American Express helps to develop community leaders in Hong Kong
Nurturing future leaders, promoting community service and heritage conservation are the main objectives of American Express’ philanthropic efforts around the world. This year, the brand celebrates its 100th anniversary in Hong Kong.
As part of its commitment to improving the communities in which it operates, American Express has jointly launched the “Leadership in Heritage Conservation Program” together with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG). In launching this program, American Express has announced a grant of HK$5 million to the HKFYG over a three-year term.
Mr Y C Koh, President, Asia at American Express says, “American Express and the HKFYG share the same vision for nurturing youth leaders,” He hopes the effort will help deepen the concept of heritage preservation in the community while at the same time give American Express employees the chance to volunteer their time to support this initiative.
Under the multi-pronged program, more than 3,000 young leaders from senior forms of secondary schools and universities will receive experiential conservation education and comprehensive leadership training. American Express volunteers will also participate in the leadership programs and activities designed for the participants.
The trained young leaders with strong interests in heritage conservation and architecture will then become ambassadors for the historical former Fanling Magistracy, which will be transformed into The HKFYG Institute of Leadership Development. Upon its completion slated for late 2017, the project is expected to play a pivotal role in promoting leadership education in the community.
An integration of conservation and innovation, the project will feature Hong Kong’s first interactive heritage trail at the former Fanling Magistracy. The trail experience will come to life through interactive exhibits which will be powered by new technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and leap motion capabilities.
In addition to their partnership with HKFYG, American Express also works with an organization called Common Purpose to host the American Express Leadership Academy in Hong Kong. This program is designed to give leaders in the non-profit sector the skills, network and resources they need in order to run their organizations more successfully. Mr Koh said that it is American Express’ intention to integrate the activities which make up the American Express Leadership Academy with the work the company is supporting at the former Fanling Magistracy.
Apart from making this donation, American Express always encourages its employees to get engaged in volunteer activities. Since 2014, the company has been supporting the “Extended After-school Care and Support Program” instituted by the St. James’ Settlement. More than one hundred participate as mentors to offer tutorial aid and after-school care to primary school children in need. In addition, through the company’s Serve2Gether Consulting Challenge, American Express employees offer strategic advice to help improve the business operations of selected non-profit organizations in Hong Kong. The company also encourages employees to volunteer by participating in other meaningful causes, such as food redistribution or elderly home visits.