Monthly Archives

February 2018

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!


Amnesty International @ CDNIS

By | GIN & Clubs | No Comments

“The Vow of Silence was a simple yet effective activity that met the goals of the event: to advocate for those whose voices are heard or are unable to voice their opinions. By simulating this experience for the day, this event developed a greater awareness and understanding of our world at the local and global level.” – Kristy

Listen in to what the CDNIS Amnesty International Club does to raise awareness about human rights by watching their video!

Cooking For a Cause – supporting refugees in Chung King Mansions

By | GIN & Clubs | No Comments

Cooking For A Cause (CFC) was started 5 years ago by a small group of passionate CDNIS students towards the refugee issue in Hong Kong. Since then, the club has grown to 50+ dedicated members who bring positive and innovative initiatives to CFC. Twice a month, students from Grades 7 to 12 design, organise, plan, prepare and serve meals to more than 50 refugees from all around the world such as Egypt, Israel and Eastern Europe at a soup kitchen at Christian Action in Chungking Mansions, Tsim Sha Tsui.

Not only has CFC established itself as a valuable Upper School club, student are also developing fundraising and marketing initiatives. In 2017, CFC opened its first ever booth as a club during the Family Fun Fair, raising a promising fund from selling milkshakes and smoothies to contribute to our service for HK refugees. CFC also held a successful Christmas-themed bake sale in December 2017 on the 6th floor bridge to raise awareness for the refugee issue and CFC as a club. 

In the near future, CFC plans to host a kitchen drive to collect kitchen utensils to improve the cooking out process and environment at Christian Action for the refugees. The club is also planning more fundraising events such as an Easter-themed bake sale in the upcoming year to continue it contribution to the wider local and international community. 

Phillip, refugees & the New York Times essay competition: many ways to take action!

By | CAS, Personal Projects | One Comment

A multi-pronged action project spurred by interaction with refugees during the summer of 2016, led Phillip to take more hands-on and creative approaches.  Read about his experiences:

 “The refugee crisis is something we are not closely engaged with since we are living in Asia. However, on the opposite side of the world, there are people migrating every day risking their lives. Over the past few years, I have been engaging in refugee related volunteer work. 

I came to do my Personal Project about refugee crisis when I first went to Athens, Greece for volunteer work with my church members. After first-hand experience with refugees from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and having opportunity to talk with them made me research more into this controversial issue. When I was there in Greece in the year of 2016 during summer vacation, I was fortunate enough to help refugees with their Organic soap business. This Organic soap business is to make sure refugees can learn how to make soaps in their own, so that in near future, they can earn money through using what they have learned in the past. I was given an opportunity to bring around 300 soaps back to Hong Kong and I was able to sell those for charity during 2017 Family Fun Fair. 

After being engaged with refugees, I found that there is little action taken to alleviate this issue locally and how under concerned this topic is. At the start of Grade 11, Laurence (from Grade 11) and I decided to contact one of the refugee organisation located in Wan Chai hoping to interact with kids aged from 10-15 years old for our Student-led initiative. I believe this was an opportunity to be engaged in this issue locally. We have been doing this for about 6 months now and we are hoping that more people will join us! This is an issue close to my heart, where I began to research in my own to find ways where I can possibly be engaged directly or indirectly. On October 2017, I was able to enter ‘New York Times Essay competition’ about the on-going refugee crisis. At first, my focus was on winning the prize, but as I thought about what I have been doing for past months, I realised that this was on opportunity to express my thoughts and opinions to global audiences. I was able to incorporate my personal experience in my essay which made my essay seem rich and powerful. All of these experiences showed me the willingness for change whether its locally or globally, and I can only hope to get more involved.”

UNICEF Food Drive for Feeding HK

By | GIN & Clubs, Green | No Comments

UNICEF hosted two rounds of a food drive from October 30thNovember 3rd and November 27thDecember 1st 2017 for the NGO Feeding Hong Kong. Feeding Hong Kong is responsible for bringing surplus food to crisis shelters and central kitchens, where the collected food is given to those in need. As the cold weather approaches, many people eat more in order to keep warm. However, there are those with not enough to eat, those who sleep on hungry stomachs during winter, and many of those are children and the elderly. Collection efforts focused on high energy food such as rice and pasta Thanks to the caring CDNIS community, UNICEF collected 8 boxes of staple foods such as rice, oatmeal, tinned meats and fruit, broth and noodles. The donations will contribute to Hong Kong’s progress in meeting the SDG #2 (Zero Hunger).

Small Plastic, Big Problem – Ellie @ the Ocean Summit 2018

By | Animal Welfare, CAS, Green | No Comments


Ellie Cottrell, a Grade 12 student, taking Geography HL was one of the keynote speakers at the Volvo World Ocean Race’s “Ocean Summit” on 22nd January 2018, addressing a large gathering of committed academics and activists in the marine world.  You can catch a summary of the overall event on this video (Ellie is there right at the start!).  Here are her thoughts about the experience:

“Micro-plastics, or plastic pollution generally, in Hong Kong is something that is often talked about in the classroom or in discussions with teachers, but I found that there is little action taken to solve the issue. Particularly in the context of micro plastics, I found that as the issue is harder to be seen physically, it is often disregarded in favour other issues. 

After doing the Extended Essay (EE), I came to learn how under-researched this topic is, while also learning about the toxic and deadly consequences of micro plastic pollution. After finishing the EE earlier this school year, I found myself feeling frustrated with the difficulty of making a change about this issue, both from the idea of a cleanup measure and a preventative solution. Working with human rights issues and refugee rights, I found it was easier to get directly involved and campaign for institutional change. But making change for this issue has been difficult, as I felt like advocacy can only go so far when corporations continue to sell single-use plastics. It’s an issue close to my heart, where I have began to take my own personal measures such as saying “no” to single-use plastics and advocating for the issue among friends and family. Yet I still didn’t really know where I could go to advocate for this issue on a bigger platform or to make a direct difference. 

Last week, I spoke at the Ocean Summit for the Volvo Ocean Race as the Youth Speaker.  Ms. Safaya gave me this amazing opportunity, and it opened my eyes to the innovative solutions people are taking to the issue of plastic pollution, while also giving a platform to raise my voice. I had the opportunity to see some amazing speakers who had started initiatives such as the Cup Club, providing a sustainable solution to disposable coffee cups, the Plastic Diet, the changing people’s outlook on disposable plastic bags in Indonesia, and many others as well. I was humbled to be able to see so many innovative yet simple solutions to the plastic problem, which all had had an enormous positive impact on the issue. 

Being able to speak at the conference in front of so many academics and public figures who I admire was an amazing experience. I was able to share my own experiences through my work and research I had done in the extended essay on micro-plastics in Hong Kong, while also being able to use my voice to advocate for the necessity for individual change.  This experience was something new to me, and I wasn’t sure how the audience would react in terms of gaining support for change. I was pleased to see the positive reactions from my speech, with people sending me messages and emails after the conference to ask more questions about my work. This experience showed me the willingness for change in the community, and I can only hope to get more involved in this issue in the future.”

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