On behalf of the Directors, welcome to the April issue of our Newsletter, M.E.F. With spring upon us and the sun shining, our desire to have as many joyous parties as possible is shining brighter than ever. We only held two celebrations in March because of exam season. However, each were very successful with lots of birthday happiness. People are becoming more interested in our mission – we saw a 79% increase in the number of visits to our website last month alone, and many people contacted us. Truly wonderful!
JOYOUS PARTY AT THE REFUGEE UNION
We celebrated the first joyous party in March at the Refugee Union in Sheung Wan with four birthday girls and one birthday boy. Volunteers Adriane, Charlotte, Gina and Naomi joined us to deliver a truly joyous party to the celebrants and their guests. The participants are refugees in Hong Kong and have never had a birthday party filled with happiness, joy and love. Everyone was impressed by the strawberry cake and food kindly made by Adriane and Gina and enjoyed the chicken and spaghetti from Jollibee in Sheung Wan. Because we had so much fun, the Refugee Union have asked us back to celebrate the children with April birthdays.
JOYOUS PARTY AT THE BOYS’ AND GIRLS’ CLUB
In March, we also celebrated at The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong. Their Fanling Centre is located on the Ka Fuk Estate and close to the border. With many elderly and family residents living on or below the poverty line, they depend on government financial assistance to survive. Our four celebrants ranged in age from 7 to 12. Together with their guests there were nearly 25 participants. Thank you to everyone at the Club, especially the parents and staff who made the delicious birthday food, and to our volunteer Ching and her mother, who made the yummy cakes the night before. The joyous party was made even more memorable with the help of our other volunteers, Eva – the newest Team Leader and Party Leader that day – Ivy, Jessica and Reshma. We played traditional games like Pass the Parcel and Musical Chairs, and the celebrants made a wish for good luck before blowing out the candles and cutting the cake. Everyone liked their birthday gifts, including a Dinosaur Truck and Hannah Montana kitchen set. The Centre’s supervisor, Ms. Ida Lim, and her management team are discussing when we can return. We might even have a football-themed party!
JOYOUS PARTIES IN APRIL
With the Easter holidays soon arriving, Birthday Happiness Asia has three confirmed parties to date. Our newest Team Leaders, Eva and Pei Ying (P.Y.), will lead two of these joyous parties for the first time. On Saturday, 1st April, we’re delivering birthday happiness at the Society for Community Organization (SoCO), starting at 2.00 pm for 90 minutes. After participating as Party Leader on many occasions, P.Y. felt it was time to become more involved and stepped up as Team Leader. On the same day, Ms. Eva Lo will lead the joyous launch party at Twinkling STARS. Ms. Lo will use her connections and hotel management skills to deliver birthday happiness to 10 celebrants and their 15 guests. Ms. Lo likes the concept behind Birthday Happiness Asia and has fully embraced our ethos as defined by our Co-Founder, Marilou.
After the Easter break, we will have the third joyous party of the month back at the Refugee Union. Everyone had such a great time at the first launch party with Jollibee food and homemade cake that they didn’t hesitate in inviting us back in April. This time the yummy cake will be made by Ms. Alex Garcia, with Edward Fernandes as the Team Leader and Adriane, Charlotte and Charlotte’s brother Christopher as Party Leaders.
THE SALISBURY - YMCA OF HONG KONG CAKE SPONSORSHIP
It’s with great pleasure that Birthday Happiness Asia acknowledges a cake donation, secured by Ms. Eva Lo, by the Salisbury-YMCA of Hong Kong Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. As these cakes retail at a premium price, we’re sure the celebrants and their guests will truly appreciate this wonderful donation. We hope to share photos of the children enjoying their birthday cake in the next issue of our newsletter. Thank you very much, Salisbury-YMCA.
NEW PARTNERING ORGANISATIONS
We would also like to thank Mr. Manoj Moorjani, better known as Johnny, for introducing Birthday Happiness Asia to the Ebenezer School and Home for the Visually Impaired. Johnny and members of the Sadhu Vaswani Centre (SVC) where he is a leading light have been to some of our joyous parties as volunteers. The SVC last year sponsored two joyous parties in Harmony House and SoCO. The school has agreed to have a joyous party for their students on Wednesday 10th May starting at 6.45 pm for 90 minutes. The party must be on a weekday after the pupils have had their evening meal. The Home/School operates five days per week and the pupils go home at the weekends. Ebenezer School will design the programme as the children are visually impaired and require different games. Please mark your diary. Your help in delivering birthday happiness to children from the school will be greatly appreciated. Following the great success of the joyous party at the Refugee Union, Birthday Happiness Asia reached out to Branches of Hope. Their mission is to “restore dignity, justice, and hope to the vulnerable and marginalised in Hong Kong”. Branches of Hope helps victims of human trafficking under their STOP (Stop Trafficking of People) programme and refugees and asylum seekers through their ROAD (Refugee Opportunity and Development) programme. We hope to offer parties for less fortunate refugee children at the Branches of Hope centre in Wan Chai.
KOWLOON MOSQUE AND ISLAMIC CENTRE
We’re pleased to tell our friends that the Trustees and Imam Arshad of the Kowloon Mosque and Islamic Centre have confirmed they’re willing to be our latest Partnering Organisation. As Ramadan has started and will end towards the end of April, we hope to deliver birthday happiness to less fortunate Muslim children starting in May.
It’s good news that our webmaster Mr. Andy Spires’s own website design company, Rotten Head Fest, is growing fast! There’s just one problem – he regrettably has very little time to maintain the Birthday Happiness site. Andy designed our website nearly two years ago and won many plaudits for the outstanding work he did to make the website such an attractive destination. His creative genius will be sorely missed. At the moment, our Fundraising Committee member, Ms. Alex Garcia, has kindly agreed to update our website until we’re able to find a person who can maintain and enhance our site. This will initially be on a volunteer basis but later we’ll compensate for work performed. If anyone is interested, please contact us.
STORAGE SPACE REQUIRED
As interest in Birthday Happiness Asia grows, more and more people are contacting us with donations of items like toys. At the moment all the donations are stored in various locations around Hong Kong. This makes it difficult to get the right birthday gift for each celebrant. If you know of a central storage space we can use, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +852 9635 3349