Schoolchildren on the march in Hong Kong for Operation Santa Claus
- Centres in Tung Chung and Discovery Bay hold sponsored walkathons
Hundreds of youngsters, parents and teachers in festive red staged a charity walk on Lantau Island last month.
The participants included pupils from Discovery Mind International Play Centre and Discovery Mind International Kindergarten, both in Tung Chung.
Students from the group’s primary school were also out in force to join the procession, which made its way along Tung Chung Waterfront Road on November 17.
The preschool children, together with their families and teachers, walked with a light step on the 3km sponsored walkathon.
Their seniors from the primary school, meanwhile, opted for a separate 10km route.
The annual walk, now in its 13th year, was held by Discovery Mind Educational Organisation to raise money for Operation Santa Claus, the charity drive jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and public broadcaster RTHK.
The organisation, which runs play centres, kindergartens and primary schools in Tung Chung and Discovery Bay, both on Lantau, has won the drive’s top school fundraiser award for nine consecutive years.
Kabeeta Gurung, head of school at Discovery Mind, said the walk gave the children an opportunity to learn the importance of giving back.
“We encourage empathy, compassion and care in each of our children,” she said.
“[The walk] offers us the perfect way to help instil this lesson where we all – parents, students, family and friends – come together to make a difference.”
First-timer Janine Manning said her family had moved to Tung Chung about a year earlier and that her children were keen to take part in community activities such as the walk.
“It’s an awesome community to be part of,” the mother of two added.
Steven Li, who also participated in the walk for the first time, said it was a meaningful event.
“Although the children might not fully understand this right now, they will as they grow older,” the father said.
Most participants finished the excursion and returned to the starting point on the Tung Chung campus within an hour.
The walk was part of the annual fundraising effort alongside a separate hike held in Discovery Bay.
In the past all pupils from the Discovery Mind campuses walked together in Discovery Bay. But with growing student populations, the organisation decided to stage the event in both districts this year.
“We want to spread awareness,” Gurung said. “We also want to make the walk more accessible to the community.”
How you can give:
- Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com/donate
- Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account no: 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd Operation Santa Claus)
- Donate with a cheque payable to “SCMP Charities Ltd – Operation Santa Claus” and mail it to: Operation Santa Claus, South China Morning Post, 19/F, Tower One, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
- 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 +852 2680 8159 or email [email protected] with any inquiries, or visit us online