00 p.m.)

Location and Job Description for Student Ambassadors

  • main entrance and exit to interview hall. Welcoming parents/small applicants and directing them to the reception table for registration.
  • reception table. Registration for admission interviews
  • form collection table. Collection of returned form from parents.  Make sure the form is fully completed before submission.
  • Play area and/or staircase to level 8 & books/magazines desk. To make sure children are playing properly and books/magazines are in order.

Job and responsibilities will be assigned according to the # of student ambassadors for the day.

Student can sign up for more than one Saturday

Also complimentary lunch and transportation will be provided for the day.

Please return your email to on or before Dec 7, 2012 with the following information:

Student Name:


Mobile No.:

Email A/C:

For which Saturday. .  Please underline your choice.
Jan 19     (8:30 a.m. to around 5:00 p.m.)
Jan 26    (8:30 a.m. to around 5:00 p.m.)
Feb 23    (8:30 a.m. to around 5:00 p.m.)

24 Hour Race! Stop the Traffik

by jonathanhamilton on November 8, 2012


Race to ICC 100!

by jonathanhamilton on November 6, 2012


The website for more details

Re Eco Vate

by jonathanhamilton on November 5, 2012

Eco Vate is an environmental art show where students can express both their concern for the environment as well as their creativity through wearable art pieces.

Grade 12 students Ayami and Justin have brought together talented designers and a team of organizers who made the art show possible. Their hard work and talent included designing the sets as well as the tickets.  Each dress designer put their best into their wearable artwork. Each dress symbolizes a unique concept.  As you watch, see if you can understand the message behind the artwear.

The Art and Environment Clubs have been working hard to organize the fashion show, which will be held on November 7th. *Remember to buy your tickets to support them!–Wearable-Art-Show-@-Canadian-International-School-Hong-Kong-Hong-Kong-Hong-Kong/128155184000325

Youth Square Volunteer

by jonathanhamilton on November 2, 2012


Gr 10, 11, 12: Service Opportunity

by jonathanhamilton on November 2, 2012

Yesterday I had an interesting meeting with Hands On Hong Kong.  Caroline Sprod identified a number of activities that you can be a part of, even take on a leadership role. The first step would be to attend a Volunteer Project Coordinator Orientation meeting.  Details below…..

Sign up to attend on the link below:


Date: 22 Nov, Thursday
Time: 7:30 pm-8:30 pm
Address: IFC 2 (detailed direction will be given after signing up)

At this event, we will give an introduction to the work of HandsOn Hong Kong, explain what the role of a volunteer project coordinator (VPC) is and invite some current VPCs to talk about their experience and answer questions.

VPCs are core to the work of HandsOn Hong Kong in delivering programmed volunteer activities for our charity partners.  Each activity that we offer is lead by a VPC, who commits to regularly attending for a period of at least 3 months. Our volunteer activities are typically for groups of less than 10 people, and with the exception of VPCs, there is no requirement for regular or repeat attendance.  As a VPC you will be working with different volunteers each session and have the chance to meet people from all walks of life.

VPCs meet the volunteers at a prearranged meeting point and accompany them to the site where the activity will take place.  They then explain the activity to the volunteers and remain on hand throughout to ensure everything runs smoothly.  This system means that we deliver volunteer activities that benefit the NGO being assisted, without them having to use their own resources to run the activity.  It also ensures that the volunteers add real value to the NGO they are assisting, and have a meaningful volunteer experience.

Our activities take place in locations throughout Hong Kong, and are scheduled on evenings and weekends, as well as during the daytime, to offer something that suits everyone.

Examples of our activities are:

– Dog walking for Hong Kong Dog Rescue – Ap Lei Chau.  This is an afternoon or weekend activity.

– Playtime with Ethnic Minority children.  This is an afternoon activity.  Volunteers look after the children while their mothers take a Cantonese lesson.

I hope that gives enough background but let me know if you would like more details.

Kind regards


Jonathan Hamilton


Creativity: Cooking classes part 2!

by jonathanhamilton on November 1, 2012


Creativity: Cooking classes!

by jonathanhamilton on November 1, 2012


URGENT! E-Art Show: Volunteers needed

by jonathanhamilton on November 1, 2012

This is about the volunteers we need for the E-art show on Wednesday. We need one person to help with spotlights, one person to help with the tech booth.

Here are the commitments:
– Rehearsal will be at Tuesday afterschool till 5,
– Wednesday our final rehearsal takes place afterschool.
– The show will start at about 7:00-8:00.

Volunteers need to be:
-commited (the show really needs the lights and tech booth!)
– willing to learn the skills
– grade 9-12

They do not need prior experience with the LLAC lights or booth, although that would be great.

There will be pizza for dinner for those involved in the show, and there is also a bus service at admiralty, stopping at Golden Dragon on the way.

As Mr. Ma (the techinician at LLAC) is not available today, we will need volunteers (one for lights, one for tech booth) to come to the LLAC lobby at Friday morning (about 7:30) to talk about more details in preparation for the show.

Please have them email me at or Justin at

Picnic in the Park

by jonathanhamilton on November 1, 2012

Picnic in the Park is Hong Kong’s largest live music and dance festival, raising funds for Hong Kong Student Aid Society and Hong Chi Children’s Home. The event is now in its 7th year and has grown significantly each year. Last year 9000 attended and $180,000 was raised for the beneficiaries. It is held in Siena Park, Discovery Bay.

Volunteers are need on the day for 1-2 shifts of 1-2 hours in duration. Volunteers will undertake various tasks including programme and leaflet distribution, merchandising sales, donation collections, messenger running, and assistance with visiting children from charities.

Where: Siena Park, Discovery Bay
When: 3 November 2012, 9.00 am – 10.00 pm
Contact: James Alba-Duignan (+852 5322 1021,
Deadline: 1 November 2012

Spotlight on…. Hillary Chan!

by jonathanhamilton on October 31, 2012

Passionate about working in the community and helping the under-privileged, this month’s CAS spotlight is on twelfth grade student, Hillary Chan.

Hillary’s CAS highlights have included her volunteer experience at the Down Syndrome Association and attending the GIN Conference in Manila.  “Volunteering at the Down Syndrome Association was my first encounter with Down Syndrome patients and those with special needs.”  A teaching assistant for their arts and crafts class, Hillary was inspired by “their ability to draw and paint. Although some of them cannot express themselves verbally, they are gifted in the area of visual arts and their thoughts are conveyed very clearly through it. To be able to teach them a form of communication was one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life.”

The GIN Conference in Manila was another unforgettable experience. Hillary participated as one of the CDNIS representatives under the village group of fishery and aquaculture.

She was also an ACAMIS service award winner.  “The proposal that won the ACAMIS’s support was a proposal for organizing a summer day camp for the new immigrants in Hong Kong. There were two core activities proposed, and the goals of this program was to (not only) assist their adaptation to Hong Kong’s education, but also teach them how to increase awareness of a certain issue in their local community through activities such as visiting elderly homes and the Hong Kong Wetland Park.”  The activity was organized with Vision First Hong Kong and participants of the program were mostly immigrants from India and South America.

Experiences such as these led Hillary to one of her favorite CAS experiences. “Cage homes were living conditions I constantly heard about, but never saw with my own eyes. As a leader at the GIN852, I was able to gain this unique experience and truly understand the lives of the underprivileged. After IB, I will definitely commit myself to deliver long term services to those in need.”

Some words of advice from Hillary regarding CAS:  “To be successful in CAS does not mean that the faster you get your hours complete, the better you are. CAS would be a successful learning experience if you ultimately find the activity or a global issue you are passionate about, through engaging in a variety of activities.  For DP Year 1 students, I know that CAS can be a pain sometimes, but ultimately the knowledge you gain from your CAS activities last longer than your textbook knowledge and will definitely build the people skills you need for university and for your future careers. It’s a very meaningful experience.”

YMCA Volunteer Recruitment

by jonathanhamilton on October 30, 2012

Read the C.I.T. Recruitment details and visit to download the application forms!

Math Tutors Required!

by jonathanhamilton on October 29, 2012

Ms Sandul, grade 6 teacher, still needs more math tutors to help her students with the Math Contests.  She has 9 volunteers but 41 participants.  If you enjoy math and want to help out then email her.  See the details below in her email:

Dear wonderful volunteers!
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to help Grade  5 & 6 students be successful at the Math Olympiad. I would like to meet with all of you some time with week to give you more details about what is expected and to have you meet your students. Presently, we have 41 students who have signed up to take part in the Olympiad, and 9 tutors (do you have any friends that would be interested in helping out?). That means you will each have about 4 students to tutor.
What I need from you is to know which day or days you are available to tutor the students. This will take place during your lunchtime after you have eaten (I’m not sure of the exact time you start lunch recess in upper school) Please reply to this email with the day or days you can volunteer. Your involvment and help is greatly appreciated!  This activity will continue until about May, once all 6 exams have been completed by the students. We will be sending you sample questions to review with the students for each exam (one exam per month for 6 months) The first one is in a few weeks!

Thanks again and I look forward to meeting you soon!

Ms Sandul

JoAnne P. Sandul
6A Homeroom Teacher
Canadian International School of Hong Kong

CAS Spotlight on … Justin Chong!

by jonathanhamilton on October 19, 2012

Diversity is the key to Justin Chong’s CAS success.  A photographer, figure skater and trumpet player, Justin is a grade 12 student and one of the co-founders of the Volunteer Photography Team.  The volunteer team is a branch of the photography team.

In the Summer of 2011, along with 2012 graduate Timothy Lam, Justin was contacted by a gentleman from a local charity.  This man’s concern was that a lot of his charity’s functions go undocumented because of a lack of funds.  Justin saw an opportunity to give back to the community, which in turn resulted in his CAS project.

The Volunteer Photography Team helps local charities document their events for the purpose of advertising and marketing.  From Caritas to a learning center for underprivileged children in the New Territories  to the GIN clubs at CDNIS, the team donates their talents for a greater cause.  Any member of the photography team can volunteer to help with these events.

When asked about the future of the volunteer group after Justin graduates, he said, “We hope to continue this part of the photography team.  There is a lot of up and coming talent” that will “see it as a meaningful cause and will continue working with these charities.”

Justin is also hoping that a grade 11 student will see the opportunity for a CAS project.  “This could be a great CAS project.  It’s a CAS project that goes with IB’s idea of CAS–really reaching out to communities, charities outside of school and comfort zone and taking a bit of a risk.”

While the volunteer photography team incorporates all components of CAS, Justin is involved in other activities that fulfill the creativity, service and action components of the program. He is vice president of UNICEF and has been a figure skater since he was four-years-old.  He recently gave up competing, but he still takes part in a number of shows each year.  Additionally, he has taken trumpet lessons with a private tutor for a number of years.

Photo and text by Heather Sheridan

Grade 11’s Only!!

by jonathanhamilton on October 17, 2012

Please complete this survey

Welcome to HKBCF Pink Walk

by jonathanhamilton on October 17, 2012

Pink Walk – Sunday October 28th

Action Opportunity

by jonathanhamilton on October 15, 2012

Surf Hong Kong is the first and only full time, professional surf school in the city of Hong Kong. The school is located at Sai Wan Beach in the Tai Long Wan area of the Sai Kung East Country Park, with quick access to at least five other beautiful surf spots in the area. Surf Hong Kong teaches not only those who have fundamental knowledge of surfing, but also beginners with no surfing experience, as the main objective of the school is to help its students build skills in surfing. Small group lessons or one-on-one lessons are taught by internationally trained and certified instructors who will tailor classes to the group or individual’s needs.

Click here if you are interested in getting to know more about the surf school or

click here to sign up for lessons with Surf Hong Kong

They are also offering surf camps during the week of October break.  Camps are three days and two nights long and include surfing, sea kayaking and adventure canyoning.  Click here for more information on the mid term break camps.

Surf Hong Kong also has a sea kayaking school that offers short trips, school programs, and a wide range of training courses.
Click here for more information on Surf Hong Kong’s Sea Kayaking School

Karen Chan

Volunteers Needed! Sat. Nov 24th.

by jonathanhamilton on October 13, 2012


Help at the Lamma Fun Day to raise money for CWS. Visit for details about CWS and the work they do, and email to offer your time.

In-School Volunteer Opportunity: SEASAC Tournament

by jonathanhamilton on October 12, 2012

Email Mr. Battani if you can help out for one, two, three or more sessions!:

Dear Students,
CDNIS is hosting SEASAC Volleyball from November 2-4.  We need many volunteers to help make the event successful.  Please come and see me if you’d like to help out.  Of course, you’d get service credit for CAS (and for thos in lower grades, C&S).
We need people to:

  • create a playlist and play music during warm ups
  • sell food and beverage throughout the event
  • be Timba
  • etc

This is a great opportunity to serve the CDNIS community and show all of SEASAC what a great school CDNIS is.

Mr. Battani

CAS Article: Habitat Trip to Thailand.

by jonathanhamilton on October 10, 2012

Most of you must have heard about the recent six-day trip organized by Habitat for Humanity where many of our own CDNIS students went to Rayong, Thailand, to build a house for a family. This trip is an excellent example of the ‘S’ component in CAS, as our students actually get to work under the sun and experience building a house as a service for the locals. So what happens on a Habitat trip like this?  Here we reveal some inside stories of the trip…

Students spent four of the six days building. Since the frame of the house was already complete, they started by transporting sand, gravel, bricks and water to the building site. Then, they mixed and poured concrete to level the floor, and used bricks and cement to build the walls. They ended their trip by having a dinner with the family that they have been building the house for.

Although four days of building work doesn’t seem like much, it means a lot to that family, especially in a developing city like Rayong. Usually, villagers help each other build their houses, but with the help of our students, they have less work to do. Also, by spending time with the family, students realize how much the house means to them. They were very thankful to have a house to live in, which motivates students to build the house.

Don’t hesitate to join the next habitat trip, if you want to reach out a helping hand and build a relationship with people there!

–Chloe Wong and Apple Lee

Human Rights Documentaries

by jonathanhamilton on October 9, 2012


First one is called “Into the Abyss: A tale of death, a tale of life”. The documentaries are shown in different locations across Hong Kong. Check their website for more details.

Bethune House Opening Ceremony Sept 21

by jonathanhamilton on September 18, 2012

Dear Friends,

Warm greetings!

We wish to share with you the good news that this month, the Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge in Jordan, Kowloon, will re-open its door to distressed women migrants in need of a safe shelter, the warmth of a family and a caring community.

You may recall that the Manse of the Kowloon Union Church begun its renovation last year. Bethune House has to vacate the Manse’s 1st floor where it has sheltered thousands of women migrant workers in distress since its formal opening on 21 September 1986. [Marker]

It is good to return home on the occasion of the 26thAnniversary of Bethune House!

In this light, you and your colleagues are cordially invited to the Blessing and Anniversary celebration of Bethune House in its new site, with details as follows:

Date:                21 September 2012 (Friday)

Time:               4:30pm – 6:00pm*the Blessing Rite starts at 5:00pm

Location:          Kowloon Union Church (KUC), No.2 Jordan Road, Kowloon
*behind the Manse of the KUC, along Cox Road.
*Jordan MTR Exit-B2
The Board of Bethune House, staffs, volunteers/interns and residents/clients are very much happy to welcome you in this important event!

Please advise us on or before 14 September of your attendance and the number of colleagues you will bring along. You may call me at 9488-9044 or Buhay who will do the follow-up of this invitation at 9711-1673 or e-mail us at

Looking forward to see you on 21 September 2012!

Sheikha Al Mayassa: Globalizing the local, localizing the global

by jonathanhamilton on September 13, 2012

Sheikha Al Mayassa: Globalizing the local, localizing the global #TED :

CAS Project?: Pink Walk for Breast Cancer

by jonathanhamilton on September 12, 2012


CDNIS Film Premiere: Plastic Ocean

by jonathanhamilton on September 12, 2012

Capt Charles Moore, the oceanographer who discovered the Pacific Plastic Garbage Patch, will be visiting CDNIS to screen his film Plastic Ocean.  He is one of the leading experts on this topic.

Gr 7 & 8 will be viewing the film. Students and teachers on spare are welcome.
Thur 13th, 9:25-11:30
Q&A after the film

Come see what you can if you can’t stay for the whole event.

See his TED Talk particularly around the 6:00 mark.

Nasci Lobo
Alumni Relations and Sustainable Development Officer
Canadian International School of Hong Kong
(Tel) +852 2240 6387
(Fax) +852 2525 7579

Developing responsible global citizens and leaders through academic excellence.

Dance Club!

by jonathanhamilton on September 12, 2012

Wanna learn two to four really cool dubstep + breakdancing + hiphop dances choreographed by Anson Wong? Come to rm306 at 12:30 lunchtime for a quick 10min orientation.  (gr11 – 12s only)
“There might/most likely will be Gangnam style but no shirt-ripping.”
“Also don’t worry, you don’t need to be super-fit/strong to be good, I will assure that in the least.”

YMCA Walking

by jonathanhamilton on September 11, 2012




Further details on

Forest Walks

by jonathanhamilton on September 10, 2012


Three trails to choose from: One being an ethnic minority, another for leisure, and one for regular hikers. See poster for details.

Bridging Hearts

by jonathanhamilton on September 9, 2012


Tweet forwarded by @hellojon40

by jonathanhamilton on September 2, 2012

DaunYorke: #cdnishkCAS

Original Tweet:

Sent via TweetDeck (

Jonathan Hamilton (@hellojon40) has shared a tweet with you

by jonathanhamilton on September 2, 2012

To fight global hunger, we seek high-tech solutions. Low tech ones work, too–e.g. breast milk — NickKristof (@NickKristof)

Becci Manson: (Re)touching lives through photos

by jonathanhamilton on August 27, 2012

Becci Manson: (Re)touching lives through photos #TED :

Refugee Film Festival

by jonathanhamilton on May 10, 2012


A recent CISPA initiative is the establishment of the CISPA Outreach Committee.  This committee helps promote community engagement projects started by students and staff at CDNIS.  Checkout their website of recent successes at the following link:

Orbis event Friday April 27

by jonathanhamilton on April 19, 2012


How to be a good volunteer

by jonathanhamilton on February 28, 2012

Before you head off and do some good in the world, here are a few points to consider:

1. Do your research: Look into the charities you want to work with.  What kind of work are they involved in? Does the organisation’s aims and objectives match your interests and affinities?  Ring them up and ask them about the type of work you will be taking on.  Will you get training?

2. Consider your personality: Are you more suited to a different kind of work.  do you prefer working with the elderly, or with children? Do you prefer animals or the environment? Do you want to be involved in direct service or would you prefer to be in the office offering indirect service?

3. Do what you do best: you may not know what your best attributes are yet, so you need to find a balance between what you know you are good at, and taking on a new challenge.  If you’re a sociable person and like to be with people then volunteer in the areas that requires personable skills.

4. Always be on time: Be mindful of your other responsibilities. Be aware of the time it takes to travel places.  If you are going to be delayed, call and let them know.

(adapted from The List, the magazine that knows January 16-31, 2012)

Famine 10: March 16

by jonathanhamilton on February 21, 2012


and read the announcement in US Announcements.

Advice to Grade 11 Students:

by jonathanhamilton on February 1, 2012

“Try new things. Challenge yourself; you’ll be surprised at how many things you might enjoy and what you will learn about yourself.  Especially on the likes and dislikes!”

– Grade 12 Student

African Library Project: Can you help?

by jonathanhamilton on January 27, 2012

One of our students initiated the African Library Project at our school.  She has the books, has already raised HK$5,000, but needs another HK$5,000 to send them to the library that is being built.  Have a look at her video, the link to the project, and her call for help:

Here is a fundraising video I created to advertise for this cause:

Here is the website of the organization:

Currently, I have 1000 books all packed up and ready to go…however, I am lacking around 5000 HKD to send it over.
I have raised around 5000 HKD the past couple of months through fundraisers, pizza sales and an FFF activity. Some GIN clubs have also donated some money to this cause. But the books need to be shipped by the end of February, the latest.

US$2500 available for Service Projects

by jonathanhamilton on January 18, 2012

ACAMIS have just announced their new guidelines on how to receive funding for your service project.  They are willing to give you US$2,500 for a project that matches their criteria.  Have a look at the ACAMIS Service Award guidelines.

Volunteer at the Pokfulam Public Riding School

by jonathanhamilton on January 12, 2012

The riding stables out in Pokfulam (Pokfulam Public Riding School)  are looking for around 8 volunteers to help out with their Riding for the Disabled Organisation riding programme on Wednesday afternoons, after school.  They are running two training sessions, the first being on February 1, 2012 from 3:00 to 4:30.   This activity is suitable for students aged 14 and above.  Email me, Jonathan Hamilton, if you are interested in helping out on a regular basis.

RDA Volunteer Guidelines 2010 (English)

Volunteer Application Form (Bilingual)

Sessions will be on Wednesdays, 3:00 to 4:30 from 1 February until at least 28th March.  The Central school bus at 2:45, should be able to drop students by the facility.

Grade 11 CAS Presentation

by jonathanhamilton on January 4, 2012

Here are the slides to the powerpoint presentation given to grade 11 students today.

CAS Presentation to Grade 11.pptx

Scarves for Haven of Hope

by jonathanhamilton on December 21, 2011

Lower School students, under the supervision of grade 6 teacher Joanne Sandal, knitted scarves for out-patients of the Haven of Hope hospital.  I have 9 more in my office ready for distribution straight after the winter vacation.  Just in time as the weather is turning cold.  Great job Lower School students.  I see if I can get a picture of the recipients wearing your scarves!

SAHK (a cerebral palsy charity)

by jonathanhamilton on December 15, 2011

Reflection from one of our students:

Participating in the learning groups for children suffering from some sort of mental disability has really helped me gain a better understanding of the problems families suffer to support one child. The parents of these children are really supportive and are very willing to accept their child’s conditions, as well as being willing to cooperate with counselors to help their children gain the most out of their classes. The challenges I faced while participating in this course was to make myself useful. This is my first time taking part in a center to help people in need, and at the beginning, I had no knowledge of how best help the situation. However, as time progressed, I’ve come to understand what my counselor needs me to do, and have been helping with keeping the children under control. As the children are suffering from some kind of mental disability, trying to get their attention and have them sit still is a very tasking job. Especially children at the age of 3-5, where they are very active in their movements. Through this course, I have learnt of how to control the children to a certain degree. Letting them move is acceptable, if they do not run around the classroom. Having them pay attention is a difficult as well, as their attention span is not as great as other kids their age. My counselor suggested some tips to bring their focus in, and this has helped a great lot in having steer their attention to the task at hand. In one class, there are six children, and it is not possible for only one person to handel so many children. I took on this task a a way for me to cooperate with others, and to help with tasks. My counselor briefs me before every class to have me understand what I am expected to do, and what the children are expected to do. This helps me understand her goals for the class, as well for individual children. I have been going to every class in this session, as this participation has integrated itself into my weekend schedules. Going to the center every week is a regular for me, and although work from school is starting to cause stress, I have found that going to the classes and seeing the children is a true stress reliever as it helps me focus solely on the kids. I have seen them improve through the classes, and it is a great joy to know that the classes I am helping them in is doing some good. In the beginning, when the children were still new to each other, they would snatch toys from other children without asking or consideration for the other. Towards the end of the sessions, they have been better at sharing with others, even asking other children to build legos with them. Seeing this improvement in them keeps me content, and drives me to keep going to the sessions to see their social skills develop. Being involved in this center has had me consider the impact their parents have on the children. Children who have a disability are discriminated against, and although the children I am helping appear to be “normal”, I know they will be discriminated against while playing with others at school. I thought of the many people in the world who suffer from prejudice eyes, and I feel a great protectiveness while thinking about this. I would like to do more for people like these children in the future.

Visible Thinking

by jonathanhamilton on December 13, 2011

Here is a link to a Visible Thinking Resource guide adapted from the Visible Thinking website provided by Project Zero of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Reflection on a “Haven of Hope” community visit

by jonathanhamilton on December 13, 2011

On Saturday I went to the Haven of Hope Hospital to visit the elderly out-patients at their home.  I went with a group of volunteers from The Helena May, together with about 50 other volunteers from other walks of life.   This group was split into groups of 4 or 5, each group visiting 3 or 4 elderly people.  It was quite an eye-opener to visit the 80 square foot of space each single person has.  Luckily I was assigned to a group that spoke both Cantonese and English, so they were able to translate every now and then.  The first lady was 88 years old, with a private bedroom but sharing the kitchen and bathroom with two others. she was a happy soul; on the waiting list for a cateract operation for the last 3 years with 1000 people above her on the list.  She appreciated the bag of goodies we gave her.  Next, were a couple.  He was a policeman and his wife took joy in showing photos stuck on the wall.  The third lady was not so positive.  She did not like her view of Sai Kung, she did not like being on the 38 floor as it was too windy.  I don’t think she noticed the bag we left her.  The fourth was in bed still and so wasn’t appropriate for us to visit.

The above was not a reflection, but rather a narrative of what I did.  Not what I felt about the visit.  Not about how my attitudes and beliefs have changed as a result of the activity.  Not about what I plan to do in the future following the activity.  However, believe me, I have been reflecting on the experience.  Good reflection doesn’t have to be written down.  In fact, sharing experiences, talking to others about emotions is a valid form of reflection.  Reflection should happen at every stage of the service learning cycle.  I will be reflecting as I plan and investigate how to encourage students to be a part of meaningful activities.

The CDNIS community continues a commitment in Laos

by jonathanhamilton on November 24, 2011

This is the third year a group of volunteers went to Laos to help improve the lives of people living in the communities along the Seuang River.  The CDNIS community commitment expanded this year to include the parent association, CISPA, who sponsored the trip.  Our first year saw us helping to build the suspension bridge across the river to help residents become more food secure.  In our second year we helped build much needed toilets at the local secondary school.  This year we helped renovate the dormitories for the same school.  It was lovely to hear this year’s trip organiser, Mr. Shane Maika, explain how his group walked across the suspension bridge my group helped build three years ago.

I am very pleased to see this trip develop into a sustainable commitment to these communities.  Service should not be a random one off act, but a small or large step in a carefully planned experience that has the community needs at the heart of the act.  I would say this is helping CDNIS develop responsible global citizens.

Writing Reflections

by jonathanhamilton on November 21, 2011

Here are a series of questions from a grade 11 student:

Hello Mr. Hamilton,
It has come to my attention that I am required to do reflections for my CAS activities. I just have a few questions about how I should be doing them.

> How often do I have to do them?

You should be reflecting on your CAS programme regularly.  For individual activities you must reflect upon their completion.  Think about what you planned to learn, what you ended up learning, and what you would do differently next time if you were to do the activity again.  If the activity continues over a long period of time you should expect to reflect once a month, but it depends on the activity.  You will be reflecting on your CAS programme at the beginning, at the end of grade 11, and finally after 18 months.  If you haven’t achieved all Learning Outcomes you can expect to continue with CAS activities and your reflection on them for a while longer.

> Are our supervisors required to review our reflections?

Supervisors will have an opportunity to read your reflections and comment on them if they wish.  You should be writing your reflections on the activity before asking for a supervisor evaluation.

> What is the length that they have to be?

You will have a lot to say about some activities so you may want to write a lot.  For some smaller activities you may not have anything to say.  If this is the case you may want to explain why you are including it in your CAS programme.  .

> How much detail should they contain?

As much detail as you feel is enough.  Although you may be tempted to write what you did, it is more useful for you to write about what you learned, what you didn’t learn, what went well, what didn’t.  Exactly what detail you will be including will depend on the activity.  Remember, you must address at least one of the eight Learning Outcomes.

> Who/where do I submit them to?

We are using ManageBac.  When you view the activity you will see a tab to the right of the screen labeled “Reflections”.  Click on that and you should see what to do.  If you’re not sure ask me.

And finally,

> When do I submit them?

Please write them as soon as you can after the activity has ended, or once a month.  Have a look at for more information about reflections.

Requesting supervisor evaluations

by jonathanhamilton on October 26, 2011

Students, please upload your activities to ManageBac as soon as possible. After you complete the activity request the supervisor evaluations immediately! Don’t wait! Every now and then I get an email similar to the one copied below. If you do not obtain the supervisor evaluation in a timely manner then the activity is not complete and I WILL DELETE IT FROM YOUR CAS WORKSHEET.

Hi Jonathan,

I have received this supervisor request before and I have responded with the same statement. I don’t really remember the student at all. I do remember writing a report very early on this year for his partner. If I can get hold of what I wrote for his partner it may help to jog my memory but without it I am afraid I am completely lost.

If the kids want our feedback I think it is really important that they realise that although they are wonderful and brilliant we adults also have busy lives and we don’t always remember what they did a good 11 months down the track. If they want valuable complete feedback they should ask for it with 2-4 weeks of finishing.

Thanks for understanding.

Habitat Build in Phnom Penh

by jonathanhamilton on October 14, 2011

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Roots & Shoots Day & Kids4Kids Youth Forum

by jonathanhamilton on September 23, 2011

Saturday will be a busy day for CAS activities.  We have a group attending the Roots and Shoots event at the Duke of Windsor Social Services building and another group going to the Kids 4 Kids Youth Forum at the Chinese International Day.  Pictures to follow.

Making lanterns and mooncakes for the elderly

by jonathanhamilton on September 23, 2011

Two weeks ago a group of 20 students spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday learning how to make lanterns and mooncakes to deliver to the elderly to help them celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival.  This festival, also known as Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, is popular in Chinese and Vietnamese cultures.  The Thursday session was entirely devoted to learning about volunteerism including playing games to understand the lives of the elderly.  On Friday students learned about the different lantern structures and received a crash course in how to make the lanterns using bamboo and “plastic glass”.  On Saturday morning we then went to Lung Hang Estate to learn how to make mooncakes the results of which were to be delivered to the Salvation Army Elderly Home on the estate.  No CAS activity is complete without reflection so on our return students reflected on the few days which will hopefully help them become better global citizens.

Supervisor evaluations

by jonathanhamilton on February 9, 2011

We all forget to do something at some point in our lives and we cannot choose what we will forget.  One thing you shouldn’t forget to do is to ask your supervisor for an evaluation of your performance in a CAS activity.   See the student’s question below and the answer:

“I just uploaded three photos as evidence for participation – will that be ok? I’m really sorry for requesting the supervisor review so late that Ms Hui no longer remembers me”.

The supervisor’s evaluation is not only used for evidence of participation, but to see how well you met your goals for the activity.  It’s a chance for you to get feedback on your performance and advice on what you could do differently next time.  CAS is not just about putting in the time, but about the insights and learning you gain from being involved in activities that are meaningful to you and to others.  This activity is therefore not complete , but it will give us something to discuss when considering the ethical implications of your actions. Fashion Show

by jonathanhamilton on November 24, 2010

Come to the fashion show on December 1 at the Leo Lee Art Centre at CDNIS.

The importance of learning from experiences

by jonathanhamilton on August 25, 2010

Today I had a question asking what role the learning outcomes play in the CAS programme at CDNIS compared with the significance of the hours.  Below is my reply, which I hope highlights the importance of the learning outcomes, and the learning that occurs following meaningful reflections.

“At CDNIS it is up to the student to decide whether to count an activity as part of their CAS programme.  If they feel it enables them to meet one of the eight learning outcomes then they can include it.  Last year we recorded interviews between the student, CAS Coordinator, and some CAS Advisor’s where the student talked about their CAS programme and which activities helped them achieve the eight learning outcomes.  I remember many of the students talking about the more meaningful activities, but certainly not all of them.  I remember being surprised at some of the activities they chose to talk about.  Particularly which ones were a new challenge to them, and which ones they persevered with.  Everyone was different.  It’s not really about the activities they do for CAS (although quality is good), or the time they spend on them, but rather the learning  following their reflections on their involvement in the activities.

At the end of the two years the students need to complete 150 hours which equates to about 3.5 hours a week with a balance between the three categories.  We make a note of the amount of time a student spends on CAS.  We don’t count the hours, rather the student estimates how much time they committed to an activity.   At the end of the two years they need to have spent the equivalent of one Standard Level IB course, 150 hours, on CAS. More important than the hours, it is the activity and the reflection on their learning that is important”.

Elderly Home Visits

by jonathanhamilton on June 27, 2010

“Planning and Initiating activities” is one of the learning outcomes of the CAS programme and last year a group of students chose to plan afternoon visits to the elderly home located half way down the hill from our school.  From all accounts this was a successful venture, but was not easy for them to arrange.  The residents have a daily routine and there are only a few times during the day that they could visit.  Another problem was that of continuity. The residents got used to our regular visits but even with only one visit a week our vacations and academic deadlines meant missing a couple of sessions.  This could be prevented by having a larger group of volunteers so that the visits could be arranged on a rotational basis.  If a student is interested taking the initiative and planning this event next year let me know.

The David Trench Home for the Elderly and the Tung Wah group of elderly homes are not the only homes for the elderly in Hong Kong.  Another student visited a HOPE International elderly home as part of the annual Elderly Caring Call.   Helping with the elderly is not the only volunteer opportunity with HOPE International though.  Students, have a look at who HOPE are and what they do which I hope will inspire you to take action.

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Changing Young Lives Foundation

by jonathanhamilton on June 26, 2010

This week I had an interesting meeting with Marcia Aw, the Executive Director for Changing Young Lives Foundation.  This is a long-established charity based in Hong Kong with a focus on helping children.  Part of their mission is “to identify underprivileged children and young people in Hong Kong and the Mainland and change their lives for the better.”  They have a Centre on the ground floor of a block in Pak Tin Estate in the Shek Kip Mei area of Hong Kong.  The centre has four learning rooms, used to teach English, computer skills, and arts and crafts.  There is a gym room, dance studio, music room with recording facilities, and a Home Economics room.  During the day they run self-improvement and self-help programmes.  After school they run daily Tutorial classes.

In Hong Kong they run various programmes.  The “Pay it Forward” programme runs classes, field trips, workshops, and support.  The “Slam Dunk Basketball Challenge” programme organizes training, workshops and helps in career improvement.  We could enter a team for the annual basketball tournament.  The “Smart Mum” programme provides support, workshops, and training for parents during the day.  There is also something called the  “Brain Box” programme.  They also run Mainland Programmes and are involved in rebuilding schools, maintaining schools, and training tachers.

Some of these programmes we can get involved in, and some we cannot.  If you are interested in learning more about how we can get involved let me know.  I think this would be a great way for CDNIS students to share the skills they have picked up through their involvement with the Arts, Clubs and Sports Teams of CDNIS.


Crossroads – CAS over the vacation

by jonathanhamilton on June 15, 2010

Are you staying in Hong Kong over the vacation?  Are you coming home to Hong Kong to visit family?  Are you visiting Hong Kong for a short while?  Whichever the case, if you’re in Hong Kong then a great way to meet the CAS requirements would be to volunteer at Crossroads.  Phone Gillian Kenworthy, Volunteer Coordinator, on 2272 9330.  Visit their website for more information.

Newsflash Article – Reflections on CAS

by jonathanhamilton on March 11, 2010

“Reflecting over the last two years, I’m now much more active, not only in sports, but also in terms of community service.” So says one Grade 12 student who has come to the official end to his Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) programme. I hope though that, this isn’t the end of this particular student’s CAS involvement, but only one stage in an active life of giving back to the community that has given him so much.
Each student’s CAS programme is unique and the level of learning from it will vary from one individual to the next. Much depends on the student’s affinities and the type of activities the student chooses to be involved with. All students should find activities: that present a new challenge to them; that develop new skills; and that engage them in issues of global importance, to name a few of the expected learning outcomes that now play a critical role in CAS. The depth of learning through their involvement is evident in their reflective journal entries.
For example, the activity “Volunteering at St. Barnabas” is brought more to life when reading her journal entry. “I never thought that I would talk to a homeless person on the street, but this activity has broadened my horizons and now I’m proud to say that I’ve done so. Because of CAS, I needed to find a place to work at in order to get service hours. That was when my friends and I came across a church run homeless shelter called the St. Barnabas’ Society Home. The supervisors told us we should learn to understand the lives of the homeless first, so we met up with a friend of the supervisors, “Ah Sing”, a homeless man who has lived on a bench in the park for over 15 years. I didn’t really want to talk to him at first, but after listening to him, my views about him changed. He was a very nice, genuine man. After talking for half an hour, we gave him a couple of sandwiches that we had brought along with us and said our goodbyes.”
To sum up in the words of another graduating student: “The best things about CAS is not only the activities we are forced to do but also the element of reflection. They add to the whole process. Without the reflections we might never think about all these implications in what we’ve learned. Even though we might be reluctant to write them it does force us to actively reflect on what we are doing.”