CantoGather 21/22 Annual Report

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REPORT ANNUAL Where we can, together

*illustrated by Leon,
HK Nepalese student

A Letter from Our Founder & Executive Director

Dear Reader,

Thank you for picking up our first-ever impact report!

Having spent 4 years as a student group, CantoGather finally established itself last year as a non-profit organisation that seeks a better future for our nonChinese neighbours through Cantonese language and multicultural education. We do what we do because of Jesus' call for Christians to love our neighbours as ourselves. As we grow and continue to impact our society, we would love to share and celebrate all that God is doing through us for our community!

2021-2022 was a particularly challenging year for us as a charity that works with children. COVID-19 has significantly impacted our students’ learning by bringing school online and fast-tracking their summer holidays to March. Our plans for our tutors and students to meet weekly in person were disrupted for the entire second semester.


Despite the limitations, we were able to positively impact our 36 students from our two learning centres as much displayed growth in their Cantonese and Chinese skills even without normal school support. Admittedly, the results could still be improved and we know we are getting there by actively making changes to our programme based on student performance. Not only that, but we also witnessed our tutors grow in both their knowledge of our non-Chinese community and in their cultural intelligence, which is their ability to connect and work with people of different cultures.

As an organisation, we had many breakthroughs this year: working with a school for the first time, financially sustaining ourselves outside of HKU’s grants to student groups, hiring our first staff member, getting our office space, etc. All of these were made possible with the contribution of our generous donors and the hard efforts of our volunteers. We thank every single one of them for believing in us and supporting us this year. This year, we will be incubated and funded by the SIE Fund via the Hong Kong Council of Social Service’s Impact Incubator to expand our impact.

We hope that you will stay on our side in the many years ahead and witness our growth because with you, we CanToG(e)ther!

With love,

2 2


To form a loving CommUnity through Cantonese language and multicultural education.



Where neighbours in Hong Kong form one CommUnity regardless of race.

We think about ourselves less so that we can think about others more.

We grow as parts of many as change never happens with one person.

We settle for nothing less than quality - with quality work comes quality impact. Humility

Unity Quality


CantoGather’s Story from Our Founder’s Lens

As our first issue, we decided to interview our Founder, Florence, to learn more about CantoGather’s story and how it all began!

Can you quickly introduce yourself?

I’m Florence. I am a fresh graduate and, like most of our team members, I live a dual life. I currently work part-time as the Executive Director of CantoGather and as a dentist.

So, tell us about how it all began!

Our story began in 2017 though we officially became ‘CantoGather’ in 2020 In my 2nd year of university, I organised a Chinese homework class for a Caritas centre, where I witnessed many K3-F3 students who struggled to finish their assignments.

Our solution was to find volunteers to help the kids with their homework, which we later discovered to be ineffective in the grand scheme of language learning because they didn’t even understand the tasks from their assignments

We basically ended up doing their homework for them! So, I started to design a Chinese programme that addresses different learning needs, and we slowly gathered like-minded volunteers to stay as partners in crime!


It’s great to hear about how it all started. So what was the reason for beginning CantoGather?

I was and still am very heartbroken by the inequality that our nonChinese neighbours face.

Many of the non-Chinese kids in Hong Kong can’t pick up Chinese well with the current support system at school, which affects their ability to excel academically. This in turn limits their secondary school and tertiary education options, looping them into a cycle of poverty.

Racial stereotyping also exists. I remember seeing a Chinese lady get up when an African lady sat next to her on the MTR. With skewed media portrayals and limited opportunities for our Chinese and non-Chinese communities to interact, unhealthy stereotypes are ingrained and perpetuated in our society.

It breaks my heart every time I hear someone label our non-Chinese kids as ‘non-local’ because all they ever did is growing up as a local. They are the future of Hong Kong as well. I cannot sit idly knowing that Jesus has called me to love my neighbour as myself and did that Himself.

If we don’t change how we support and/or view our nonChinese community, our nonChinese kids will fall into the same cycle of poverty. And that is not what they deserve.


A lot must have happened along the way. What is your favourite memory?

There are too many to choose from! One of my favourites is a snapshot of a Nepali student and a volunteer walking hand-in-hand after our Holi-Easter carnival last year in April.

Our volunteer was bringing the boy home because his mom was still at work; he is from a single-parent family. My heart melted as I looked at the volunteer and the boy laugh and talk while walking down the streets of Jordan. I am glad they both found themselves a brother.

This is what I want CantoGather to bring about: neighbours walking alongside one another, encouraging one another, and growing with one another.

That’s beautiful. I must ask - how did you grow CantoGather even while studying dentistry?

To sum it up, God’s provision.

As CantoGather grew, I met a lot of wonderful people who share the same passion as me, including past and current members of our core team, advisors, volunteers, and organisations who believed in our mission and worked with us even in the very early stages. CantoGather would not exist if it weren’t for them!

I specifically want to thank Inner City Ministries for being the first NGO to believe in what we do, providing their space and placing their kids in our programme. We are also grateful to Yuen Long Long Ping Estate Tung Koon Primary School for being our first school partner.

Also, we have grown exponentially this year because of our generous donors and the support of our incubators. Thank you for giving us the resources to make all this happen!


So what do you see as the next chapter for CantoGather?

The world is our oyster! Obviously, we want to continue building and refining our Cantonese language and multicultural education curriculum through proper evaluation so that what we do is quality. I also want to connect with more stakeholders, build bridges, explore different angles where we can empower our non-Chinese community, and reach more than just our kids. Next year, we will be hiring and training our city’s non-Chinese youths to organise programmes for both our non-Chinese kids and Chinese tutors and be our first Cultural Champions!

Ultimately, we want to expand our programme to as many schools as possible in Hong Kong so that our community can be transformed and become one where opportunites are equal regardless of race.

Our Team

You know what they say – teamwork makes the dream work. Here are the core members of our team!

We are excited to announce that we will also have our first full-time staff joining us this fall. Stay tuned!



Curious about how effective our programme is?

Read what Ditsi, one of our students, has to say about his learning journey with us!

‘I want to give 5 out of 5 for CantoGather’s classes. I really like Chinese culture and learning more about it! I like learning Chinese, and my teacher Scarlett deserves 10 out of 5 because she teaches me very well!’

Ditsi, a P2 student, had a hard time when he first attended Chinese class at school. His school teacher felt concerned because he was even nervous about learning the language; he would cry almost every time he was in Chinese class.

Last year in Semester 2, his Chinese teacher decided to place Ditsi in our Chinese programme, the first official extracurricular Chinese programme in Yuen Long Long Ping Estate Tung Koon Primary School, in hopes of motivating his Chinese learning. Though our sessions were conducted online, Ditsi still benefitted tremendously from our innovative and interactive teaching methods and grew to enjoy Chinese culture through multicultural education activities.


Over the semester, we witnessed growth in both his language proficiency and his passion for learning about Chinese and Chinese culture. While he was only able to reproduce basic Chinese words at the beginning of our course, Ditsi was capable of conversing in simple Cantonese sentences when the semester was over What’s more is that his Chinese teacher noted, with much delight, that he was adapting much better to lessons and the school. Our course has laid a solid foundation for his future learning and development – and Ditsi was only one of the many students we impacted last year!

Ditsi’s story has inspired and encouraged us to continuously support our nonChinese neighbours by providing quality language classes and building bridges to break cultural barriers. We aspire to change Hong Kong for the better – one child at a time.

Ditsi (left) and Florence (right)

This Year in a Nutshell

Our Programme Results

85 tutors trained, with an average 15.24%

with an average 155% in Chinese language skills. increase non-Chinese children empowered, 37 increase in cultural intelligence

153 + volunteers.


Our Programme Impact & Reach

learning partners formed

2 university service-learning opportunities established

1 9 9 7 0 multicultural programmes commenced hours of ≤1:4 Chinese class teaching conducted flashcards designed 3 1 2 lessons' materials created 1 8 0 2


Our Awards


The University of Hong Kong iDendron SEED Programme Awardee

Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks IDEATION Programme Awardee

HK$100,000 seed funding

Entrepreneurship training

Coworking spaces provided @ HKU iDendron, HKSTP InnoCentre, HKSTP iAxon


SIE Fund Impact Incubator Late Prototype Awardee

HK$300,000 funding support

Skill-based training & networking Tailor-made consultation support

Incubated by

Funded by


Other Organisational Milestones

New logo published

Registered as a Section 88 charity

1st school learning partnership formed

1st collection of service fees from partners

1st office space secured

1st staff (part-time) hired — Charlie, our Programme Officer

1st Board of Directors formed

1st pro-bono legal partnership established with Baker McKenzie


Looking Ahead

2 school learning partners to be established

60 students to be transformed

8 non-Chinese youths to be trained, hired & empowered as Cultural Champions

120 university volunteers to be equipped

1st full-time staff (Programme Manager) to be engaged to be raised



Financial Highlights

Income HK$343,427 Donations 43.1% Programmes
81.3% Governance
Grant Programme Delivery & Support
& Administration 15.7% 3% Public Education, Marketing & Fundraising Expenditure HK$143,499

Where We Need YOU

We cannot build a CommUnity without our commUnity. This is why we need you!

If you are able to contribute either your time, skills, connections, financials, or gifts for children, please let us know! You can reach us at Otherwise, please do pray that our work will be a reflection of Christ’s love for us


We hope to fundraise HK$250,000 this year to cover all our programme expenses this year!

Please scan the QR to support us financially:


We are looking for individuals who are…

Educators skilled in teaching Cantonese and/or language programme design

UI/UX designers

Graphic designers

Marketing experts

Fundraising experts

Adept at company secretarial duties

Email us at to learn more or fill in the Get Involved form if you are interested. If you know anyone else who has these skills, please pass this information on to them! It will mean a lot to us.



Thank you for being our family and journeying with us! We pray that our neighbours in Hong Kong will grow in love for one another because Christ first loved us. We can only go foward because of every single one of you standing with us.

Let’s make CommUnity a Reality - together!

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