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Operation Santa Claus

Operation Santa Claus: Future charity leaders gather to hone their skills

Charity fundraiser and Swiss bank UBS sponsor nine-month programme at Chinese University

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 February, 2016, 9:49pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 February, 2016, 9:57pm

Twenty-six charity leaders of the future gathered at the opening ceremony of a programme geared towards bringing together experts in finance and social work to bolster the city’s charity sector.

The nine-month leadership programme held at the Chinese University is offering individuals representing city NGOs mentorship and training, with experts from Swiss bank UBS passing on valuable marketing, branding and financing skills.

READ MORE: Operation Santa Claus raises record HK$21.3 million for Hong Kong, mainland Chinese charities

“This is an important programme for exchange and mutual learning for those in the charity sector,” said Professor Steven Ngai Sek-yum from the department of social work at Chinese University.

“Participants can gain skills to give back to the NGO sector and share knowledge in the community to facilitate deeper understanding of the underprivileged in Hong Kong.” he added.

A diverse range of charities is represented, including the Hong Kong Shark Foundation and domestic helper, children's, youth and health groups.

The programme, which is in its second year, is sponsored by UBS, which contributed over HK$1 million to make it possible. Head of UBS wealth management for Greater China Amy Lo cited the bank’s interest in giving back to the community as a reason for its sponsorship.

“The programme is a good opportunity for like-minded people with a passion for helping the community learn from each other and find solutions to problems,” said Lenlen Mesina, of domestic helper charity Enrich, who took part in the programme last year.

A project facilitated by Operation Santa Claus, its top student earns a prize of HK$1 million to go towards their charity – a sum that is jointly sponsored by the charity fundraiser and UBS.

Operation Santa Claus is jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.It reaches out to over 20 SAR and mainland charities.

“This project brings together the academic world and that of business and the NGOs,” said Hugh Chiverton, head of English programming at RTHK.

“Operation Santa Claus is like the oil, or the starter motor, bringing UBS together with the NGO sector.” he added.