A new link to saving more lives

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 December, 2008, 12:00am

The Samaritans - a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline - received more than 28,000 calls last year. It is hoping to install a new telephone system to improve the quality of its service.

Liz Chamberlain, director of the Samaritans, said the current telephone system had been in use since 1993. But it often breaks down due to humidity, she said.

'The phone lines are kind of old and in the summer when the weather is humid the entire phone system is unable to function,' said Ms Chamberlain.

'The phone company had to fix it several times but the problem cannot be solved. The ultimate solution is to install a new system.'

The Samaritans have six lines, with a team of 120 volunteers answering calls 24 hours a day. They speak English, Hindi, Cantonese and several other Chinese dialects.

Thanks to Operation Santa Claus, the Samaritans expect to install a new telephone system and buy new headsets and microphones at the beginning of next year. The project will cost HK$60,140.

The volunteers' aim is to listen to the problems of troubled people and help them explore their options.

The Samaritans is one of the 13 beneficiary charities of OSC this year. Its hotline is 2896 0000. You can also e-mail jo@samaritans.org.hk

Get involved

Organise school fund-raising events

Organise! Organise! Organise! Think about creative ways to raise funds - try walkathons, singathons, sports and other competitions

Party! Party! Party! Hold a fund-raising party or a board game party

Get your friends to participate in 'HK$1 per student campaign'

Don't forget to write and tell us what your school is doing. We want to hear all about it

Donations! Donations can also be made by ATM or at any HSBC branch: a/c number 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus.

You can also make a cheque payable to 'SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus' and mail it to: Operation Santa Claus, South China Morning Post, 16/F Somerset House, Taikoo Place, 979 King's Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong.

Contact us at osc@scmp.com or call 2250 3185.

For more details, visit osc.scmp.com