Where: Room 504, Tung Che Commercial Centre, 246 Des Voeux West What: Social workers and teachers offer educational programmes for students aged six to 13, teaching them leadership and social service skills. How: Visit www.volunteer.org.hk or call 21161212. There is a wide variety of volunteer jobs on offer including trips to remote mainland villages which aim to increase awareness of child poverty. They can also arrange voluntary work in local social services. Teen volunteer: Ginny Chan Ka-ying, 19, is a first year student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She said her trip to the mainland was a journey of self-discovery. 'I knew what poverty was in theory, but I had never experienced it directly until this trip. Many village children are hard-working, but, because their families are so poor, they don't get the chance to study further than primary two. Last month, we teamed up with a mainland charity organisation and visited village schools in Yunnan. We played games with the children and taught them drawing skills. We took with us a huge rainbow-coloured banner onto which we pasted their drawings of animals, mountains, clouds and trees. We then displayed the banner by hanging it up on some trees. The project aimed to allow children to express their hopes of having a colourful future through education. At night, we stayed with the children in their homes. The wooden house that I stayed in had electricity for the first time only a few years ago. There was just one light bulb, and there was no toilet in the house. It was freezing at night. But the people were very strong in dealing with the harsh conditions. I think I am imposing my own standards on them by saying that they are poor. They have their own lifestyle and do not have the same pressures as city dwellers. Some parents in the villages had the idea that education was useless. They preferred their children, especially girls, to help out at home rather than go to school. In the second school that I visited, about 80 per cent of the students were boys. The trip was an eye-opening experience, and I think I know myself better now. I have started to think about the meaning of my life and what kind of happiness I want to pursue.'