Hong Kong Playground Association

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, 12:00am

Where: 11/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai

What: Established in 1933, the charity provides a wide variety of social services, such as outreach projects, recreational activities, educational programmes, student guidance services and vocational training to promote the well-being of young people.

How: Visit www.hkpa.hk for more information.

Volunteer: Wesley Cheng Kai-cheong, 24, is a final year student at the City University of Hong Kong. He has been working for the Hong Kong Playground Association for more than 10 years and is an award-winning youth volunteer.

'I became a volunteer when I was about eight years old. I mainly helped with flag-selling and other fund-raising activities.

'In 1994, I joined a summer training programme for young volunteers. The participants formed a volunteer group called Lok Hei, which I now chair. There are about 20 volunteers in the group.

'We help the centre run large-scale events and drop-in activities. For the activities, we devise games with different educational themes - such as civic responsibility or heath issues - for children aged six to 12.

'Since 2000, we have held a two-day drama camp for children during summer. We teach children basic drama skills on the first day, and on the following evening, they perform in front of their parents.

'We also organise outings during the summer. We take children to sites such as Stanley or Central. The volunteers act as tour guides and teach the children about the history and significance of the sites.

'My favourite summer event is a counselling programme for children who are about to enter secondary school. Through games or fun activities, we will inform the children about the subjects they will study and prepare them for secondary school life.

'As a volunteer, you need to have patience. Children nowadays can be quite cheeky. They sometimes swear or are disrespectful.

'Before the activities, the children and I agree on what is appropriate behaviour and what won't be allowed. If they misbehave, they will be stopped immediately. But if they behave well, they will be praised.

'I am very fond of teaching children. Some of the youngsters that I have taught during volunteer activities seven or eight years ago have matured and now do volunteer work with me. It also gives me great satisfaction to organise a volunteer activity successfully.'