AY1718 Community Council Review
by Arthur Liu Ze An (DP1B) and Kristy Chan Tin Wing (S4R)
It has been a demanding but fully fruitful year for the Community Council – not only have we completed some of our largest events successfully and smoothly, but we have gone beyond our previous achievements to build a bigger, better, and brighter reputation for the Council.
One of our first events was the annual beach clean-up that the Council has made a tradition of over the past few years. This year, more than twenty students headed to a small beach in Wu Kai Sha area of Hong Kong in order to pick up and remove litter or trash from the sands and depose of them safely. Not only does this make the beaches more attractive for tourists or locals, but more importantly, it removes pieces of litter that may get washed into the sea and otherwise harm marine life, both in the water and out of it. Such learning experiences are valuable and we are thankful for those who had the spirit and drive to become involved and better our environment.
Towards the end of 2017, the Council worked with Hong Kong Red Cross in “Pass-it- On” Charity Sale Fundraising Campaign. The aim of the sales was to encourage students to share love and care for their loved ones while not forgetting to help people in need of the wider Hong Kong community outside of school. Reddie Bear Neck Cushions that come in the shape of teddy bears and Reddie Bear Travel Bags were promoted and sold during the event. Students from both the primary and secondary sections of SISHK were welcomed to order and donate to aid the deprived population through the Hong Kong Red Cross. The event’s success was a cheerful reminder that our community has the drive and compassion to raise funds for those who are less fortunate than us and the grand total of $16,700 raised went to Red Cross, allowing the council to end the year on a high note!
Over the Christmas holidays, some of the council members gathered during the break to volunteer at Crossroads Foundation, as we do every school break. Crossroads is a Hong Kong based, non-profit organisation serving global communities. As their name suggests, Crossroads aims to be a crossroad: bringing together those in need and those who can help. We often help out with packing goods, cooking meals, administration, and much more. Such volunteering experiences allow us to not only spend our time doing something meaningful, but also provides an opportunity for members across grades and of varying ages to bond and get to know one another better.
However, when mentioning the Council, one definitely must speak about the Vertical Marathon. This event hosted in January of 2018 had over 140 participants from both students and teachers, including primary and secondary! It was most fulfilling and gave me a deep sense of satisfaction to watch the students and teachers interact happily during the event. Most importantly, we raised a large sum of money – over 50,000 HKD! – for the various charities that we worked with, such as Hong Kong Dog Rescue and Plastic Free Seas, both organisations devoted to their specific cause. Though it was certainly difficult to plan and to organise, in the end, not only was the Council able to learn valuable soft skills, such as working with others, being able to meet deadlines; for ourselves, learning to delegate tasks and keep on top of everything.
In January and March, the Community Council worked in partnership with the Athletic Council to widen the reach of our annual charity match games. A student team plays against a teachers’ team; this year, a major change was made in that the event was expanded to two sessions – basketball in January and football in March. Watching students cheer passionately for their team, as well as the raucous shouts and groans of despair when someone missed a goal was both amusing and entertaining, and certainly served to bring the school community closer together!
Last but certainly not least, the Council worked with Tsui Tsin Tong Schools (TTTS) and Crossroads Foundation for our end-of-year volunteering activities – and I am proud to say that this year’s turnout was absolutely astounding! We had over twenty-five people who volunteered at Crossroads, while over thirty students and teachers in total spent time at TTTS with mentally/physically impaired children, making the day special and fun for these students. The students set up 6 stalls in their school grounds – which are in Wah Fu, making TTTS a local organisation – that each ran a different game, such as colouring, Jenga, and building blocks. Certainly one of the most challenging aspects was being able to think on our feet, as sometimes the games would be too difficult for the children, but for others too simple, as they were of varying abilities. As such, it was rewarding to see that our students adapted quickly to the situation and devised different levels of difficulty for the students, making sure that it was fun for all and challenging in the best way! At the end of the day, what was most important is that both students of TTTS and SISHK found the event enjoyable and were able to communicate, opening themselves up to people who they might not otherwise be able to interact with in regular circumstances.
It has been an engaging and challenging year, with its ups – that are wholly welcome! – and downs – that are inevitable – but it has been a wonderful experience. Getting to know our members better over the course of one year has been rewarding and joyful in the truest sense, as the council is a platform for us to connect with fellow students from different grades. As we put the past behind us; reflect on our mistakes, and discuss what can be improved, we turn our gazes to the future – a path that is paved with close friendships, memorable experiences, and, most important of all, a drive to bridge our school community to the wider community of Hong Kong.
We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has spent time with the Council at any of our events, be it volunteering or the Vertical Marathon, and we hope to see you again next academic year.