CAS stands for Creativity, Action, and Service, and it is one of three essential elements that every student must complete to receive the IB Diploma. While not formally assessed, CAS provides opportunities for students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through hands-on learning.
One of the components of CAS is a ‘CAS Project’, a collaborative series of student-initiated CAS experiences over several months engaging students in one or more CAS strands (creativity, activity, and service). Following the five CAS stages of Investigation, Preparation, Demonstration, Action, and Reflection, students can explore their passions whilst challenging themselves to initiate purposeful action around defined goals. The following months will bring a series of interviews where the STC Media Team interviews different students around school to highlight their CAS projects and initiatives.
This week, Charlene and Yoanna spoke to the STC Media Team about their CAS project STC Impact HK, of which they are the leaders. They chose STC Impact HK as their CAS Project because they saw hands-on service as the best way to develop empathy whilst allowing them to gain a better insight into the challenges of those in need.
Can you introduce STC Impact HK?
STC Impact HK is a project that aims to support the charity ImpactHK. ImpactHK is a charity that provides help for people who are currently experiencing homelessness to restore their physical and mental well-being. Additionally, the organisation aims to help homeless people rebuild their self-esteem and discover their purpose as they transition back to the world. Since many students are interested in participating this year, we have split into two teams: term two and term three.
What impact/outcome do you hope your project will have on the community?
We hope our project will impact the school community and the broader community of people in need. We aim to encourage students to gain a deeper understanding and empathy for the homelessness situation in Hong Kong; subsequently, this can promote more engagement from local communities. ImpactHK’s emphasis on building personal relationships with those in need further emphasises the importance of engagement when helping the community.
Are there any events/initiatives planned to take place?
Due to the pandemic, we cannot conduct large-scale activities such as Kindness Walks. However, we will still support the homeless by raising awareness and spreading ImpactHK’s message. We hope to provide emotional support through kindness cards and, if possible, donations. Hopefully, the pandemic restrictions will ease in term three, so we’ll be able to conduct a few Kindness Walks over the next term.
Why should we care about the homeless?
Homelessness in Hong Kong and abroad has reached a substantial amount, mainly due to housing and unemployment. In the Hong Kong Census 2021, the findings recorded that the homeless population rose to over 1500 due to the pandemic, including street sleepers, tenants living in temporary housing, and people staying in hostels run by NGOs. Many people are still unaware of the dire circumstances that the homeless face, and it is up to small projects groups like us to raise awareness about them.
The homeless deserve shelter, employment opportunities, and interpersonal relationships like us. Only with our help can their lives change for the better, and only with our kindness can they gain the courage to step back into the world and start again.
What can students do to help the homeless/how can students get involved with Impact HK?
At the moment, students can get involved with ImpactHK by spreading awareness of the organisation and their work. We originally planned to engage students with the homeless on kindness walks (such as distributing materials, food, and paying visits) organised by ImpactHK. However, since that is currently not possible, we are planning to launch a donations drive or fundraiser event instead and hope students will engage with those activities.
Written by: Grace Yeung
Edited by: Kadence Wong