I thought that the one who initiated the idea of “Children Volunteer Service” should be given the compliment. In the past primary students did not have the chance to in volunteer service until they grow up. Parents, however, do play an important role in raising their children and should encourage them to participate in the community volunteer service in order to serve the society.
I really appreciate my daughter's performace on the day of service. Despite the hot weather, my daughter was willing to visit and share fun with the elderly even without time for lunch. We should continue to give her encouragement to develop passion to the services. (from 2002 Children Volunteer Service Lee Wing Fun, So Kwok Kin, So Tze Yan)
Introduction - Children Volunteer Service Plan
Commissioned by EMB, Schools and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) in partnership with Agency for Volunteer Service, the “Children Volunteer Service Plan”has received support from various Parents’ Teachers’ Associations to encourage all secondary, primary and kindergarten students and parents to participate in volunteer service since 2001. This allows children to develop their sense of responsibility and belongings to the society. The mutual support and encouragement of the family members definitely help to enhance the communication between parents and children and develop a harmonious relationship in the family.
Over the past 5 years, we have successfully launched the volunteering programmes and provided assistance to over 400 secondary, primary and special schools. Over 13,000 families have participated in “Children Volunteer Service” with more than 200,000 service hours and beneficiaries already exceeding 12,000. There were various services and activities including elderly visit, activities for mentally retarded, hospital patients’ gathering, fund-raising programmes, environmental protection initiative, community carnivals and etc. As a whole, the parents and children had full participation in the planning and launching of programmes.
The “Children Volunteer Service Plan” encourages more students, parents and School/Parents Teachers Association to take initiative to voluntarily participate in building up a “Caring School”.
Children Volunteer Service
The participation of schools or church in the Children Volunteer Service Plan is counted on family basis.
You could join the community organization, family organization or volunteer service organization, e.g. Agency for Volunteer Service and register as a volunteer to take part in the volunteering service.
School Volunteers’ Participation in Volunteer Services
“Social Service Scheme”, Which was established by the Hong Kong Management Association David Li Kwok Po College in 2004, was initially designed for Form1 and Form3 students to participate in volunteer activities, but now all students can join as well. As of 2006, the number of participants reached 4000 and approximately 6700 service hours were recorded including the involvement of around 60 parents. As a result, they were awarded by the Agency for Volunteer Service as “Caring School”.
To let students engage in various community services, the school, in cooperation with the Agency for Volunteer Service, YWCA and Break Through, holds many training and services for volunteers, e.g. flag selling, elderly visiting, weeding and tree planting, the airport emergency rehearsal, wheelchair repairing and serve as interpreters for the Asia Pacific Volunteer Conference. All these really brought many happy memories for students.
Self- reliant and United
At the beginning, the school had many setbacks in the recruitment of volunteers as most students thought volunteer services are boring. On the other hand, teachers believed that most of students came from wealthy families and haven't experienced the pleasure of helping others. It is a stride for students to serve the needy through successful implementation of volunteer activities. Last year, the school encouraged students to set up their own volunteer team in an attempt to motivate self- reliance and team spirit through the assistance of school network. By actively participating in volunteer service under the help of teachers, students can improve school morale as well as fulfilling the community needs.
Tips on motivating volunteer service in schools -Organize school volunteer team by teachers, parents or students.
-Promote through the school network, bulletin and flyers
-Encourage students self-enrollment
-Conduct interviews at the beginning of the school term to understand students’ preference, e.g. time and type of the service preferred, etc.
-If possible, arrange services like elderly and handicapped visiting for Form 1 to Form 3 students to arouse their awareness.
-Gather news on volunteer service inside out the school for senior students to participate and implement.
-Promote volunteer activities during morning assemblies.
-Schedule one day as “Community Service Day” to encourage teachers and students to do volunteer works.
-Record the number of service hours on school results as encouragement.
Common volunteer services in school
-Team leader/ class monitor/ prefect, discipline/ uniform organization, volunteer exchange program;
-Parent volunteer team: Story Auntie, lunch box distribution, parent co-operation team, etc;
-Parent/ Teacher Association: Visiting services, flag selling, etc;
-Organization volunteer team: Boy Scout/ Girl Guide, Community Youth Club, Junior Police Call, Red Cross, the Award for Young People, etc;
-Register at Agency for Volunteer Service as volunteer on individual or team basis.
Student as interpreters for the IAVE conference.
Student actively participating in volunteer service.
10 Tips on Organizing volunteer service
Student Volunteers are valuable resources in a society. They are helpful both in and out of schools. To clarify the direction and orientation of the school’s voluntary team, you must have the most perfect volunteer working policy, Here are some tips for you:
1.Set a clear Goal
Define precise goal for teachers, parents and students.
2.Establish comprehensive volunteer rules
Schools could assign a volunteer to administer volunteer service and to be responsible for writing volunteer booklet and working guidelines.
3.Choose the appropriate volunteer service and volunteers
Evaluate students through interviews.
4.Provide training for volunteer
Provide adequate training to enrich students’ organizing ability, service attitude and game holding techniques.
5.Provide sufficient resource
This can enhance the quality of service. Volunteer team can apply for funds if needed.
6.Offer follow-up service
Schools should hold regular meetings with volunteer team to keep the work in progress.
7.Establish records of volunteer service
Schools should establish recording system for volunteer recognition and service certificate.
8.Provide volunteer welfare
If possible, provide allowance for volunteers, for example, transport and meal allowances or recommend talented volunteers to enroll in courses. Remember to make provision for workmen compensation for protection purpose.
9.Recognize volunteer openly
Award outstanding volunteers in public so as to motivate others to join as well.