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

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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!


Gr. 10 students share their Personal Projects with Gr. 4 students!

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On 14th March,  Grade 10 students Tina, Alia, Matteo, Jaden and Matthew shared their Personal Projects with the Grade 4 students, and discussed they ways in which they took action about an issue that mattered to them.  These presentations were used by the Grade 4 students as great idea starters and provocations to consider what ways they may want to support a cause they care about during their own ‘Action Week’.

“I heard from numerous students and teachers how engaging all of your talks were. You all showed passion, enthusiasm and persistence regarding action and delivered your message in a confident manner. Our Grade 4 students look up to you and we really appreciate you all being such positive role models.”

– Grade 4 Learning Leader, Rebecca Tupling





Details about each of their projects and what they wanted to present:

Tina Xia 
Environmentally friendly garment
I’ve created two environmentally friendly dresses with natural dyes. I dyed both clothes with grape peels.
Alia Dobles
Wearing Out the Stigma 
In my project, I designed shirts through my own brand, “Floatees,” to raise awareness, as well as funds for teen suicide prevention in Hong Kong. All profits raised were donated to the Samaritans, a suicide prevention organization in Hong Kong. I created a social media account to advocate for this cause, while advertising my product.
Matthew Yong
Sustainability & Technology
To develop an atmospheric water generator that could produce potable water in response to the global context “Scientific and Technical Innovation”. I completed this goal by taking a repairing a broken dehumidifier and modifying it to filter out water.
Matteo Darsono 
Renewable consumerism products
By using the laser cutter I developed a variety of lampshades and artworks that are environmentally sustainable and cost effective. Each of these products will be capable of compact packaging for sending to clients and customisable depending on a client’s needs.
Jaden Benayon
 Raising Awareness of the Plastic Waste Problem of Hong Kong 
The goal of my project is to organise a group beach cleanup event in accordance with my project of raising awareness about waste plastic pollution. Through research, on-site investigation and interviews, I gathered information about Hong Kong’s plastic waste situation with the goal of raising awareness for change. The global context I will be focusing on is that of ‘Globalisation and Sustainability’. Meaning, I will be inquiring into the structure and function of organisations, reviewing their systems and in turn, sustaining Hong Kong’s environment.

A musical treat for the elderly at St. Mary’s by LS Strings Ensemble

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Amelia from the LS Strings Ensemble shares their experience performing for the elderly at the St. Mary’s elderly home:

“On November 15, the LS Strings Ensemble lugged our instruments down the hill Of Nam Long Shan Road meet a room full of elderly people at St Mary’s Home For The Aged. At first we were nervous and apprehensive. We thought it seemed large and the chairs were actually a great deal fancier and impressed us. It was very quiet, as the residents didn’t seem to talk very loudly.


Our group set up and began tuning, curious as the residents of St. Mary’s Home For The Aged filed in. They looked excited and cheerful, like they were ready for our performance. A few were being wheeled in with a domestic helper or nurse, and a few others were using walkers to stroll in. Most were quiet, but a few were more lively. Some were chattering and observing us with interested expressions.

We played a selection of pieces including ‘O Canada’, ‘Gargoyles’, ‘American Fiddle Medley’, ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’, three solos, and ended with a piece called ‘Guest Soloist’. In this piece, the elderly volunteers shook tambourines on time of the beat, which was fun to both watch and participate in. One of our members, Darren Y. is fluent in Cantonese, and hosted our concert along with Ms Benusa, our strings teacher who conducted.

Following the concert, members of the ensemble distributed 80 goodie bags which we had prepared, filled with soap, crackers, toilet paper, and tissues among everyone. Every time we distributed a bag, we would thank them for letting us perform for them. They looked thankful and cheerful, and those who could speak English held a little small talk thanking us. On the outside was a handwritten note in traditional Chinese with an illustration.

The purpose of this trip was really to bring something both to calm and comfort these people who had maybe not as much company. I think we would definitely go again, because we learned there that even without spending so much money, we can give a present to those who need it. Even the younger students in our group didn’t find it boring, they still thought it was interesting and liked the visit.

All of the residents seemed very happy and excited, and we really hope that we helped them enjoy their time and brought a little bit of slight into their lives.”

Gr. 5 student action: Bracelets, gender discrimination & the Women’s Foundation

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Here is the story of Teri, a student from Gr. 5, talking about her recent multi-activity simulation & fundraising action in support of The Women’s Foundation:

I was interested in Women’s Rights growing up and I knew that The Women’s Foundation helped Women in Hong Kong who are being denied rights and also building confidence in to-be adults. I was interested in their events and wanted to help spread the message about Women in Hong Kong.

I decided to have a simulation in a bracelet factory where there are different roles for assigned genders, but men have more dominating roles, whereas Women have more harder jobs like making the bracelets. All the bracelets made in the simulation were sold in the recent fundraiser.

In the process, I learned a lot about leadership, time management and planning as these types of projects require a lot of these skills. All in all, I had a really good time doing this and I was happy to help support The Women’s Foundation.

CDNIS families supporting HK’s homeless with ImpactHK

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

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

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

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

To learn more about this charity, please take a look at their website:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Upper School students found it rewarding too:

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

Peace Day – Flag competition winners!

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The winners!

For International Day of Peace on the 21st of September, one of the activities was to identify the flags on the ceiling of the 9th floor main entrance, and 4 students from Gr. 4 & 5 had the most number of correctly named flags!

Congratulations to Richard, Lauren, Flora and Lea!

Keep the geographic general knowledge up and never stop exploring your world!

Green Halloween Costume Swap

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Roots & Shoots students put together their second Green Halloween costume swap and successfully sold almost everything! With the start of school, camp and holidays it’s always a tough time to organize a campaign but Grade 4-6 students rose to the occasion and took responsibility for promoting the event, raising awareness and managing the sale. In total they raised $336 for the Jane Goodall Institute. Here are their thoughts:

“It was really cool. I never knew that people would buy so many second-hand clothes & accessories! The money at the end was mind-blowing!” – Naomi (Grade 6)

“I noticed that even though it was second-hand stuff, everyone still bought stuff. We are trying to help the planet and the people buying are helping too!” – Alexa (Grade 5)

“Everyone bought costumes even though they have been used before” – Joseph (Grade 6)

“I think it was a really good experience and I hope I can do it next year” – Anna (Grade 5)

“Overall, it was a great experience and I enjoyed it a lot” – Chloe (Grade 6)

“It was awesome!!!” – Fiona

Peace Day – 21st September

By | MYP, PYP, Social Justice, Student Advisory | No Comments

  CDNIS celebrated International Day of Peace on 21st September with peace flags, puzzles, a ‘Paths to Peace’ forest mural, student advisory discussions and a vibrant musical number “Peace on Earth”.  BIG THANK YOUs to Tim Brown, Ashley Benusa, Chloe Lam, Aly Tresize and their Lower School art & music students for beautifully celebrating International Day of Peace! Thank you to Tiffany in Communications for making the CDNIS Peace Day video! Congratulations to our “Know Your World” flag quiz winners: Flora Chen & Lea Morgan (Gr. 4) and Richard Chan & Lauren Tran (Gr. 5) for the most accurate flag answers! All teachers: thank you for bringing your classes through to participate by drawing Peace flags and taking the ‘Know Your World’ quiz, and to Upper School Teacher advisors for leading insightful discussions about what means looks like and how one can practice it.

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