Cards of compassion

China-born Shirley Yeung Kam-yung blended elements of mainland landscapes to win a card-design competition.

Her special achievement stood out enough to beat about 28,000 other entries from 116 primary schools.

Shirley, 13, won the senior section of the Caring Cards design competition organised by Kinder Surprise, a company which makes chocolate eggs.

Connie Leung Suk-kay, Greater China marketing director for Kinder's parent company Ferrero Asia, said cards entered in the competition would be sent to mainland youngsters for Children's Day on June 1.

Hong Kong celebrated its Children's Day on April 4.

The aim of the contest was to allow children to express love and care for youngsters in China, Ms Leung said.


The company also is collecting money for the UNICEF, the United Nation's children's fund.

It will be spent on schooling for mainland children who live in poor, remote villages.

Louis Loong Hon-biu, chairman of UNICEF Hong Kong's fund-raising sub-committee, said most of its projects were focused on the north-west and mountainous regions of China.

He said a special programme was being set up this year to provide education for girls.


Mr Loong said, when compared with boys, young females in the poorer regions of China had little opportunity to receive a school education.

Ms Leung said her company would raise more than $100,000 from the sale of chocolate eggs during a three-day charity event at Sha Tin's New Town Plaza.


Shirley, a Grade Six student at the Shau Kei Wan Government School, incorporated mountain ranges and water scenes of the mainland in her winning entry.

She moved to Hong Kong five years ago but said she still missed the features of the Chinese landscape.

The message on her card read: 'Dear children in China, though we're living apart and we've never met, our hearts are connected like the mountains and water are always together.' Shirley said mountain ranges and water contained very special meanings for her because she had grown up in such a natural environment on the mainland.


'I miss my friends a lot,' she admitted. 'I go to visit my home in Guangdong province every year.

'I'd like to live there more [than in Hong Kong]. I have many friends there.' Shirley said she had made many new friends in Hong Kong but these friendships could never be as strong as those forged with children you grew up with.

She is glad the cards from the competition will be sent to the mainland: 'I think they will be very happy. I know because I can imagine how I would feel if I was the one receiving a card.


Winner of the junior prize Preston Leung Kai-yiu, although knowing little about China, said he was eager to join hands with the mainland children.

His mother explained to him the significance of the territory's return to Chinese rule as he was designing his winning card.

She told Kai-yiu, a Grade Three Raimondi College pupil, about the history of Hong Kong and how it came to be under British rule.

The competition winners each received $1,000 with a further $1,000 going to their respective schools.