Charities join fun at Tsim Sha Tsui fiesta

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 January, 2009, 12:00am

Melody Wat Wing-ching is happy to forgo lai see packets to sell her pottery for charity.

'I used to go to my grandmother's home during the Chinese New Year. But I'm as happy this year because I can meet different people,' said the 25-year-old from Hong Chi Pinehill Pottery, a charity teaching the mentally handicapped to make pottery.

Ms Wat was helping the Hong Chi Association to run a stall at the Hong Kong Tourism Board's Chinese New Year Fiesta at the Avenue of the Stars and the New World Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, which ends on Sunday.

The fiesta marks the first time the board has invited 10 charities to run stalls during the Lunar New Year.

'Chinese people love doing charitable works, so this time we worked with the charity groups to give them a channel to promote themselves,' said Gilly Wong Fung-han of the board.

Chung Shak Hei (Cheung Chau) Home for the Aged has a stall featuring the traditional Cheung Chau buns and new year decorations created by the elderly.

Executive manager Tan To Yuen-tin said he hoped the event would raise about HK$60,000 and promote the bun festival.

Youngsters from the Young Men's Christian Association of Hong Kong are promoting its doll-making project with Sichuan earthquake victims at the carnival.

The YMCA's programme officer, Charity Tsang Suk-ting, said 20 Hongkongers had been to Sichuan, and were hoping to set up a social enterprise in April to help quake victims make and sell dolls.

'The victims need psychological assistance, and making dolls with them is a good way to have them talk to us,' Ms Tsang said.

Other highlights of the fiesta include the floats that took part in the new year parade on Monday night and stage performances.