As Hong Kong’s next generation of leaders, our teens are catalysts for positive social change. HandsOn YOUTH EMPOWERED
puts high-school students in the driver’s seat to learn about Hong Kong’s social needs, engage with nonprofit leaders and develop and run service activities that engage hundreds of youth participants—from supporting the elderly to educating children and refugees, to rescuing discarded food and supporting plastic reduction efforts.
Youth leaders as catalysts for change
Over a 10-month period, HandsOn Youth Leaders developed more than 200 volunteer activities —each one enabling other teens to volunteer their time and deepen their understanding of social needs in Hong Kong. These programs provided 1,221 individual opportunities for passionate young volunteers.
Since the program launched, more than two thirds of its Youth Leaders have thrived with stronger confidence and improved leadership skills. Participants have increased knowledge of social issues in Hong Kong and feel a stronger connection to the local community. The involvement in the program has shown a positive influence on their mental health, with empathy, a sense of purpose, and social interaction being top indicators in a post-program survey.
For instance, a team of passionate YOUTH EMPOWERED “alumni” have gone on to launch a student-led NGO called The Drive Mission which works to “empower through education”. By partnering with local charities and dedicated volunteers, they deliver English, Chinese, Mathematics, and Science programs to some of the city’s under-resourced children. Through their voice and platform, these passionate students awareness of the joy of volunteering and how others can equally become change-makers in their community.
Initiating a mindset shift in wider community
From the “wealth of innovative ideas” to the “vitality and optimistic thoughts of youth” young people have demonstrated their capability to contribute to the betterment of Hong Kong. According to a post-program survey, participating NGO partners’ found that their experiences with youth advisors both positive and educational. The group felt strongly that teens could play an important role in influencing and encouraging other teen volunteers to volunteer, and are more likely to engage youth as volunteers in future programs.
HandsOn YOUTH EMPOWERED is a powerful example of how the support and dedication of foundations like Zeshan Foundation can make a real difference in the lives of young people. By working together, we can help create a brighter and more prosperous future for the next generation and the communities they serve.
Hands On Hong Kong Team