PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 November, 2011, 12:00am


Charities should not abuse people's trust

With so many needy people around the world, it is fortunate that there are also many who want to lend a helping hand. It can be difficult to help the poor directly, so we do it through charity organisations. Because the groups handle huge donations, their morality is important.

But the Red Cross Society of China has been accused of misusing funds meant for forced labourers during the second world war. No matter what the truth is, I have strong views on this issue.

First, misusing funds is unacceptable. People donate their money wholeheartedly to help those in need. Although the money in this case was not donated, its purpose was to help the Chinese who were forced to work in Japanese detention camps during the war. Funds set aside for 466 detainees and their families, who could not be tracked down, should not be handled privately.

Second, charities should uphold high moral character. They must be trusted to connect the wishes of donors with the right recipients and use the money in a meaningful way. They should also be reliable so people can donate without worrying.

Third, charities should be monitored. It is the government's duty to keep an eye on them, because they handle a lot of money. Of course, the government should also be trustworthy and strict when overseeing the charities.

Misusing funds could be a serious issue, and charity organisations have a responsibility to ensure the money is used properly.

Krystal Lam, Our Lady of the Rosary College

When helicopter parents go wrong

There is nothing wrong with the careful supervision of 'helicopter parents' - those who monitor their child's every move, especially when it relates to their studies.

These so-called tiger mums have different reasons for keeping a close eye on their children. But there's one thing we should not ignore - they usually have good intentions. However, when parents become overprotective, it can badly affect children. It is important for children to learn to be independent, finish their work on time and take on responsibilities.

Another big problem with helicopter parents is that children cannot learn from their own mistakes. When they do something wrong, their parents rush to protect them from failure. As a result, the children do not realise their mistakes and keep repeating them.

Some helicopter parents also plan packed extra-curricular schedules for their children, fearing they might make a wrong decision and fall behind. But, as a result, children are forced to do activities that they are not interested in, leading to negative attitudes and bad relationships with parents.

I think overprotective parents not only ignore children's thoughts and wishes, they also do not consider their feelings. Such parents should learn how to let go and allow their children to independently develop good personalities, habits, skills and abilities.

Connie Lau Chiu-tung, Carmel Secondary School

Unhealthy lifestyle can be deadly

Improper lifestyles cause a large number of deaths through illnesses that could be avoided.

First, people nowadays often have unhealthy lifestyles for no special reason. They work or study until midnight, and lack sleep and exercise.

People who don't exercise enough store excess fat in their body, which affects their appearance and ability to resist infections, and increases their risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Build-up of body fat is also linked to fatty liver disease. In addition, excess fat can block your arteries, causing strokes and heart attacks.

Second, people's eating habits also affect their lives. Many people today feel they have no choice but to eat fast food all the time.

People accumulate fat from eating such unhealthy food for a long time, and they get too few essential nutrients.

Heart disease and cancer are two of the biggest killers in Hong Kong. Studies have shown that improper lifestyles could lead to such diseases.

Poor diet, obesity, stress, and lack of physical activity can increase the risk of an early death, scientists say.

Remember, health comes first.

Tin Ka-chung, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School