To inspire our younger generations to become truly compassionate citizens, we first need to teach them how to acquire accurate information and think critically in order to identify systemic oppressions that are taking place in our society. Every day, however, our students are exposed to a tremendous amount of misinformation and disinformation through conventional and social media. What are the tools we can use to help them navigate this 'post-truth' world?
On July 2nd, we ran a workshop on news literacy at St Stephen's Girls College, where over 150 Secondary Three students attended. During the workshop, we discussed some major characteristics of fake news, biases in the media, and elements of credible journalism. We also addressed the frightening phenomenon of cyberbullying, and the need for compassion in the cyberspace.
Talk on poverty, ageism and homelessness in Hong Kong
July 02, 2019
We were invited by St Stephen's Girls' College to give a talk on poverty, ageism and homelessness in Hong Kong to more than 150 Secondary Two students on July 2. This talk followed up on the students' previous home visits for senior citizens living alone in the neighbourhood. The talk aimed to explain the root causes of the three social issues in question and the interconnectedness of those issues. We also showcased the 'Equality for All Sharing initiative', which is a perfect example of how to care for and share with the less fortunate, while at the same time respecting their dignity and learning from them.
CNY Notes of Blessings
Last Chinese New Year, we invited all red packet receivers, children and adults alike, to extend their circles of compassion this Chinese New Year by donating some of their extra pocket money to a charity and by giving a second life to their undamaged red packets.
To inspire these mini acts of kindness, we prepared two "Notes of Blessings" for parents, teachers and all red packet givers to download, print and insert into each red packet to be given away. Each insert contained a message to encourage the act of sharing/recycling, as well as a QR code with extra information about red packet collection points throughout Hong Kong.
Click here to download the printable "Notes of Blessings":
*Please print on the back of your used scrap paper to make this campaign truly sustainable :)
**This campaign is in support of Greeners Action's 《利是封回收重用大行動》
Artists in Exile Near and Far: Refugee Stories Through Art in Hong Kong and Abroad
October 13, 2018
Venue: The Hive Spring, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong
Our biggest event of the year, Artists in Exile Near and Far: Refugee stories through art in Hong Kong and Abroad, was held on Saturday October 13th, in collaboration with Drink for Justice, Table of Two Cities, and DreamLikeBubbles. The 4-hour long art reception showcased more than 100 paintings by children and adult refugee artists waiting for asylum in Greece and in Hong Kong. Apart from the art exhibits, the programme also included video screening, musical performances, drinks, delicious ethnic food. The event had a great turnout - more than 100 people attended the event and expressed very positive feedback. Among the attendees were refugee rights advocates, NGO representatives, lawyers, artists, professors, students at all levels, families, and their young children. We were honoured to have Ms. Kayra Martinez, founder of Love Without Borders for Refugees in Need, one of our event beneficiaries, to talk to the audience about her life on the humanitarian frontline in Greece.
The objectives of the event were to provide a platform for refugees, children and adults alike, to share their stories through their paintings and photos; and to raise funds for the contributing refugee artists and their families.
Sincere thanks to everyone - all the contributing refugee artists, participating organizations, the organising committee, and all of you who came to support this beautiful cause.
In the evening of 21 May 2018, TSL Camões Primary School held their Final Year Project Sharing Night at the Theatre and School Hall which were packed with parents, teachers and students. Over the course of a year, the 6th graders researched, explored and reached out to the communities of the 18 districts of Hong Kong and created projects with a common theme: 'Make a difference'. At the sharing night, each group of students got the opportunity to showcase their projects. It was MAGG's honour to be invited amongst the guests to give a brief talk on compassion education and our work.
MAGG x Waste-No-Mall
May 12, 2018
Venue: Fung Yau Street North, Yuen Long
Target Audience: families MAGG members joined Waste-No-Mall at two of their weekend market events in Yuen Long to learn about recycling, free-cycling and surplus food distribution. Kids participated in the eco workshop and got hands-on experience sorting waste according to different recycling symbols. The event not only encouraged waste reduction and recycling, but also the kind gesture of sharing resources in the community.
This year, we've been working with schools to address the global refugee crisis in their curriculum. 121 Buddy Project is a pilot project that runs over a semester, aiming to connect Hong Kong students with Syrian refugee children in Greece on a one-to-one basis (hence "121"). On March 20, we kicked off our 121 Buddy Project by giving an introduction to the 'plight of refugees in the world' to the participating students at HKMA David Li Kwok Po College. By the end of the project, the students will be producing creative writing / art as a reflection of their experience in this project.
School Talk on Fair Trade
April 06, 2017
On April 6-7, 2017, we got the opportunity to deliver four talks on fair trade to S4 & S5 students of HKMA David Lo Kwok Po College during their Liberal Studies classes. During the talks, we introduced to the students the definition of fair trade; we highlighted the differences between fair trade and free trade; and we also discussed the positive and/or negative impacts of our everyday consumer habits on other people, animal and the planet. We were also honoured to have Mr. Oscar Lo, representative of the Hummingfish Foundation, to share with the students his experience working with fair trade coffee farmers and cooperatives in Timor Leste.
Teacher Training - Cultivating Compassion: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries
March 29, 2017
We organised a teacher training workshop on humane education at HKMA David Li Kwok Po College on their Staff Development Day. Over 80 teachers together with the school principal attended the workshop. In the workshop, we discussed the pioneering concept of humane education, why it is so important in the modern day school system, and how we can teach every discipline and every topic through the lens of humane education.
We offered a follow-up workshop on June 20 to the teachers who were interested in this new pedagogical approach and wanted to know more about its application.
Presentation - Cultivating Empathy Through The Power of Narrative
March 24, 2017
It was our honour to be invited by Mr. King Wai Oliver Chang, Senior Lecturer at HKU Space Community College, to give a presentation about the power of narrative and how writers use storytelling to build empathy in readers. Our presentation was part of the lesson on "From Loving Oneself to Loving Others: The Power of Kindness", which concluded the course titled Self-Writing and Representation. After the presentation, the students were invited to explore the topic of empathy and compassion in their weekly reflective writing exercise.
Mental Wellness & Laughter Yoga Workshop
January 06, 2017
Venue: HKMA David Li Kwok Po College
Date: January 6th & 20th, 2017
The mental wellness & laughter yoga workshop series was designed to raise awareness about youth anxiety and depression, the two most common mental health issues encountered by high school students in Hong Kong. The workshop series kicked off at HKMA David Li Kwok Po College with a group of DSE students. In the workshop, we discussed the symptoms of such mental health issues and introduced various fun and effective stress management skills, notably laughter yoga, as well as resources on mental wellness available in our community. The students got to experience laughter yoga for the first time and had a lot of fun! By encouraging self-compassion and compassion towards those who might be going through tough times, we also hoped to help foster a caring, bullying-free school environment.
Special thanks go to our guest instructor Mr. Alex Ho, certified mental health first aid trainer laughter yoga master trainer, without whom the workshops wouldn't have been possible.
Compassion Education Training for Teachers
July 03, 2016
Venue: Betabox Studio Theatre
Target audience: Teachers (primary, secondary, tertiary); educators; school administrators
The workshop was conducted in Cantonese, while training materials were in English.
In a society where our younger generations grow up with a competitive mentality, where happiness is quantified by success and accomplishments, the cultivation of compassion is often neglected or underemphasized in our education system. We believe that educating a generation of compassionate kids does not only provide the society with future leaders who care about social injustice and desire to bring about positive social changes, practicing compassion can also bring happiness to those who give, which is a good supplement to our children’s mental health.
The workshop is an introduction to compassion education with reference to studies done by the University of Stanford as well as the University of California, Berkeley, two leading universities in the world that have done extensive research in the area. We will discuss the definition of compassion, the differences between compassion and other concepts akin to it. We will explain why compassion education is important in our current education system. We will also demonstrate techniques in encouraging students / children to get involved in doing social good on a regular basis, and how to integrate such techniques in teaching and parenting.
This workshop is for you if you as a teacher are concerned with one or more of the following behaviours of our younger generations:
- manifesting selfish and indifferent attitudes;
- prone to emotional distress when they encounter failure;
- reluctant to proactively offer help or to intervene in situations of injustice;
- involved in bullying and cyber bullying;
- only concerned with own's achievement and material comfort;
- apathetic towards social and global issues.
We believe the cultivation of compassion should start at a young age. In our two-hour sign language class, we created an environment where the children participants and their parents experienced for the first time the challenges deaf people face in their everyday interpersonal communication. Through interactive activities such as games and storytelling, the participants learned basic vocabulary like members of the family, the weather, animals, and daily activities among others. At the end of the class, apart from all the fun and laughter (check out our photos!), both the children and their parents became more appreciative of their ability to speak, and more compassionate towards those who can't.
We were so grateful to have Mr. Andy Li, a long-serving court interpreter and experienced sign language teacher, to be our honorary instructor.
The Mini Acts for the Greater Good co-organized a 3-day Human Rights Documentary Festival with the LLM in Human Rights Programme and the Centre for Comparative & Public Law of the Faculty of Law, the University of Hong Kong from 21-23 March, 2016. We screened both international and local documentaries exploring a number of important and sometimes under-discussed human rights issues. They include race and disability discrimination against Albinos in East Africa (In the Shadow of the Sun), the tension between urban development and the right to livelihood of farmers in Hong Kong (Open Road After Harvest), as well as labour rights and environmental issues behind the fashion industry (The True Cost). Through screening and panel discussion, guest speakers and participants reflected on the issues raised in the films, their implications and discussed possible ways to get involved for the causes.
Each post-screening sharing was led by a panel of guest speakers, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
The Blue House is one of the few remaining examples of the balcony type “Tong Lau” in Hong Kong and is classified as a Grade I historic building. The Workshop was designed to let young children learn about Hong Kong heritage, allow them to appreciate the beauty of the building, and develop compassion and love for our city and neighbourhood. It also targeted to inspire young children as to why do we preserve our history and heritage, in contrast to demolishing old buildings for new development. At the end of the workshop, young children became aware of the true meaning of preservation does not only include maintenance of physical structures, but also encompasses the preservation of relationships that strongly unite the people who live in the vicinity of these preserved buildings. Concurring with the temporary closure of the Blue House for revitalization in March 2016, the participants were invited to design their own new Blue House with wooden bricks and paper materials.
Hong Kong has a Gini Co-efficient (index of wealth inequality) that is among the highest in the world. Despite the image of prosperity and wealth that often characterizes our city, more than 1 million of our population actually lives in poverty. The 'Equality for All' Sharing Initiative, now a movement, was first launched in 2009, aiming at mobilizing ordinary citizens, regardless of age and income, to share whatever they can afford with the less fortunate in the community, especially low-income families, senior citizens and the homeless. At this event, families with young children as well as a few young university graduates joined us and shared food and everyday necessities with the elderly residents of Shaukiwan. The sharing experience provided the participants with the opportunity to learn about the life stories of this vulnerable group and to understand their way of life. The concept of the initiative is not about doing charity. There is no hierarchy between the 'giver' and the 'taker'. It is a two-way empowerment process where both ends benefit from the experience.
'Instead of' Photoblog
Do you know that a slight adjustment on your lifestyle can free up resources to help those in need? Have you thought about instead of playing the video games for two hours, you could actually donate your time in a food bank or an animal shelter? Instead of eating out, you could perhaps cook a healthy meal at home and at the same time feed the homeless with the money saved?
The “INSTEAD OF" Photoblog is a photo-sharing platform for you to document all your “instead of's". MAGG will select the most compelling photo story and feature on our facebook page and social media platforms at the end of each month. The blog can be found on our Facebook page.
A Mini Date with the Elderly @ Chung Shak Hei (Cheung Chau) Home for the Aged
Mini Acts for the Greater Good and its members visited the respectable Chung Shak Hei Elderly Home on its historic premises in Cheung Chau on August 2, 2015. The objective of the visit was twofold: 1) to create an opportunity for our young members to understand the emotional needs of the seniors and to learn how to be empathetic caregivers; and 2) to bring love and a joyful afternoon to the residents at the Elderly Home.
The programme of our visit included storytelling by the kids, who also led a simple flexibility exercise routine designed for older adults. There was also be a short video screening followed by a sharing session on the psychology of aging, inviting participants to reflect upon their interactions with and attitude towards the senior members of their families and to find ways to foster closer relationships between generations.
Over 20 families participated in the event and the total number of participants reached 80 people. The event received very positive feedbacks and we're hoping to make the visit our annual event.
Storytelling BY the children: Mini stories about environmental protection
Partner organization: Friends of the Earth (Green Delights in Estates Programme)
We were proud to have a group of kindergarten kids and our event partner Friends of the Earth to kick off our first campaign in June 2015. With great enthusiasm, our precociously talented 'mini' ambassadors shared stories about environmental protection and environmental sustainability with the residents of the Upper Wong Tai Sin Estate despite pouring rain. They even braved the rain at the end of the event and danced merrily in the puddles!