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Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 19:03

HK kids' charitable actions a ‘strong force’

By Willa Wu

HK kids' charitable actions a ‘strong force’

Wong Ho-sum (left) emerged the top student from the Queens College in Causeway Bay with a perfect score from the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) examination, July 13, 2016. A recent survey found that over 60 percent of Hong Kong children start charitable giving before the age of 8. (Roy Liu/China Daily)

HONG KONG – A recent survey finds that Hong Kong children are caring and accommodating – as more than 60 percent of them start charitable giving before the age of 8.

The survey, conducted in August by the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK), interviewed 350 local children aged between 9 and 15 on their participation in 2015 in charitable activities like donation, fund-raising and volunteering.

Almost 90 percent of them engaged in charitable events in the past year, with some 61 percent saying they started joining charitable activities before turning 8 years old.

For them, volunteering and one-off donation are the most common forms of charitable giving. And children affected by war and conflicts received the most attention from the interviewed children.

The survey also shed light on the reasons why the children wanted to help others. More than 230 said they offered help after seeing the needs and difficulties of others, while 125 said they believed "it is better to give than to receive".

Jane Lau Yuk-yin, chief executive of UNICEF Hong Kong, said the survey results reminded the public never to underestimate the power of children. She said she was surprised as the children could name some of the disasters the world is currently dealing with, including several earthquakes and the Syrian civil war, despite their young age.

"They care about the world they are living in and can become a strong force to help other kids," Lau said.

UNICEF is a United Nations program that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries and regions. Its Hong Kong office is hosting an "Art of Giving" campaign to promote children’s role in charity. The campaign has attracted 2,500 Hong Kong children, whose hand-made art boxes have been given to children living in disaster conditions and poverty.

Joshua Lam, 3, is one of the campaign’s participants. He designed his fundraising art box with his mother, who told him that many children in the world have limited or even no access to clean water, nutritious foods and medical service. Lam even set up a personal fundraising page with help from his mother, and managed to invite 10 family members and friends to join his cause.

Lau said parents played an important role in infusing children with morals like being helpful and caring. She expressed her wish of seeing more parents getting to know the campaign.

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