Dream for children, Act for children 51 newly appointed “Young Envoys” pledge to advance child right to participation after their return from Gansu and Viet Nam field visits

 

Dream for children, Act for children 51 newly appointed “Young Envoys” pledge to advance child right to participation after their return from Gansu and Viet Nam field visits

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HONG KONG, 27 May 2012 — 51 Hong Kong secondary students have been dreaming and taking actions for realising child rights. Over the past six months, they have taken the initiative to organise school fundraising and advocacy events on different global child-related crisis and issues, such as child trafficking worldwide, the nutrition crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa, etc. Today, these promising students were appointed as UNICEF Young Envoys by Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK), and start their mission by being child rights advocates. They will pay field visits to Viet Nam and Gansu in July to further experience the situation of deprived children and hold a child rights public advocacy project to spread the importance of children’s right to participation after their return to Hong Kong.

Fifty-one students from 41 local secondary schools participated in 16 workshops held by UNICEF HK in last six months, to learn about child rights, state of the world’s children, communication skills and empathy. Recently they have applied the knowledge and skills to organise school and joint school events on their own initiatives, sharing poor children’s living conditions and needs, and promoting child rights among their peers.

Jack Wong, a secondary five student from Diocesan Boys’ School, decided to hold a day camp about child trafficking with Young Envoys from other eight secondary schools months ago, when rumours of child trafficking swept in Hong Kong. The youngsters use drama to simulate the situation of trafficked children in developing countries, so as to lead near 100 secondary students to experience how poor are children being abused and exploited, and raise their awareness of the 1.2 million trafficked children and the 1,500 million child labour every year.

Jack Wong, secondary five student from Diocesan Boys’ School Adam Chan, secondary five student from Baptist Lui Ming Choi Secondary School Angel Wong, secondary three student from Christian Alliance S C Chan Memorial College

Adam Chan, a secondary five student from Baptist Lui Ming Choi Secondary School, has held ‘Charity Dress Casual Day’ at school in April, after he knew one million children have been at risk in the nutrition crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa. He explained the crisis to his teachers and schoolmates, and made a donation appeal. With the entire support from the school, Adam has raised almost HK$10,000 in that single day. Angel Wong, secondary three student from Christian Alliance S C Chan Memorial College and was awarded “2012 Hong Kong Outstanding Teens” and four championships in The Sixth Speaking Contest for Hong Kong Students, on the other hand, used her talent in speech and organised Hong Kong Joint-school Public Speech to promote discussions on topics relating child rights such as “local children affairs to be concerned”, “children problems worldwide” in schools and community.

Jason Yu, a secondary four student from St. Paul’s College
The continuous suffering of children in other parts of the world has urged the Young Envoys to try their best to make a change. “My dream is to change the world,” Jason Yu, a secondary four student from St. Paul’s College said, “When you die, you can get nothing from the earth to the hell. Therefore life is not simply about what you own, but what you leave on the earth.” Though he is now busy preparing external examination, he insisted on creating the “Believe in Zero” theme song and lyrics with another newly appointed Young Envoys Natalie Wan and Charles Wong. The three Young Envoys also led their peers to turn the theme song into a musical performance, singing and dancing their dreams of making “Zero Child Sufferings” come true in the appointment ceremony.
Three Young Envoys, Jason Yu, Natalie Wan and Charles Wong have composed the “Believe in Zero” theme song and lyrics and led their peers to turn the theme song into a musical performance, singing and dancing their dreams of making “Zero Child Sufferings” come true in the appointment ceremony.

“Young Envoys are not only dreamers, but doers,” said Mrs Corina Wong, the council member of UNICEF HK said in the ceremony. “It has been more than ten years since Young Envoys Programme’s establishment in 1996. We see different adolescents joining the programme every year, and we see the new ideas and refreshing changes. ”

Since 2008, AEON Credit Service (Asia) Co., Ltd. has sponsored the UNICEF Young Envoy Programme for five successive years. Executive Director of the company, Mr Lai Yuk Kwong Derek delivered a speech and received a certificate of appreciation presented by the council member of UNICEF HK, Mrs Corina Wong at the ceremony. Receiving the certificates of appointment from the guests, 51 secondary students were officially appointed as UNICEF Young Envoys after six months of training and started their mission as child rights advocates.

The appointment ceremony also marks the start of adolescents’ mission as young child rights advocates. They will start a territory-wide survey on children’s participation in family and social affairs coming month, and pay a field visit to Gansu and Viet Nam in July to understand more about the living conditions of deprived children and UNICEF’s humanitarian work in person. After their return to Hong Kong, the Young Envoys will announce the survey results in August. With the learning in field visits, they will also hold a child rights public advocacy project in the community, making Hong Kong a more child-friendly city.

UNICEF Young Envoys Programme is a distinctive youth leadership scheme established in 1996, aiming to arouse public concern for child rights and the state of children worldwide through empowering a promising group of young people and nurturing them as child rights advocates. The 10-month programme explores students’ potential, broadens their horizons and enhances personal development. Over ten years, UNICEF HK has nurtured over 800 secondary students from more than 90 schools to become Young Envoys, who have visited different places such as Indonesia, Aceh, the Philippines, Cambodia, Yunnan, Gansu, Qinghai and Shanxi.

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