British Council Hong Kong’s approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) includes community involvement and equal opportunities and diversity, and encompasses both externally focussed grant and partnership funded activity as well as some programmes for staff.
We are members of a local network called Community Business which specialises in diversity and community investment. We are a signatory to the Hong Kong Charter for Corporate Social Responsibility. Active membership of Community Business gives us a profile in the community as an employer that has demonstrated a commitment to CSR as well as access to a network of business people who are working in these areas too.
Through our wide range of activities, we aim to meet local needs with UK strength, bringing creative ideas to the local community for the benefit of people in Hong Kong.Beach Cleanup Day
The Green team worked with Ecovision Asia, a local organiser of Hong Kong International Coastal Cleanup Challenge. They contributed to our green week in October 2009 by visiting the office and talking to staff about the state of our oceans. British Council got together two teams to go and clean two beaches and collected over 400 kilos of debris. We found bottles, toys, umbrellas and shopping trolleys. Amongst the guiltiest offenders were cigarette butts, lighters, bits of Styrofoam and candles. Data of what was collected was recorded. All data was sent to the local organiser to be included with other team's data. Overall, 6500 people took part in total, almost double the previous year. Data is used in awareness raising campaigns in schools and colleges worldwide. We received the bronze award for the Greenest Team category.
A Day with Tin Shui Wai Secondary Students
Four British Council staff volunteered to join other corporate volunteers to guide 64 Tin Shui Wai secondary students through ENGAGE - a Journey of Opportunity. The project was organised by Community Business, a strategic partner for the British Council to support our Diversity and Equal Opportunities strategy. The students, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, had a rare opportunity to talk and meet with working people, visit educational institutions as inspiration to continue their studies as well as see and experience large corporate organisations at work.
Tin Shui Wai, located in the northwestern New Territories and Hong Kong's largest new town, has a population of 290,000 residents of which 40% are below the age of 24. Many residents have close ties with Mainland China due to the region's proximity to Shenzhen. In recent years and probably due to extensive media coverage, Tin Shui Wai has acquired a rather notorious reputation of being the "City of Sadness" where family and social issues including domestic violence occurs.
British Council Hong Kong has a Community Involvement programme to create opportunities for staff to work with charities and community organisations in the local community.
HONG KONG MATILDA SEDAN CHAIR RACE
The British Council team ran in the Hong Kong Matilda Sedan Chair Race for 3 years up to 2008 to raise funds for a wide range of charities in Hong Kong. The team finished the 2.1 km course, carrying the rather heavy Sedan Chair decorated by the team. The effort was well supported by British Council staff and suppliers and we were awarded for the best fund raising effort by a non-corporation running team. Our team was easily recognisable by the many members of the public who watched the race at this fun event.
TEACHING REFUGEES IN HONG KONG
British Council Hong Kong has the biggest English teaching centre in the worldwide network and our expertise in English teaching extends to across our community involvement. Teachers in Hong Kong have been teaching groups of refugees for the last few years. There have been a record number of students and teachers involved which is a great reflection on our teachers. The refugee students come from Bangladesh, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Iran, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Togo and Uganda. Classes take place at lunchtimes. Teachers volunteer their free time to teach while the Council supports by providing a classroom.
For several years now some of our staff have been mentors in Hong Kong's mentorship scheme for undergraduates (師友計劃). The scheme is run by Hong Kong University from October to September each year, providing mentors for about 500 students annually.
ENLIGHTEN FOR EPILEPSY
Enlighten for Epilepsy visit the Council regularly to lead sessions with staff to raise awareness of epilepsy.
WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAMMES
We regularly provide work experience for school children and students. We have supported students from Hong Kong Rehabilitation Power and The Nesbitt Centre, the ENGAGE program from Community Business and the University of Hong Kong Career Exposure Project.Our Culture and Values
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