Flaunting their many talents for good causes

Flaunting their many talents for good causes

Two schools are staging talent shows in a bid to raise funds for needy people

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Dancers show off their skills at an Ingenium rehearsal; Rachel Lau shows off her acrobatic skills; Lucien Smith and Jiwoon Choi - budding Jay-Zs?
Dancers show off their skills at an Ingenium rehearsal; Rachel Lau shows off her acrobatic skills; Lucien Smith and Jiwoon Choi - budding Jay-Zs?
Hong Kong is known as one of the most spendthrift places in the world. Yet it's always been a very giving and caring city.

Two fundraising events have been scheduled for this week alone - both organised by international students.

The students are united by a common goal: to raise money for charitable causes. In the process, they can also showcase their talents.

Yesterday evening, an interschool fundraising talent show called R11 was staged at the Canadian International School. All proceeds went to the Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre (HKRAC), an NGO dedicated to providing legal advice and representation for refugees in Hong Kong. HKRAC helps people as they await approval of their refugee status by the UN.

Four schools were involved in the event, both as performers and organisers: Chinese International School, South Island School, West Island School and Canadian International School. The schools' primary goal is to raise awareness of the hardships endured by refugees and to raise money to help them.

Organisers had spent three to five months making preparations. The four schools divided duties among themselves. "Each school was responsible for different parts of organising," explains Rachel Li, an event organiser who is a student at West Island School. "We were in charge of promotion. South Island was in charge of providing food. Chinese International was in charge of securing a location for the event. And Canadian International was in charge of setting up equipment."

Rachel, 16, and other students first learned about HKARC's work when a representative gave a talk at their school. "She was talking about the charity, about refugees and what they go through," she says.

"At the end she asked people interested in helping this organisation to sign up as volunteers. So I signed up and got involved," she adds.

Meanwhile in Ma On Shan, Renaissance College Hong Kong (RCHK) is also in the mood for giving. The school will host a charity talent show this Friday.

The show will feature nine acts, including everything from singing and dancing to beat-boxing and rapping. Organisers settled on a talent show for a simple reason.

"You know, fashion shows have been done quite a lot," explains George Jones, 17, an organiser and a student at RCHK. "We wanted to do something entertaining but also a bit different. That's why we went with the talent show," he says.

All proceeds from the show Ingenium will go towards Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)-supported projects, a main component of the IB at RCHK.

"This year we [visited] various countries in Asia," George says. "We went to Bali, Cambodia, Laos and India. In Cambodia and India we taught English and provided books and other school resources to children. In Cambodia, we also helped to renovate classrooms."

Students who stayed in Hong Kong also pitched in. "They helped out with some service-based projects," he adds. "[Charity work] enables us to give back to the community."

Many similar fundraisers have been staged by schools this year, proving that teamwork and a positive attitude can make a difference.

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