The first week of your summer holidays can feel like bliss. No exams, no stress, no classes – nothing. But sooner or later, all that nothing can feel a little samey and dull (trust us, it’ll happen). With all that time to play with over the summer, why not look into picking up a little voluntary work before the new school year begins? Not only can it be a personally rewarding experience, it’ll also look amazing on your CV when you begin job-hunting. Here are 10 organisations across the city you might want to look into signing up to help out.
This NGO helps distribute donated goods to the people who need them the most. Crossroads receives a huge amount of furniture, clothes, toys and electrical items, and they’re always happy to have volunteers help them sort it all out. You will receive a service certificate for 70 hours’ volunteering and an advanced service certificate for 140.
Hans Andersen Club
Named after Danish fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen, the Hans Anderson Club focuses on underprivileged families and their children in Hong Kong. The club is recruiting volunteers to help out with things like story-writing, storytelling, promoting the club, and publishing. Volunteers must be at least 15 years old.
Feeding Hong Kong
The charity is actively trying to fight hunger and reduce food waste at the same time. Help with the Bread Run, where bakery bread that might otherwise be thrown away is redistributed to schools, shelters, and charity. Apply with a squad to help sort food at their warehouse, and learn about food banking.
Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden
If you’ve got a green thumb, Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden (KFBG) might be the perfect match for you. There are four different areas that volunteers can apply for: sustainable living and agriculture, flora conservation, fauna conservation, and nature education. Opportunities include helping set up the weekly Central Farmers’ Market, planting and taking care of plants, and keeping track of plants in the area.
Show your support for our scaly, furry, or feathery friends by helping at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). They usually need help with kennel cleaning, dog walking, and animal care education.
KELY Support Group
Everyone goes through periods of sadness, stress or low self-esteem. Sometimes all it takes to overcome them is a helping hand. This support group does exactly that (on top of their programmes focusing on drug and alcohol prevention and intervention), and provides people aged 14-24 with confidential and inclusive support. Help out by leading workshops, working at events, or being a part of a peer support group.
The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association
Help people with Down syndrome or other learning disabilities unlock their full potential by helping to tutor and play with children, and taking part in activities and workshops for adults with Down syndrome. A local group, they often particularly need native English speakers to work with familes whose native language is not Cantonese.
Changing Young Lives
There are many underprivileged young people in Hong Kong, and this organisation works towards changing their lives for the better. Take part in workshops, and help children with learning difficulties. Or, you can sign up for the Young Friends programme, and become a life mentor on a yearlong basis.
This NGO runs more than 100 volunteer activities each month in Hong Kong. One of the activities they need people for is to visit the elderly residents of the China Coast Community residence in Kowloon Tong. Brighten the day of a group of old people by setting up and playing games like Bingo and pass the parcel, or leading arts and crafts workshops.
Hong Kong Wetland Park
Home to some of the territory’s unique creatures – mudskippers and black-faced spoonbills, for example – the park is also plagued by invasive, mainly plant, species, that they need help eradicating. They also hold regular eco-tours which are led by volunteers.