A different kind of Christmas gift: Volunteering in Hong Kong

A different kind of Christmas gift: Volunteering in Hong Kong

CNNGo contributor Derrick Chang is also a volunteer photographer for NGOs, chronicling the plight of the disadvantaged and the charities struggling to help them. Here are some Hong Kong NGOs that need our support
volunteering in Hong kong
Mr. Shing, a homeless man, gives young volunteers some advice on avoiding his fate.

CNNGo contributor Derrick Chang has been volunteering in Hong Kong for the past four years as a photographer for non-profit organisations. The photo above was taken for St. Barnabas, an outreach organization for street sleepers in Western District and Kennedy Town in Hong Kong.

"Many NGOs here are doing good work, but have trouble getting the word out," says Chang.

Recently he photographed a youth group volunteering in Hong Kong by making a Christmas visit to an elderly's home in Chak On Estate, Shek Kip Mei. The kids put on a talent show complete with Michael Jackson imitations and tricks. The smiles on the wrinkled faces in the spartan elderly home, seen in Derrick's photography, captured a side of Christmas that we don't want to forget -- the atmosphere of sharing and giving; a general sense of selflessness and empathy. See Chang's photos on his Flickr page.

"Images have the biggest impact on people, so I try to use my talent to help [the NGOs]," says Chang.

But we don't have to be talented photographers to help these non-profits. Here are some Hong Kong NGOs which Chang says could really do with our support, whether by donating money, or by volunteering in Hong Kong:

1. St. Barnabas' Society and Home -- outreach group for the poor and homeless in Western District and Kennedy Town. www.sbsh.org.hk

2. Foodlink Foundation -- partners with hotels and restaurants to collect food that would otherwise go to waste and redistribute it to those in need. www.foodlinkfoundation.org

3. The Library Project -- donates books to children living in poor rural areas in China. www.library-project.com

4. 1kg.org -- perhaps the easiest way to volunteer, the mission is to carry a kilo of resources such as books to children living in poor rural areas in China. www.1kg.org

5. Bring me a book -- providing quality, hardback books and story-telling sessions to children. www.bringmeabook.org.hk

6. Hong Kong Family Welfare Society -- has many different programs dealing with family problems and the wellbeing of the elderly. www.hkfws.org.hk

7. Changing Young Lives Foundation -- committed to changing the lives of underprivileged children in Hong Kong and remote areas of mainland China. www.changingyounglives.org.hk

Find out more about volunteering in Hong Kong through Agency for Volunteer ServiceHands On Hong Kong, and Volunteer Movement.

Know any other NGOs in Hong Kong that need our help? Shout out in the comments box below.

Young volunteers do spring cleaning for an elderly lady living in a public estate in Sham Shui Po.A social worker talks about the living conditions in ‘cage homes’ in Kwun Tong.A young volunteer comforts an elderly lady living in a public estate in Cheung Sha Wan.A young volunteer makes a new friend at a school for the handicapped, Sham Shui Po.Donations of food and clothing are brought to St. Barnabas Society and Home, Sheung Wan.Elderly ladies play a game with young volunteers in Shek Kip Mei.A young volunteer distributes food to a homeless man in Kennedytown.

Derrick Chang is a Canadian photojournalist based in Hong Kong. His work has appeared in Time, the New York Times, CNNGo, Huffington Post, and other Asian media outlets. He enjoys hiking from one mountain village to another, waiting for the golden light and dining on street food.

Read more about Derrick Chang

After traveling around the world on a fistful of dollars, Zoe returns to Hong Kong, where she grew up, to discover and write about all the inspiring stuff that happens here on a daily basis.

Read more about Zoe Li
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