On Saturday, January 10, HKIS hosted the 8th annual Service Summit. Our 90 9th graders heard presentations from our “Free the Children” speakers Mark and Joanna who kicked-off the event with an inspiring keynote. Then they selected five break-out sessions to attend out of 27 presentations, most conducted by older HKIS students who had done their own successful projects. We are also proud to say that half a dozen alumni were among the presenters, showcasing their own causes that they remain involved in. For the second year, the Service Summit was also the culmination of a 3-day service leadership retreat for 34 students (see below) from Concordia-Shanghai, Concordia-Hanoi, and HKIS. We look forward to the fruits that will surely emerge from this event.
One of my 9th graders, Taina Puddefoot (pictured in sari), commented about the experience in this way: “The Service Summit was such an eye-opening experience for me. I had this sensation growing throughout my body through every session I went to. Mark and Joanna’s speech really inspired me to do something. Everything they said kept echoing in my ears. One of the big take-aways was when I went to a session led by Brittany. She is an inspiration. She’s so humble and modest, yet she has achieved and experienced so much to do with service. Brittany replicates what I hope to become. Of course her work is outstanding and I could never execute as well as she has done, but I hope to make a change. I still need some time to focus myself and come up with ideas for me elixir project since I have so many ideas. I want this to be a project that I undergo throughout my high school career, just like what Brittany has done. Another big take-away that the Service Summit gave me was the Elixir project that Myka did: Christian Action for Refugees. The refugee unit had a massive impact on me and how Myka and her partner put together their project was truly amazing. They gave me a ton of ideas on what to do for my own. Both Myka and Brittany gave me so much motivation and continued to make me more passionate about the field of service.”
Below is a list of the 27 workshops that were offered at the Summit.
Yash Bardoloi, Nicky Yang, and Emerald Kao – Teaching Empowerment
Through a mix of educational games, presentations, and out-of-class activities, this project brings an innovative approach to teaching English, raising global awareness, and empowering students to make change.
Our initiative to promote glass recycling in the southside area started as an Elixir Project and has continued on since then. In various ways over these past years, we have been helping to improve the environment one glass bottle at a time.
Lydia Chang and Tiffany Lun of Christian Alliance International School – Social Justice Club – Branch 1:
We are partnering with the Christian United Brethren in Christ (CUBC) in Whampoa. CUBC mainly focuses on tutoring children, ethnic minorities, serving the elderly, disabilities and many more. We have scheduled the first semester to explore elderly issues and services in Hong Kong every other week. In the second semester, our group will alter our focus to low-income families. We will also have the members of the SJC to design a graffiti wall on topics we’re focusing on this year.
My project’s purpose was to gather stationery, clothing and hygiene supplies to donate to those living in extreme poverty in the Philippines, particularly families. Also, as a part of my project, I raised awareness about reality of extreme poverty to younger kids (e.g. Girl Scouts and Primary students).
Julia Chen and Soo Jin Choi – Sub-standard Housing in Hong Kong
Our Elixir project focused on developing our school’s awareness on housing issues in Hong Kong such as caged homes, subdivided homes and government homes. Through multiple visits to some of these homes we were able to gather information and spread the idea to HKIS.
Jiou Choi – Cambodia Health Education
Join the new initiative to provide health support and education for Spean Chrey, a Cambodian village around three hours off from Phnom Penh. You will have the opportunity to travel to Cambodia over Chinese New Year and Easter break and conduct needs assessments, deliver basic hygiene lessons, and implement your own projects. Between our two trips and fundraising activities back in Hong Kong, you will get plenty of chances to be part of this project.
Luc Dowell – Rainbow Project
Dylan and I worked with the Rainbow Project, located in Sheung Wan. They focus on teaching kids with autism how to behave and how to engage socially. They also train their motor skills, so that they have less trouble later on in their lives physically. Throughout the period of time that we worked with them, we learned more about the struggles these kids had to deal with every day.
Emily Easter and Pia Sellery – Orangutan Habitat in Borneo
Our project was dedicated to protecting and educating others about the orangutans in Borneo. We were able to travel to Borneo which gave us the ability to understand the species better as well the issues impacting them.
Jessy Fabrizio-Stover/Junsung Park – Kids4Kids
We work with Kids4Kids, a local NGO that empowers young people like us to give back in creative and dynamic ways. Along with a network of other international school students, we run a series of programs that involve reading to children, event planning, charity drives, and other volunteer work. It’s a great chance to have fun and gain valuable life skills while making a positive difference.
Brittany Fried and Caroline Scown – Teaching Empowerment
For our senior project, Caroline and I are developing an empowerment curriculum. This is the accumulation of years of work with international charities and social enterprises (such as Free the Children and Me to We), leadership programs in India, and inspiring people such as you. The two of us will be overseeing the curriculum on three interim trips this year — India, Boracay, and South Africa. Come find out more about how you can get involved and develop your own program!
Jeffrey He – HKIS Talent Website
HKIS Talent is a website I created that showcases the work and abilities of the many talented members of our student, faculty, and alumni bodies. Inspired by the potential of technology to connect, I built the website with an aim to build a greater sense of community and highlight another side of HKIS. As time passes, HKIS Talent will hopefully be something that links the HKIS community forever. Come here to see how you can use something you enjoy to make a change in your community!
Jill Kligler – Hong Kong Street Art
My project focuses on using street art to address multiple issues and consequently provoke a response in the viewers. Street art is very powerful tool in communicating and making changes within our society, as well as encouraging the acknowledgment of global problems. I also wanted to reach a larger audience by incorporating one of the most widely used social media websites, tumblr.
Alum Derek Kwik – Inspired Change
I am the 1st Chinese in the world to run across 8 deserts, 3 jungles and 2 mountains but I am not an athlete. I wrote 2 books but I am not a professional author. I love to cook gourmet dishes but I am not a chef. I am a great storyteller but I work in finance. There is a fundamental difference between astronauts and astronomers? Which one are you?
Barbara Kwok and Alum Christie To – Reading English books to Children
We are a community initiative focused on providing free English storybook reading enrichment programs (literacy, arts & crafts and drama) to children with lesser means. We aim to give children the opportunity to immerse themselves in an all english speaking environment, develop a love of reading and eventually become independent learners.
Denise Lam and Jessica Li – Christian Alliance International School – Social Justice Club – Branch 2
One of the main injustices in Hong Kong is the discrimination among those who speak Mandarin Chinese aka mainlanders as well as their children. As one of Hong Kong’s international student bodies, we have the ability to help and improve the lives of those who are discriminated. The organization that our students will be working alongside is Emmanuel Primary School. We are working with Grade 4 students ranging from 9 to 10 year old children, who attend the Emmanuel Primary School. With the 17 volunteers we have, the ratio of an SJC member to a primary student is 1:1. Even though helping children with English is our main focus, we also have activities with them like creating a play for them and our student volunteers to act in, inviting them to our school’s carnival so that our student body can know more about our branch and to possibly lead the Social Justice Club in the future.
Katie Larson- Dog Therapy
The shortest distance between two people is a dog”… Therapy dogs are used in several contexts in Hong Kong: with elders, disabled, children and others. Meet a rescued dog named Annie and learn how she became a therapy animal who helps those learning to read and how your dog too could get certified to volunteer with those in need.
Our elixir project’s purpose was to raise awareness for the refugees plight in Hong Kong, whilst coordinating with Christian Action to help their refugees. Presentations in class, events at HKIS (like the World Fair) and presenting in front of the whole High School about this issue has opened student’s eyes to the reality. The reality that refugees are suffering in our community and they need our help.
Alum Victor Leung – Stopping Human Trafficking
As a volunteer of the anti-trafficking organization, the Eden Ministry, alumnus Victor will give a brief introduction on modern day slavery, including the key players and victims of the slave trade. He will also introduce students to the major organizations combatting human trafficking, including the Eden ministry, and explain their strategies and initiatives to lift victims out of slavery. Lastly, he will provide students with project ideas to get them thinking and engaged in assisting the abolitionist efforts worldwide.
Aidan Marzo – Save Our Soles
On a family visit to the Philippines during Easter Break of 2014 we noticed that the local community was poor. We were especially drawn to the children. Few wore shoes and those who did only had a thin pair of flip-flops to protect their feet. Upon returning to Hong Kong I set up my own shoe charity, Save Our Soles, at HKIS. The shoe charity has now spread to other schools around Hong Kong.
Anant Majumdar & Arthur Lam – Supporting the Poor in Hong Kong
SoCO is a human rights advocacy group that specializes in providing attention and basic amenities to the poor. Using revenue generated from book sales, we aim to, in concert with donating funds, learn more about the work they are doing for the poor of Hong Kong and generate awareness for the current issues that they deal with.
Jordan Marzo and Parker Rudd – Girls Scholarships in China
Our project aimed to to use our passion for music to help others. We chose to support EMBER/CWEF which raises scholarship funds to help girls in rural China stay in school.We wrote an original song, recorded it with our band in a professional studio, went to Deqing, China to film the video starring the girls, edited and released it for donation on the CWEF site.
Alum Christa Schmidt – Water Project in China
It is said that in the 21st century wars will be fought over water instead of other issues like in the past. Many of us living in Hong Kong and who attend HKIS believe water is renewable and safe resource, so it seems shocking to us that nearly a billion people worldwide lack access to safe water supplies. Two years ago as freshmen in Humanities I in Action we were presented with the exact same project as you are now, and realized we were passionate about saving lives through safe water. We approached the Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation wondering how much itcost to send a well to a village in China, which was $51,000. We believed the way we could obtain this money was through the exchange of a service. We raised money the old fashion way through babysitting, dog walking and many other. Come by and hear how we ventured through this project and what the result was!
Alum Matty Sears
Seeds Training has worked for 20 years around the world to design and deliver skills training and development for students, teachers, parents, and corporations.
My project was based on singing for the elderly at a nursing home in Kowloon called Fung Tak Lutheran Home for the Elderly, and the main goal was the lighten up their day and to not forget about the past generations, but rather bring them along with us.
Sheldon To, Siddharth Bajpai, Justin Lo
Our Senior Project is aimed at finding a long-term solution for improving water quality in the small village of Kol Thmei in northern Cambodia. We visited the village over the Christmas break, and will present our findings and initial assessments. Currently, we are consolidating our discoveries and are forming our approach to this issue.
I created an after school course for young children at the Montessori School, called “Environmental Empowerment”. It uses a hands-on approach to help kids explore sustainability and environmental science and empowers them to become agents of change within today’s society.
Have you seen the big green box for collecting clothes by the front gate? The clothes are being donated to Friends of the Earth as apart of my USA Boy Scout Eagle Project. The project is called the “Revitalized Raiment Project” and is aimed at reducing clothes wastage in our community. Landfill space is a problem Hong Kong faces, so recycling and reusing materials is desperately needed!