Hong Kong is an international city with well-developed law and education systems. However, behind the prosperity, children here are not as happy as the city’s success portrays. Sadly, in the past six months, 15 students – the majority aged between 13 and 16 – have passed away due to suicide. This tragic statistic reflects something of the concern that many children in Hong Kong are not receiving sufficient care and support.
Hong Kong is a fiercely competitive society, which puts children under tremendous pressure and makes them vulnerable as they have no control over their lives, with little to no input into the activities they take part in. It is all planned by parents, who genuinely believe the choices they make are the best for their children.
Hong Kong locals describe children as needing to “win at the starting line”. This high expectation leads to a life-long competition which commences before one is born. Academic performance has become the only way to determine one’s success. Children are forced to give up playing and resting time in order to excel in a diverse range of activities, from foreign languages to sports to musical instruments. In many cases, children do not enjoy these activities, but they simply do not have the power to fight against their situation.
With an office in the city, Viva has been conducting proactive Child Protection Training in Hong Kong since 2013 in order to enhance child protection awareness. We were delighted to welcome around 40 delegates at our recent training in February, representing churches, schools and various children learning centres who left equipped with practical methods to improve child protection in their own working environments.
Riding on the growing concern of child protection in Hong Kong, Viva has recently recruited a new Child Protection Advisor, Kanice Ho, to work alongside various groups and organisations, and to enhance the concept of proactive child protection into the society. In addition to offering child protection training, the role aims to assist various bodies to write up and implement their related policy, as well as consultancy advice when child abuse situations arise.
By implementing these proactive measures in groups and organisations who come into regular contact with children, Viva’s desire is to see more spaces created in Hong Kong where children feel safe, secure and loved.
Before joining Viva, Kanice has worked in public relations and with World Vision China on child-focused community development project management, emphasising child safety and protection.
She would love to talk to you if you want to know more about Viva’s child protection training, policy write-up and implementation services. Contact Kanice at +852 3919 5837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org