"One smile can change a day, one hug can change a week, one word can change a life...which word is it going to be?"

-- Written in 2004 by T. H., Age 13, Alberta, Canada

KELY E-Newsletter - September 2014


KELY's Media Corner
Teenage Wasteland, South China Morning Post, 19 May 2014

360 Models at the KELY Support Group Fashion Show. 360 Models Blog, 27 May 2014

All Citizens can work towards a healthy drug-free Hong Kong, South China Morning Post, 28 June 2014

Drug Awareness Book for Ethnic Minority Youth Launched, The SUN, Mid-Month July Issue

Channelling Young People's Barriers into Success

On May 24, 40 youth dazzled the audience with Seeing the Possibilities Fashion Show - a grand finale to Seeing the Possibilities, a mentorship programme which helps youth build capacity and life-skills through fashion arts and event planning training 
Special thanks to: Regal Airport HotelRegal Oriental Hotel, event-palnning trainer Cecilia Ip, fashion design trainer Wei Keung Fong, Aanchal Wadwani, event consultant Martin Minns (Event Spirit) and our honourable judges Maria Luisa Letaio and Barney Cheng.

WATCH our short video of Seeing the Possibilities Fashion Show by Mart Sarimento

Before and After Seeing the Possibilities: A Youth Story

While it is not hard to get a job in Hong Kong, Peter*, an 18-year old from Wong Tai Sin, admitted that he had never felt confident enough to find, or even, apply for jobs with high-potentials.

His father’s chronic gambling habit has caused great concerns for the family, consequently placing them in a difficult financial situation. In attempt to help with his father’s gambling addiction, his family members have repeatedly him to seek help, but to no avail.

Consequently, Peter was forced to get a part-time job two years ago to help out with the family finances. Recently he started a new position at an ice-cream shop in Mong Kok. “I would keep half of the money, and the rest, for the family.” After a full day at school, he works 7 hours after class to make ends meet.

Having many doubts about his English language proficiency, Peter never applied to post-tertiary education, as he fears his grades are not good enough. “I don’t have a really high self-esteem,” says the 18-year-old. “So I don’t go for anything unless it’s 100% sure that I know I can do it.”

Peter learned about Seeing the Possibilities programme through a social worker at school, who encouraged him to join the class. Now that the programme is over, he recalls: “It was great because you can’t find something like this anywhere else. It’s sad that it’s only offered at schools.”

Throughout the yearlong programme, Peter was able to learn team-building and career training skills which enable him to learn more about his dreams. Through creative event-planning and working with a team of people, he was able to share his creative ideas and contribute in ways he’s never done before.

“I am going to be in the culinary business,” smiles Peter. The ice-cream shop is just a step towards achieving his goal, he says. After all, he now sees a clear path to achieve his aspirations. He’ll make his way, step by step.

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

June 26, 2014, marked the 26th International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, a United Nations day to commemorate the international effort to combat drug abuse as a global issue.

This year, KELY hosted an interactive art installation ("Help Keep Our Community Healthy") at Tseung Kwan O's Sheung Tak Plaza on June 26 and a parade ("Zone to be Changed!")  at Mong Kok's pedestrian walkway (June 28 & 29) to raise public awareness in Hong Kong's drug situation. Over a span of 3 days, we have attracted over 1,000 people, who all showed their utmost support in keeping Hong Kong healthy, one community at a time!

Special thanks to: Link Management Limited, Regal Airport Hong Kong, Regal Oriental Kowloon, and various volunteers who helped make this a very successful event.

Click on the banner above to read KELY's opinion piece "A Call for Community" by our Chair, Ms. Fern Ngai. The article was also published on South China Morning Post on 1 July, 2014.

Speaking out for non-Chinese speaking communities

Specially designed for non-Chinese speaking and ethnic minority communities, It Begins with One Story: Resources for a Drug-Free Hong Kong officially launched on July 3, as the first English drug-free resource in the city for non-Chinese speaking families.

 Over 9 months, It Begins with One Story programme aims to create community-based solution towards drug and alcohol prevention and intervention. A pivotal movement to bridge the communication gap between generations, especially when young people are finding it increasingly hard to discuss difficult issues, such as drug and alcohol use, with their parents. 

I was not able to find appropriate resources and support from the available services in Hong Kong for my daughter at the time when she most needed help," says Marie (name has been changed), mother of a daughter currently residing in the US rehabilitation centre. 

Being a non-Chinese speaker, Marie has had many problems trying to get her daughter the help that is not culturally appropriate. "I have heard of many rehab centres in Hong Kong, but, being non-Chinese, these centres were not appropriate for her needs.”

It Begins with One Story is available for download from our website. 

Living Under A Label

For ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, changes need to start from the most basic level – in the way that we talk about them, writes KELY's intern Callum Wiggins.

How much does knowing the Chinese language count towards successful integration into Hong Kong society?
Coming this September, the new 2014/2015 school year will see the roll-out of the Chinese Language Curriculum Second Language Learning Framework. It is hoped that this will support ethnic minority (EM) youth’s Chinese language skills, and decrease incidences of students falling out of the Hong Kong education system. 

A recent survey by City University and Hong Kong Christian Service found that 60% of EM 12-23 year olds had the Chinese proficiency level of the average primary school student. Having poor Chinese language proficiency has been identified as one of the key reasons why ethnic minority youth struggle to enter further studies, secure employment, or resign to menial employment in Hong Kong.

With over 450,000 EMs in Hong Kong, NGOs have fought for decades to obtain ethnic minority education rights. While initiatives that seek to enhance Chinese language levels of EM youth are applauded; we must also consider whether other issues are just as significant, which see EM youth fall behind their Chinese counterparts.

‘It doesn’t feel right to call this city my home’. A sentiment shared by one ethnic minority youth, echoed by many more born and bred in Hong Kong. For many, figuring out identity is a persistent problem. Living under the ‘label’ of EM can feel like a huge constraint, they feel unable to dissociate from the EM label, despite being the third or fourth generation in the family to be living in Hong Kong.

So how much does language matter? Do other factors play a bigger role in social inclusion?

Poverty, cultural stereotypes, risk of drug and alcohol addiction, discrimination and segregation are all factors that may hinder the development of EM youth in Hong Kong. Increasing language proficiency in Chinese is only one facet to social inclusion – undoubtedly an important one, but perhaps only a small part of the solution.

Changes need to be made at the most basic level – the way in which we talk about EM youth. What criteria must be fulfilled to be a Hongkonger in today’s society? Self-identity is an ongoing topic not only applicable to non-Chinese communities, but a social discussion which needs to take place.

Hopefully in the near future, the integration of ethnic minority persons into Hong Kong society will be better facilitated through NGO programmes which reach out to EM youth, changes in the education system and a greater discussion of how Hong Kong can be inclusive not just for some, but for ALL of it’s citizens.

Perhaps then, Hong Kong will finally feel like home.

Have Your Say!
You, too, can take part in making Hong Kong a better place for everyone. 

Simply fill out EOC's discrimination law consultation and give your opinion about how to make Hong Kong a more inclusive place. Your opinion is important in making future recommendations to the government on improving Hong Kong's discrimination laws.

For more information about the following events, please click on the images below.

Thanks to the support from all our stakeholders, Peninsula Merchandising Limited and Junior Chamber International (JCI) Island, KELY’s annual mooncake charity sale has raised HK$145,000 (NET) in benefit of KELY's work. We thank you for your generous support in empowering our young people. 
In commemoration of United Nation's International Youth Day (Aug 12), KELY held an international Instagram campaign to join global effort to end mental health stigma. Over 2 weeks we have gained recognition from Hong Kong, Australia, US, and Kenya, and received 18 public submissions. Your support changes young lives. Believe it!

Click on the left icon to view our Instagram feed. 

KELY was very fortunate to be invited by various schools and organisations to be a part of NGO RoadShows! Over the past few weeks, KELY was at Christie's Art Assembly (5 Aug), Renaissance College (26 Aug) and King George V School (29 Aug). We now have 120 new participants who signed up as volunteers. Thank you!

For more information, please click on the images below.

Special thanks to Joe Stuart, who raised $8,450 for KELY's in his own fundraising intiative, JosephStuartforKELY, during his expedition to the Himalayas! 

"Growing up in the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, the expedition was very rewarding - an eye-opener to one of the most picturesque places I could ever imagine. While I did my trek I took many selfies with the KELY t-shirt to document my progress. I chose to fundraise for KELY because of the charity’s great work. I knew they helped other young people like myself and tackled an issue that can affect all of us. I wanted to show the public that young people also care about the issues the charity tackles."
We love our interns! Over the past summer, KELY was very fortunate to have interns helping us with various tasks. Our social media platforms are at its best forms, and we even got a fantastic video to our name!

Special thanks to: Cal; Mai, Kirsten, Briana and Jammery (New School, NYC); Kovey (Princeton / HKU); Shirley and Jezreel (HKU); Curtis (HKUST).
Individual Donors
Café O - HK$663
CLP Holding Limited - HK$200,000
Ovolo Hotel - HK$1,000
Pumpernickel Cafe - HK$407

Mrs. Purviz  Rusy Schroff - $50,000
Rotary Club of Shouson Hill - HK$25,000
Women in Finance Asia - HK$13,000

Hong Kong's young people need your help. Invest in Hong Kong's future. Please donate to KELY today to help young people reach their full potential.

For more information about our partners/events, please visit the links below.

Whole School CAS Fair at Victoria Shanghai Academy

Date:    10 September, 2014
Time:    8:30am - 10:30am
Venue:  Victoria Shanghai Academy, 19 Shum Wan Road, Aberdeen

CSR Asia Summit 2014

Date:      16 & 17 September, 2014
Time:      9am - 5:30pm
Venue:    Kowloon Shangri-La, 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon
Website: www.csr-asia.com/summit2014

Aly & Rachelle Charity Fashion Sales

Date:       23 to 26 October, 2014
Time:      12pm - 8pm (23 - 25 October); 1pm - 8pm (26 October)
Venue:    S411, 4/F, Block A, PMQ, Staunton Street, Central
Website: www.alyandrachelle.com
Y-Nature @ MAMASMART Marketplace
Date:       28 September, 2014
Time:      12pm - 6pm
Venue:    Yayoi Japanese Dining Room (under canopy), Hong Kong Science Park, Shatin, NT
Website: www.facebook.com/designplusten

Young people need your support to be nurtured in becoming successful leaders of tomorrow. Click on the icons below and find out how you can help.

Help youth build capacity through our drug-free mentorship programme. Support our Keeping It Real programme on our crowdfunding partner Fringebacker. Click on icon for more details.
Youth Helpline

Youth Helpline

Call us : 2521 6890 or Email us: help@kely.org

KELY Support Group programmes

Join our programmes

KELY Support Group programmes



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