On behalf of the Directors, welcome to the last Birthday Happiness Asia Newsletter, M.E.F, of 2022. If you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, we’d like to wish you and your family Chag urim sameach, or a very Merry Christmas. Whichever holiday you celebrate, we hope that you’ll be enjoying it with your loved ones.
JOYOUS PARTIES IN DECEMBER
Because of the Christmas holidays and subsequent school holidays, we only held two Birthday Happiness parties in December. Society for Community Organisation (SoCO) The first event held at SoCO was a great success. There were 8 celebrants and nearly 25 guests at the Christmas-themed joyous party. Everyone enjoyed playing traditional games like Pass the Parcel and Musical Chairs, as well as a Christmas piñata kindly donated by our volunteer, Monica. The Christmas-themed cake was kindly donated by Aisha at Bakelicious. Aisha has donated a number of cakes but this was her first time attending a joyous party. She was pleased to see her cake bring so much joy. One of the celebrants commented that the birthday cake looked so delicious that he wanted it for himself! The celebrants’ happiness was heightened when Father Christmas surprised them to hand out their gifts. The yelps of joy were great. Thank you, David, for that.
The other joyous Christmas-themed party was held at the Tung Chung Catholic School on the Yat Tung Estate. The venue was decorated with an eco-friendly cloth Christmas tree, bunting and decorations kindly donated by Ecoparties HK. Celebrants, guests and volunteers played Pass the Parcel, Musical Chairs and had fun with another piñata decorated as a Christmas tree, also donated by Monica. The children had great fun smashing the piñata and scrambling for the sweets when it burst. Ms. Marina Grbesa generously donated the wonderful Christmas-themed cake, and Ms. Sweta Jha and Mariella Gatt sponsored the delicious and nourishing food. Unfortunately, with the rise of Covid cases, the Governors decided that the pupils would not be allowed to eat at a local fish restaurant as planned but be served food at the end of the joyous party, to be consumed outside. Father Christmas attended the party and gave the celebrants their gifts. Thanks to Ken for being such a jolly Santa!
And thank you to all the volunteers for making our last joyous party of 2022 such a memorable event, especially Tina who flew from England so she could attend. Her daughter Chadi was a volunteer at a party earlier in the year before she flew to England to start in her new school on the east coast of England. Both mother and daughter greatly enjoyed delivering birthday happiness.
NEW PARTNERING ORGANISATION
According to a 2016 Government report, poverty among ethnic minorities in Hong Kong is over double the rate for children in the wider community* . Since many South Asian have a limited grasp of Chinese, their career options as adults are often limited to ‘3D’ jobs, i.e. those that are considered dirty, dangerous and demeaning. These jobs are often low-paying, too. As such, this fuels intergenerational poverty. These less fortunate children need birthday happiness. In light of this, Birthday Happiness Asia recently got in contact with Mufti Muhammad Arshad, the chief imam of the Kowloon Mosque and Islamic Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui. After hearing how we deliver birthday happiness to less fortunate children and of the benefits, Arshad lauded the concept behind Birthday Happiness Asia and agreed to a trial joyous party. We’re hoping to celebrate in January or after Chinese New Year, most likely at the Islamic Centre for Community Service Centre in Tin Shui Wai. If the celebration is a success, we’ll then be allowed into the other six Centres in Hong Kong. Of course, the hot nourishing food served to the celebrants and their guests will be halal.
JOYOUS PARTY IN JANUARY 2023
Because of the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays, we have only one confirmed joyous party at SoCO in Sham Shui Po on Saturday, 7th January, 1.00-2.30pm. Please email the party’s Team Leader, Ms Fiona Wei, at Fiona23@lpcuwc.edu.hk if you’re able to help her deliver birthday happiness.
BAKE SALE DONATIONS WANTED
With over 300,000 children in Hong Kong living on or below the poverty line, the need for birthday happiness has never been greater. Birthday Happiness aims to deliver on average two or three joyous parties per weekend. This will require more volunteers, team leaders, supporters and money. Volunteers Alex, Fiona, Marly, Sonya, Tope and Justin – members of the new Fundraiser Committee – have suggested that we have a bake sale after Chinese New Year in a convenient location. If you can donate homemade, cakes, cookies etc, please get in touch. Thank you!
WiX WEBSITE ANALYSIS
With greater awareness of the mission of Birthday Happiness Asia in the community following the report on TVB Pearl, our website has grown in popularity. Visits to our site grew by 53% in November and generated 129% new leads. The website’s homepage generated the most visitors, growing by 111%; the Volunteers page was the most trending; and the most popular newsletter page, created by our Webmaster, Andrew Spires, was ‘We're going to be on the telly!
As we enter the new year, we’re optimistic that we’ll reach even more children with birthday happiness through new and existing Partnering Organisations. All of us at Birthday Happiness Asia would like to thank our Friends and Supporters for the continued generosity, kindness and support shown to us this year. With your help, we’ve been able to bring much birthday happiness to hundreds of less fortunate children, and that is the best gift you could have given. Thank you very much.
*Source: Hong Kong Poverty Situation Report on Ethnic Minorities, Government of the Hong Kong SAR