The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 January, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 January, 2005, 12:00am

Where? 3/F, 60 Blue Pool Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong

Why? Devoid of shelter and safe water, the lives of many children have been devastated by the tsunami that has claimed almost 150,000 lives in Asia so far. You can lend a hand to these children by helping out at Unicef.

How? Visit and apply online or call the Hong Kong Committee for Unicef on 2833 6139. Regular volunteer jobs include coin sorting, which is conducted every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30am to 1pm as well as 2.30pm to 5.30pm. You can also help out at irregular charity events such as flag selling. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult when taking part in volunteer work.

Children from 12 to 19 can join the Unicef Young Envoys Programme, which is an intensive training plan focusing on leadership and social service skills. The programme includes social service events with local NGOs as well as individual school projects.

Teen volunteer: Dennis Lee Hei-yik, 17, is a fifth-former at Queen's College Old Boys' Association Secondary School. He has been an active volunteer for Unicef for about two years.

'Unicef is an international organisation, but it is less well-known in Hong Kong than some local charity groups.

'I try to reduce the workload of Unicef staff as much as possible. They have only 22 people, and this is not enough for all the fundraising and promotional work needing to be done.

'I went to Laos in April last year as one of the representatives of Unicef Young Leaders' Programme (now merged with Unicef Young Envoys Programme). I saw how Unicef had improved the lives of children and adults in developing countries.

'I don't think jobs like counting coins or cheques are boring. It is whether we can truly help people that matters.

'After the tsunami disaster, I called Unicef to see if they needed help. I worked at the Unicef office counting cheques and making records of the donations on December 28-31.

'I also worked as an operator for the fundraising variety show on TVB last Sunday.

'There is nothing more important than saving human lives. This is a moment when we should help as much as possible.

'Unicef often does not have the time to find volunteers, so just give them a call. They need you.'