Operation Santa Claus
Jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK since 1988, Operation Santa Claus is one of the largest charitable donation drives in Hong Kong. By November 2012, It had raised more than HK$170 million for over 150 charitable projects.
Mentors help needy kids study English and enter university
Young graduates nurture underprivileged kids' interest in studying English to allow them to enter university and break the poverty cycle
Children use all sorts of tutors and after-school classes to keep up with their studies. Those who cannot afford to pay for such help may find themselves lagging behind.
One person committed to helping less well-off pupils is Dennis Wong Yan-kwong, 23, a programme mentor with the Teach Unlimited Foundation.
"We don't want their background to be a burden that drags down their development," he says. "We're helping them to overcome this."
Wong organises English learning activities inside and outside classrooms at Leung Sing Tak College in Tsuen Wan. In addition to nurturing pupils' interest in learning English, his goal is to build a relationship with them and become their life mentor.
The foundation launched the programme last year, employing six young university graduates as mentors. Two of them work in each of their three partner schools, where a large proportion of the pupils are from less well-off backgrounds.
The mentors fill a gap that teachers and social workers are aware of but cannot completely address.
Operation Santa Claus, a charitable appeal jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, is raising funds for the programme.
Wong took up the job after he graduated from university last year. He is encouraged to see that some of his pupils have made their way into university this year.
One of them, Wong Siu-him, 20, who is studying engineering at Polytechnic University, says he used to have no confidence in his ability to learn English.
"I thought I would definitely fail English in the public exam," he says, admitting that he used to get dizzy when trying to read English.
Dennis Wong not only helped him overcome his fears about the language but remains his friend and adviser. He says he chose the mentoring job partly because he is of a humble background himself and so knows what deprivation is. Also, the work seems like a way to alleviate social injustice, he says.
"There are many ways to do it, and this is one of them."
HOW YOU CAN GIVE
- Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com
- Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account no: 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus)
- You can donate with a cheque payable to "SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus" and mail it to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories,
- Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt, with your name, address and phone number, to the above address. Please call 2680 8159 or e-mail email@example.com with any inquiries, or visit us online at osc.scmp.com