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The Heart to Heart Project

The Federation's Youth Volunteer Network (YVN) is launching the Heart to Heart Project in collaboration with RTHK this month. We are very pleased to have the Social Welfare Department and RoadShow joining us as supporting organizations. A Music Marathon, themed "To Serve with Love", will be held in parallel on 3 December to demonstrate young people's eagerness to serve their community. By linking schools with corporate bodies, we are striving to foster youth volunteerism in Hong Kong and to give public recognition to supporting schools and companies. Click here to see details of the Project:


2005 Bonaqua Youth Challenge

Sponsored by Swire Coca-Cola HK, the much anticipated 2005 Bonaqua Youth Challenge will be held in Tai Mei Tuk on Sunday 11 December. We are also very grateful for the unfailing support of both HK Sportsworld.com for their publicity coverage of the competition and the Hong Kong Amateur Radio Association for setting up wireless telecom networks. Many thanks also to prize sponsors, namely Helly Hansen, Hong Kong Mountaineering Training Center and Hong Kong Discovery Magazine. Pre-race training sessions on technical skills and race safety are being held in October and November. Approximately 60 teams will compete in a number of sports including trail running, orienteering, canoeing, abseiling and cargo net running. Participants improve both teamwork and inter-personal skills since cooperation is essential to success. For enquiries, please contact Mr. Fong Kwong-yiu at 2395 5759 or visit the website: www.hkfyg.org.hk/camp

Volunteer programme video clips now available on Roadshow

A series of 6 video clips made by the Federation to promote youth volunteer programmes are being shown on Roadshow courtesy of KMB. Through such partnerships we can draw the attention of a much wider public, introduce the various volunteer programmes we offer and feature youth volunteers who share their experience of work in the community. The 6 video clips are being broadcast from September to November 2005 on Roadshow and are available at the Federation's Youth Volunteer Network (YVN) website: www.hkfyg.org.hk/yvn/

Hong Kong Public Policy Innovation Award: 2005/06 "Strategies for Sustainable Development in Hong Kong"

After last year's success, the Federation is again joining hands with the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute Ltd to launch the Hong Kong Public Policy Innovation Award 2005/06. The award is called Strategies for Sustainable Development in Hong Kong and has the sponsorship of the Sustainable Development Fund. The competition is divided into sections for secondary school students and young adults (under 35 years old), with teams comprising 2-5 participants. Each team will be required to select a theme such as Town Planning Policy and Development in the Pan-Pearl River Delta, Medical, Food and Healthcare Policy, Youth Participation or Cultural Policy, and undertake a thorough study of one aspect. The competition aims to encourage young people to participate actively in public policy discussion and provides them with opportunities to learn about, understand and reflect upon the importance of incorporating the principles of sustainability in the decision-making process. Deadline for project submission: 17 February 2006. Contact the Secretariat of The Public Policy Innovation Award: Strategies for Sustainable Development in Hong Kong at 2169 0255 with enquiries or visit our website www.leadership21.org

Heart to heart project logo

Heart-to-Heart is a compassionate volunteer project which brings youth, schools and companies together. Young people can energize lives and bring hope. As youth volunteers they are the pride of Hong Kong and we want to give them every possible encouragement. Together with partners in the schools and in Hong Kong's business world, young people will see how volunteerism can be part of their daily lives. In this way they will grow to understand what giving to others really means.

We are inviting schools to maximize caring action by their students and contribute at least 2,000 service hours a year. They will be awarded the Heart to Heart School logo and invited to set up Heart to Heart School Volunteer Corps. At the same time we are inviting businesses to join in by supporting a corps service project with a contribution of HK$3,000. The companies will be awarded the Heart to Heart Company logo and their staff will be welcome to join in the schools' volunteer projects. For more information on applications and deadlines contact Jacqueline, Youth Volunteer Network, tel 2169 0032.

Federation News

Executive Director speaks at UNICEF conference in Beijing
Dr Rosanna Wong attended the First International Forum on Children's Development, Beijing, 29-31 October 2005 and gave a paper entitled From risk to growth: the Hong Kong experience in addressing the needs of vulnerable children.Click here for an abstract of the paper…or Click here for the full text
Dr. Rosanna Wong giving her paper
Cooperation between the Federation and 中國少年網絡協會
中國少年網絡協會 provides services for youth in China. We signed an agreement with them on 30 October to work jointly for the promotion of creative youth education, a healthy cyber environment and closer connections between youth in Hong Kong and China. There will also be exchange programmes and information on employment here and on the Mainland.
Signing the agreement

Feature Story 

Volunteer efforts

This week we have been talking to teachers, parents and children involved in the Federation's Service Learning Project. It helps to maximize the benefits of volunteer service in schools and has 2-year funding from the Quality Education Fund. So far 42 schools have been involved. We visited two of them, Yan Chai Hospital Wong Wha San Secondary School in Tseung Kwan O and Ma Tau Chung Government Primary School (Hung Hom Bay).

Principal, Ms Au Yuet Ching spoke of the Yan Chai Hospital School's long connection with volunteerism and its decision to join the SLP:

"We always advocate active community engagement. It instills in the students a sense of belonging, not only to the school but to the neighbourhood. This project is so much in line with the school's own ethos of giving students a sound foundation in volunteering."

The school has already completed about 20 different volunteer projects but this time they decided to join hands with the Federation.

"The SLP is so well planned and constructed," said Ms Au. "As a preliminary to voluntary work outside the school, students do a series of lessons which teach them how to communicate and interact with people of different ages and backgrounds."

Ms.Au Yuet Ching

Ms. So Moon-yee and Ms. Winnie Tsang

Mr.Ho, Winnie Shum and Mrs. Yip

About 150 Form 1 secondary students are taking part in the SLP and three teachers are responsible for organization. They are joined by several parents who assist during lessons and on visits to homes for the elderly. Winnie Tsang, soon to chair the PTA, is one of them. She describes her role as a guide and co-ordinator:

"There are a few disruptive students but I’m not an authority figure. In fact the training has given the students a sense of responsibility which has brought discipline with it."

The teachers, Miss So Moon-yee and Mr Chan Shu-ming, talked about the positive effect the SLP is having:

"Many of the families in Tseung Kwan O are working class or newly arrived mainlanders. I agree with Mrs Tsang," said Miss So,"Volunteering has given the youngsters a role to play and now they show respect for people of different ages and backgrounds."

"There was a visible difference in their attitude after they did the SLP training," continued Miss So. "They understood that you have a duty to honour the aged, even if they are not relations (老吾老以及人之老), according to the Confucian ethic. You could see it in the way they smiled. They meant it."

Two of the Yan Chai girls told us how they had learned to relate with older people through the training and the visits to old people's homes. Chan Lai Na said:

"The Federation's trainers told us how to talk to older people, gave us the right vocabulary and alerted us about some of the difficult subjects that we might have to be careful with or avoid - like death or visits from children."

"We were also allowed to help plan the activities for the visits," said Chong Sheung-lai."It was a very positive experience and I am happy that I have had the chance."

Ms Au, the Principal, said that the SLP was built on a successful four-way relationship between the Federation, school, students and parents. Her sentiments were echoed at Ma Tau Chung Government Primary School where five Primary 5 classes with about 170 students are organized for the SLP by Mr Ho, the teacher in charge:

"The SLP helps teach children early on that they should give back to society. It's good for their personal development and gives them a set of positive values to live by."

One of the parents, Mrs Yip, a working mother and active volunteer herself, told us that 8 or 9 others are already working with her on the SLP and many more could get involved:

"It helps me be a role model for my own children," she said, "and helps me to communicate better as well."

The primary school is also involved in the Heart-to-Heart Project, featured elsewhere is this issue. It is an offshoot of the SLP and has an even broader brush approach to co-coordinating the efforts in a five-way relationship between teachers, students, parents, business companies and the Federation.

Mr Ho told us that the school is preparing a proposal for funding a Heart-to-Heart Volunteer Corps which will bring mentally handicapped children to visit the school:

"We have much better resources here and our students need experience with a range of different groups, not just the elderly. This is an excellent way of preparing them."

Eleven-year-old Winnie Shum, who has been involved in many other voluntary projects already and won her school's Outstanding Pupil award last year, said of the SLP:

"I learnt how to communicate with older people at home and others I have never met before. In the process I made friends of all ages."

In fact, a sense of satisfaction, integration and purpose was the overall reaction from everybody involved. It bodes well for the success of the Heart-to-Heart Project and shows clearly that one of the benefits of volunteering is getting to know a wider cross-section of humanity, seeing how others live and reaching an understanding and tolerance of them and their differences. Knowing how to put yourself in another's shoes (推己及人) is good for everybody.

Facts & Figures

HK children use too many tissues

42% of the world's wood harvest goes to produce pulp for paper, including paper tissue. The pulp and paper industry is among the world's largest generators of pollution and is the third largest generator of global warming pollution. This industry is the world's largest user of fresh water and among the largest users of energy.* Some Canadian manufacturers make tissues from 96% recycled materials but these products are not common in Hong Kong. In September and October this year, Greensense, a local environmental body conducted a survey among 5,410 primary schoolchildren. 27% of the Primary Five and Six students interviewed used more than 5 tissues to clean their faces and hands at school every day. 10% of the Primary One to Four students also used this quantity.




Too many tissues

When asked their reasons for using so many, 68% of them said it was for convenience while 54% said it was more hygienic than using fabric handkerchiefs. 52% of those in lower forms brought fabric handkerchiefs to school but only 35% of those in higher forms did. When questioned why they didn't like using handkerchiefs, 61% thought they were inconvenient. The clear conclusion is that the overuse of tissues among primary school students is alarming and the environmental cost of using tissues is doubly high as used tissues cannot themselves be recycled.
* www.commondreams.org/news2004/1118-17.htm
** Ming Pao 24 October 2005

Creativity brings heavenly rewards for Chan Yik-hei

Chan Yik-hei, a Form Five student at the C.C.C. Tam Lee Lai Fun Memorial Secondary School, was among the winners of three science competitions chosen for a scheme run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory and Science Service to name celestial bodies. He now has minor planet number 20780 named after him. It is called Chanyikhei and measures 3-7km in diameter, small compared to the 10th planet of the solar system announced last August as planet 2003 UB313 which is 3,000k in diameter.

Chan Yik-hei
Earlier this year, Yik-hei's team won another prize in the Federation's 2005 Hong Kong Student Science Project Competition (HKSSPC) with an invention called the "Blue tooth security system". He was also involved in the 2003 competition. Then only 12 years old, he was too young to enroll but he helped the school’s team develop the "Intelligent security robot", an invention which won them second prize in the competition. SSPC 2006 is now inviting applications. Click here to learn more about it: www.hksspc.gov.hk

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