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Growing Stronger in the Year of the Dragon

WELCOME

On behalf of the Directors, we would like to welcome you to the February issue of

our Newsletter, M.E.F. The New Year is the Year of the Dragon, a creature with great

strength and power. Appropriate because Birthday Happiness Asia has been

growing in strength and is now stronger, more powerful and ready to deliver even more

birthday happiness. Unfortunately, there are so many children who need birthday happiness

and with your wonderful encouragement and support we are reaching new heights of

success each year. The Year of the Dragon is the year that we will soar with your continued

support and encouragement. Kung Hei Fat Choi.



JOYOUS PARTIES IN JANUARY

The New Year started with a bang with a joyous party at a new Partnering Organisation., The

Sau Mau Ping Catholic Primary School on the Po Tat Estate in Kwun Tong, one of the most

deprived areas in Hong Kong. The Partnering Organisation chose an awkward time for the

joyous party on a Friday afternoon and only 4 new Volunteers could help us deliver birthday

happiness. Sujomi, Marie, Sameeksha and Raymond were joined by Jaden who came as

Spiderman. Jaden took a day off to attend this joyous party in costume. The delicious cake

was donated by Radhika and we carried it to the School on the MTR. Richard introduced

himself and expressed the opinion that the cake was gorgeous. He wanted to know if we

bought it but told him that we never purchase shop cakes because all our wonderful Cake

Makers create edible works of art with love and care. Far superior to anything that can be

bought in a shop. He contacted us via our website and is now a Volunteer. Because of the

awkward hour only the 10 Celebrants attended the joyous party. They had so much fun it was like being in a room with 30 excited and happy children. The joyous party started with a cultural bang when Sujomi sang Happy Birthday in Bahasa and Sameeksha sang it in Hindi. Both sang a song wishing them a long and prosperous life in their respective native languages. There was a Piñata kindly donated by Ms. Monica Kashish and hkfiestatime. Although the Celebrants have never been near a Piñata they attacked it with relish. Great joy when the sweets tumbled out. A great party to start 2024 and we are hoping to be invited back to the School and be introduced to the Archbishop of the local Cathedral to begin delivering birthday happiness to less fortunate children in the Parish.



Our second joyous party of January saw us return to the Society for Community Organization. This joyous party was led by Ms. Eva Lo who lead the joyous party in her unique style. She led a team made up of ‘old hands’ Rashmi and her daughter, Ashna and new Volunteers from Time Auction Bianca, Dima, Jaydon, and Sophie. She also was joined by 3 Spider men – Alpha, Isaac and Jaden. The beautiful chocolate cake was made by Lori despite being unwell with a heavy cold. After singing happy birthday in English and Cantonese, Rashmi sang it in Hindi. Rashmi described the joyous party as “......an amazing celebration”. It truly was thanks to Eva and her wonderful team of Volunteers.



Our last joyous party of the first month of year saw us return to The Lok Sin Tong Benevolent

Society in Kowloon City. We have been to the same Centre but delivered birthday happiness

to less fortunate children from the South Asian communities that attend the Centre. At this

joyous party, we were invited to deliver birthday happiness to less fortunate children in the Thai Community. The joyous party proved overwhelming popular with both the Celebrants, their Guests and our Volunteers A truly yummy cake was kindly donated by Radhika. Amongst the Volunteers we had 4 Cosplayers, Natalie, Alpha, Neil and Isaac who came as Superheroes. They were accompanied by Hélène and her son Alexei. Hélène arrived at the meeting point dressed as Elsa from Frozen. She made a spectacular sight walking though Kowloon City in her blue dress. The other Volunteers were Angie, Rachel, Joyce, and Cherie. At times, it was difficult to see who was having more fun, The Celebrants, their Guests, The Volunteers or the Social Worker, Ms. Mui. All the Volunteers expressed the opinion that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and will come again to deliver more birthday happiness. Although slightly sceptical of the value of a birthday party`, Ms. Mui enjoyed herself immensely and was very happy to see all the children so very happy. She will extend an invitation to the Volunteers join the parade at Thai New Year in April. She will also introduce us to other Thai organisations whose children will appreciate receiving birthday happiness.




NEW SOCIAL MEDIA GROUP

As we move into the new and exciting age of social media, the Directors realised that we

require a presence in social media. As we grow, we will need, more Volunteers, Team Leaders, Cake Makers, Donors, Sponsors and money. To reach as many potential Supporters, it is felt that we must reach them through the power of Social Media. Ms. Bianca Bernardino, Ms. Angie Sing and Ms. Wing Yan Cheung, Sophie have kindly agreed to help us to reach out to potential Supporters via social media. If you wish to join these 3 very talented and dedicated ladies, please contact the Birthday Happiness Asia office.



DONATIONS

After being one of our Volunteers at a joyous party in December, a new Volunteer spoke to us about our mission and our long-term objectives. After considering it over the Christmas holiday and further discussions with us, this Volunteer made a donation of HK$6,000 but wishes to remain anonymous. Through the PayPal function on our website we have received a further three donations of HK$150, HK$300 and HK$500. All these wonderful donors wish to remain anonymous but know that their kindness and generosity will bring a great deal of birthday happiness to many less fortunate children. On behalf of all us, especially the children, thank you very much.



TOY DONATIONS

The Directors wish to thank Ms. Viveka Mansukhani for talking to her friend, Ms. Lavina

Daswani. Ms. Daswani has never been to a joyous party and relied on Ms. Mansukhani to

explain how we deliver birthday happiness to less fortunate children. So, impressed by what

she heard that she immediately donated boxes of expensive Flipeez cuddly toys and

slippers. We have already started handing them out as birthday gifts and the younger female

Celebrants love them and will treasure them forever. Thank you Lavina.




VARSITY MAGAZINE

Birthday happiness Asia was approached by Ms. Hanne Chan, a Student Reporter at Varsity,

an English magazine published by the School of Journalism and Communication of Chinese

University Hong Kong (CUHK). https://varsity.com.cuhk.edu.hk/ The magazine has a

circulation of over 4.000 in 9 local Universities and Secondary Schools. Ms. Chan learnt

about our Mission from our Volunteers attending CUHK who had been to our joyous parties

in the past. Ms. Chan attended the joyous party in the Society for Community Organization

on 20th January as a Volunteer and a Reporter. She interviewed our Director, David

Strestfield beforehand and during the joyous party she interviewed the Social Worker, Tim

Tse, the Volunteers and some of the Celebrants and their Guests. After the joyous party, she

interviewed the Team Leader, Ms. Eva Lo and Co-Founder, Edward Fernandes. Ms. Chan

said she really enjoyed the joyous party and liked the broad smiles on the faces of the

Participants and took many photos. Her report will appear in the Community Section of the

upcoming March issue of the magazine. We are hoping that the article will be read by the

future leaders of Hong Kong and they will appreciate our message that are too many children in Hong Kong who need birthday happiness.

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