GIN & Clubs

The Amnesty Clubs Fair Trade Hot Chocolate Event

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On December 13 and 16, Amnesty gave out free fair trade hot chocolate to the CDNIS community. To receive a free cup of hot chocolate, students and staff were required to complete a quiz on fair trade (what it was, where to buy it, official fair trade certifications, and more). The purpose of this event was to raise awareness on fair trade and how we can push for justice in international trade through the consumption of fair trade products. Across the planet, people in struggling economies may work hard to produce goods for which they receive little or no profit. Middlemen often buy at unfair prices that leave producers plagued with poor working conditions, health problems, lack of education and damage to the environment. Therefore, it is crucial to educate students and teachers on this topic. Through making the hot chocolate free, this allowed us to reach a wider audience in the school (we had over 100 participants) and provide everyone with a Christmas treat!

Grade 2E inquiry + pickles + GreenWeek 2019 = fundraiser for refugees!

By | GIN & Clubs, Green, PYP | No Comments

Check out Mr. Ryan Scott and his Gr. 2E students taking action & helping an Upper School club fundraise!

“During our 3rd Unit of Inquiry, Grade 2 found out that there are a staggering 10,000 refugees in Hong Kong.  We discovered that although our ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ may differ, we still have a lot in common.

Inspired by this, Grade 2 wanted to help the Refugees.  We decided we wanted to help by providing some of their ‘needs’.  In order to do this, we needed to fundraise the supporting funds. We wanted to host a market, but we needed to understand how a market works in order to host our own.  We went on field trips to markets and learned about goods and services.  The market was highly successful and we raised more than $15,000HKD.  However, 2E didn’t want to stop there.  We have had little pockets of individual fundraising and recently we were growing vegetables and we discussed what we could do with excess vegetables.  Mr Scott told us about how he use to make a variety of pickles with his Nana Myrtle. One thing lead to another and now we have Nana Myrtle pickles.

A call out across the CDNIS community for used glass jars provided the canvas for Gr. 2E to design the logo and look for ‘Nana Myrtle’s pickles’ and these pickles were sold during GreenWeek 2019 at the pickle pop-up shop to great acclaim!  With all the interest, curiosity and order, they raised over $1000 and 2E decided to donate the money to the Upper School Global Goals Club “Cooking for a Cause” who cook for refugees at the Refugee Centre in Chungking Mansions on monthly weekends.  A fantastic symbiotic relationship at work!


“Hoops for Habitat” charity basketball event!

By | GIN & Clubs, Staff | No Comments

Hoops for Habitat is a fundraising campaign organized by Habitat for Humanity. Hoops For Habitat is a tournament aimed to generate interest for the cause of Habitat among the Upper School, in order to make them more aware about the inadequate housing situation in the world.  The main advocacy components were the lunchtime quiz regarding Habitat’s goals and what our club does, and the shirts promoting the name of Habitat. At the lunchtime game, we chose to incorporate the quiz into the basketball game, by giving both teams chances to earn points by answering correctly. This made not only the teams but the audience very interested in this quiz game.  The shirts have the Hoops for Habitat logo printed on them, and many students still wear it regularly as a shirt for sports. By making the shirt look good, students participating in the event can wear the shirt outside of this event and it may assist in raising awareness for Habitat.  Enjoy the photos of the event (need to have a school student account to view)!










Amnesty Club working with “Smile with Us” and underprivileged elderly

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Hey guys! It’s Amnesty and we’ve just done an event on October 27th in collaboration with Smile with Us (a HK based NGO & charity promoting positivism) to volunteer at an underprivileged elderly home. This event helped us become more aware and raise awareness of healthcare rights in HK, specifically towards the elderly, and to bring happiness to underprivileged elderly lives. At the elderly home, our games (charades, pictionary and more) brought smiles to their faces! It was such a joy to see!

CDNIS Amnesty x Crossroads

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Amnesty CDNIS is back with another event! In collaboration with Crossroads, Amnesty hosted an event where we travelled to Crossroads HK on the 26th to help with repackaging and organising donated goods. We specifically dealt with clothing and also helped Crossroads clear and prepare their site for a new, more welcoming entrance. This was an amazing service opportunity for us to help the underprivileged as well as learn more about “living in dignity” and Crossroads.

Paint Your Hammer! with Habitat for Humanity

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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!

Hearts guiding hands: Gavel x GIN winners share their experiences

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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!

E-club’s Shek O beach cleanup and zero-waste veggie potluck lunch!

By | GIN & Clubs, Green, Staff | No Comments

Sunshine, a sea breeze and the smell of rotting meat with maggots?! What a way to start our Sunday!  Members of the e-club, friends and family joined on Sunday, the 25th of March to spend their morning cleaning a section of Shek O’s rocky shore near the Instagram-happy “Lover’s Bridge”.  Fifteen big bags and buckets of styrofoam, juice boxes, bottles, plastic rope & shreds, bags of rotting meat, shoes and straws were amongst the common types of trash we collected.  This was also no ordinary beach clean-up as we collected single-use plastic for a Lower School art installation being developed by Orca house members of Gr.s 4-6 involved in the recent Leadership Education & Action Planning workshop (LEAP) for the upcoming GreenWeek, and we finished with a no-waste (bring your own utensils) vegetarian potluck lunch, complete with a green E-Club cake, on the beach!  We had a meaningful day out in Shek O this past weekend, and we hope to have more people join us for our next environmental event – the City Nature Challenge on the 28th of April!  Thank you to the Sternby parents for also joining Ms. Safaya as the adults on this excursion, and the E-club execs for organizing this event: Yvette, Aisha, Jameson, Lolo and Kyra!  Enjoy browsing through the photos taken by Jameson, ace photographer and environmentalist!

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!


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