Karmel Schreyer

Although businesses have known for many years how important engaging with their communities is, it's a fairly new concept for schools. Savvy school staffers are now looking beyond the schoolyard to find enhanced learning opportunities for students - and even generating a bit of revenue while "finding their niche". Discovery Bay International School has just launched DBIS Night School, offering classes such as adult and children's art workshops, an adult drama workshop, a teen yoga course and a filmmaking workshop. A personal development series includes sessions with titles such as "Dismantling your inner critic" and "Ideals, dreams and your future". Courses are run by independent providers as well as school staff, with plans to expand the night school offerings in the new school year.

The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union no longer allows beer jugs and under-18s into the South Stand. The HKRFU has also made concerted efforts with partners such as KELY Support Group in the past few years to help young people make healthy choices at the Sevens. Dance instructor Melissa Thornton, who has kept Sevens crowds entertained between matches as a roving presenter in past years, lauds efforts to curb excessive drinking and other positive changes.


Kumi Masunaga came to Hong Kong as many expatriates do - to see what the city could offer her. But rather than finding her niche in finance, teaching English or engineering, Masunaga found hers in helping others "find their voice" through drumming circles or, as she calls it, the "drum jam".

The adage "home is where the heart is" aptly characterises the vision of Habitat for Humanity, the world's largest non-profit housing organisation, founded in 1976 in the US. And Hong Kong's dedicated "Habitat Youth" are learning, as they toil for the less fortunate, that homes and communities are made stronger when love and respect are added to bricks and mortar.

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