This year, many extracurricular activities were disrupted due to COVID-19. As a result, building a resume with meaningful experiences and activities proved to be more difficult than usual. However, despite the disruptions to our day to day lives, there is still a need for service – and in Hong Kong, many of our most vulnerable populations still need our help.
It is important for students to think creatively about how they can make an impact and give back, in a time where our normal avenues of service and activity have been dramatically interrupted. Although creating a project from the ground up is one option, there are also several organisations in Hong Kong that have created opportunities for students to volunteer virtually. We have highlighted a few below:
With Hands On HK, you can record a video message for a resident of an elderly care home:
“We now invite volunteers and families to film a caring video message that can be shown to the resident of an elderly care home. These videos deliver greetings and encouragement and will be given as a gift to elderly. In a one-to-four minute video, volunteers are invited to introduce themselves and share words of season’s greetings, warmth and positivity, letting the recipient know that the community cares about them.”
With Christian Action – Center for Refugees, you can help refugee children complete homework over Zoom:
“For most of the refugee children, after-school activities and tutoring that develop abilities and build self-confidence and social skills are an inaccessible luxury. During the COVID-crisis a number of children have fallen behind with their studies. Our student leaders are calling for young people with the passion and skills to provide a virtual tutoring session on Saturdays for refugee children who are 6 – 12 years old. These Zoom sessions will support them with their Chinese, English, Maths or General Studies homework, depending on the priority for that week.”
With The Hub Children and Youth Centre, you can read books to children over Zoom:
“The Hub Children and Youth Centre implements a Story Telling Corner on Saturdays for the children from the under-resourced families. Volunteers are expected to use the online session tool – Zoom by reading Chinese or English storybooks, and playing games with the children who come and enjoy the weekend together. An hour of briefing is included in the service session.”
With Harmony Garden Lutheran Centre for the Elderly, you can create gift cards for the elderly:
“Most of Hong Kong’s elderly have had to self-isolate for much of this year—the effects of which can lead to anxiety, depression, and even cognitive decline. Help from the city’s volunteers is needed to support the mental health of these vulnerable individuals. Our student leaders are on a mission to promote social connection and emotional well-being for the elderly supported by Harmony Garden Lutheran Centre for the Elderly. The program will feature virtual service activities and visits and outings once restrictions allow. Young volunteers are invited to be part of their launch initiative by making a hand-made card and bean bag with warm wishes for 2021 and the New Year, which can be used for a game that supports fine motor skills. Instructions will be provided.”
These are just a handful of ideas and opportunities available to students. At the start of the new year, we challenge you to look at your community and ask yourself – where is the need, and how can I help?