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YMCA 2017 June Perspective

23-06-2017

Theme Story photo

Theme Story
Calling All Mappers!
The Mapperthon Community Action Project Needs You!
When you read the words “sports”, “volunteering”, “calories” and “community”, at first they may not seem like they have much to do with each other. But thanks to Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, these individual concepts are now working together to create a unique way of giving back to those in need.

Organised by Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong and sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, “Mapperthon” brings young volunteers and sports lovers together, encouraging them to challenge themselves through training for seven different types of sports. The calories burned by the volunteers during their exercise sessions are then “converted” into daily necessities to help people in need. These are the twin missions of Mapperthon: to spread love across society and stay fit at the same time!

Take part in one of Hong Kong’s most unique volunteering experiences When Ho Fung’s mother heard that her son, a Form 4 student, was looking to build his fitness level, she took the initiative and registered him for the Mapperthon programme. She told him that if her son could complete the training, she would reward him with extra pocket money. Ho Fung went along to the first training session but to his surprise, he came up against a challenge almost immediately. “I play basketball regularly, so I thought that taking part in street sports would not be difficult. But I couldn’t even manage to do one chin-up! I saw the outstanding performance of the other participants and found it really frustrating that I couldn’t do the same thing!”, Ho Fung told us.

Spurred on by the idea of extra pocket money and wanting to get fit, Ho Fung continued the training. Now, after months of hard work, not only is he significantly fitter, he has also developed a passion for street-based sports by thanks to his active participation in Mapperthon’s volunteer work.

The Mapperthon project was launched in July 2016, with the objective of recruiting 1,500 “mappers”, ranging in age from 12 to 30, within three years. These mappers are given free training in seven street-based sports: running, cycling, street dance, street workout, X-Games (i.e. skateboarding), cricket and taspony.

Aying, a Mapperthon community officer responsible for leading and planning the street-based sports training, remarked that, “Ho Fung was a somewhat chubby boy who was a bit shy when he joined us. At the start, he had trouble keeping up with the pace of the activities, and so he rarely spoke to the other participants. But he managed make great progress by putting in a lot of effort – now, Ho-Fung can do four chin-ups and he is much more outgoing thanks to his participation in the volunteer work. I’m happy to see a smile on his face and his improved fitness level!”

Besides the sports aspect of the project, another important feature of Mapperthon is the “conversion” of calories burned by the participants into resources that volunteers give to those in need. The programme takes the total number of calories burned by participants and, using a special formula, exchanges these into materials like winter clothing, milk powder, items for seniors and other necessities. Aying points out that after participants learn about Mapperthon’s objectives, they often try to burn as many calories as they can in order to help out as many people as possible.

Aying continues, “In addition to providing daily necessities to those in need, volunteers also have the opportunity to exercise and talk directly with seniors and people with disabilities. I believe this is living testimony of our creed, that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’, as well as being a great chance for volunteers to demonstrate the skills they have learned in our training sessions. All these elements are quite motivational and boost the engagement of our volunteers.”

“When we help others, we help ourselves”. For the participants, Mapperthon helps encourage their personal development. Aying recalls one occasion when an older gentleman refused to accept the daily necessities being offered; instead, he simply wanted to have a conversation with the volunteers. This incident helped the young volunteers understand that care and companionship can be even more important than material goods in the eyes of seniors.

The summer holidays are quickly approaching, if you want to get in shape like Ho Fung and make a meaningful contribution to the community at the same time, please visit the Mapperthon Facebook fanpage for the latest news today!

For enquiries and registration, please call: 2341 5033

 

Highlight of our Activities
Recruiting IFocus Ambassadors for Geneva
Recruiting IFocus Ambassadors for Geneva How would you like to head overseas and take part in the 12th Internet Governance Forum in Geneva to share your thoughts on digital inclusion with people from around the world? Now is your chance, because we are currently recruiting Ambassadors for IFocus 2017! As long as you are a Form 1 to Form 5 student and have a keen interest in design, leading activities, the promotion of the proper use of information technology to vulnerable groups, and the removal of barriers in the digital world, then you are eligible to apply to be an ambassador! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to join our team. The application deadline is 7 July, so don’t hesitate! For enquiries, please call Mr Chung on 2778 2727. For further details, please click here.

 

Global YMCA News
Global Y Explorers 2017
Global YMCA News This summer, for the ninth year in a row, YMCA will host a diverse group of 25 youths from around the world at our outstanding Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village. The aim of this year’s Global Y Explorers programme is to get these international visitors involved in our social services and allow our staff, our members and our visitors to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

These international interns are travelling from eight overseas YMCAs including the United States of America, Germany, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, China and Thailand .They will be assigned to more than 10 service units. Once settled, they will take part in a wide range of activities including day and overnight camps, sports and recreation courses, language classes, children and youth development programmes.

As we want our international interns and our members to enjoy a unique and positive cultural experience, we invite everyone to approach these interns and welcome them should you encounter them at your service units. We hope that everyone will interact and socialise with the aim of learning more about each other’s cultures, lifestyles and traditions. Ultimately, we want everyone to build relationships which will help these visitors feel Hong Kong’s spirit of hospitality and enthusiasm.

 

Highlights of our Activities
No Plastic Bottle Day
No Plastic Bottle Day Our annual “No Plastic Bottle Day” event was successfully held on 1 June. Participation this year was higher than ever – in addition to our promotional truck which handed out foldable “free refill” cups to the public in Central, Mongkok and Tsimshatsui; all YMCA service centres and our Y-Care CSR partners Timberland and PROTREK also took part in our Please Refill campaign, with people refilling their cups and containers in locations around the city. We hope that everyone who was given a free refill cup will use them wisely. We also hope that people in general will carry their personal water bottles with them and buy fewer bottled drinks in future. The goal is to dramatically reduce plastic bottle waste in Hong Kong – so let’s start refilling now!

For details of the permanent “free refill” locations please navigate to : http://nopb.ymca.org.hk

 

Earth Day with Timberland
Earth Day with TimberlandTo help our Y-Care CSR partner Timberland shoulder its environmental responsibilities, the company organises annual Earth Day for their employees. This year, Timberland linked up with us once again to conduct a beach clean-up and an eco-living workshop. Over 80 Timberland employees visited Lung Kwu Tan in Tuen Mun and participated in a workshop to produce eco-friendly lamps, bags and lip balms. The final products were given to seniors and families in need in Tin Shui Wai district.

If your company is interested in becoming one of our Y-Care CSR partners and taking part in engaging activities like these, please visit http://www.ymca.org.hk/ycare.

 

Highlights of YMCA’s YouTube Channel
YMCA World Challenge
YMCA World Challenge video

 


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