It has only been a week since I have started my internship here, yet I daresay that working in a nonprofit organization like this is something I feel I can truly make a lasting impact even as an intern. From the daily organization work in fundraising and publication to planning local projects focusing on specific communities and stretching to researches about what the marginalized communities are actually lacking and struggling upon, I return home every day feeling satisfied and empowered knowing that what I have done today is making an ongoing impact on somebody else’s life, far apart and near around.
Through working closely with the manager here, I got to know more about the roots and motifs in having Hong Kong as one of the major bases of the CWS. It all started from the historical background when our founder Douglas Maclagan was hiking through Nepal, where he ran into a young woman presenting a child in bad shape to him and died the next day when he visited the child’s place. Struck by poverty and lack of education in the Western region amongst the Tamang and Gurung communities where many young lads were recruited to become British and Indian Gurkha soldiers, Douglas was determined to initiate the change. He heard the calling.
Soon after the establishment of the daycare center in Nepal, the number of daycare centers grew rapidly to a total of eight across the country. Looking for resources needed to fund his project, Douglas went to Hong Kong in the hopes of connecting with the Nepalese community and acquire sponsorships. Coincidentally, Douglas met Gordon Oldham, our chairman, who was inspired by his story and together they established CWS Hong Kong back then in 2003. I truly was awed by his boldness to practice what he preaches.
With education, protection, and livelihood support being our three major pillars of mission, we work to grant children and young people access to the educational support required to become smoothly employed as adults, bridging them to different jobs at entry. We do acknowledge that when children and youth gain increasingly regular supervision and support at school, obstacles such as domestic abuse, exploitation and trafficking could possibly be minimized. Thus, media projects advocating children rights and safety as well as partnerships with businesses that provide entry level jobs are examples of measures that we have taken to tackle such social obstacles and to ensure full assistance along their journey.
During my internship, I understood thorns that medium sized NGOs are currently facing. For instance, the mismatch of interests when finding sponsors can be a major knotty issue for a medium sized NGOs, as big corporations who has the financial capacity to donate would rather get their names seen on the surface in the public eye thus only selectively sponsor the reputable organizations. Getting into a closer look on the day-to-day operations here enables me a very immediate experience of how it is like to work at an NGO, which at the same time inspired me on how I can contribute legal help to similar international organizations in the future after college studies.
Having always wanted to pursue a career related to human rights and children’s rights in particular, I have always wanted to be able to reach out to such NGOs or at least to take concrete steps to help. Yet, due to the age and time constraints in the past, I have never had the chance to engage with such solid work, until coming across the opportunity to do an internship here in this charity at the Child Welfare Scheme where I could finally feel that I’m putting forward what I know to make an impact on the impoverished.
Before putting an end to my first blog entry here, I yearn to express how delightful I am about the very diverse roles here which exposed me to a wide range of tasks, keeping my job exciting. I could be researching on analytical reports about the status quo faced by our target groups one day, the other planning for local campaigns, then another day doing publication work such as compiling a list of potential corporation donors that we may partner with and writing blog entries just like what you are reading currently. One last thing I hope to share with you all- by each of your small acts, they can transform the world when multiplied by millions of people. You have your role the betterment of this world. We all have our own roles to play.
Thank you for reading and see you very soon in the next blog entry!
‘Esther is currently a student intern at the CWS. She writes about social updates of the Nepal youth community, helps planning our local campaigns as well as fundraising events.’