WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE A LIFE?
WHO WE ARE
EMBER | 3 CO-FOUNDERS
EMBER is a student-led initiative
that seeks to harness the talents and resources of Hong Kong students to create positive change through supporting the education and the empowerment of underprivileged girls from rural areas in China. We provide talented female students from low-income families of rural Guangdong with high school and university scholarships. We sincerely believe that through sponsoring one girl and giving her the resources to succeed, we can not only change her life, but also impact the lives of her family and the larger community around her. Through our peer-to-peer mentoring system, we offer the scholarship recipients access to a wide support network that includes leadership
training, career counseling, & social service.
By connecting our Hong Kong student members with their Chinese counterparts, we also strive to foster
cross-cultural exchanges and
mutual development. Our mission is two-fold as we aim to groom students both in China and in Hong Kong to become educated, responsible and socially conscientious citizens in the future. We strive to:
EMPOWER youth, especially females, through
education, leadership training and service learning
MENTOR and guide students through their journey of
self-discovery, personal and professional development
BRIDGE cultural gaps and foster global understanding
Fundraising & Recruitment (HK) Director
ENLIGHTEN our members on the value of service RECIPROCATE acts of love & kindness and give
back to the community and generations to come.
Together, we hope to be the EMBER that kindles the hopes and dreams of the lives we touch.
Communications & Creative Director
EMBER, originally the Care for Learning and Community Scholarship Program (CLC), was founded in 2006-2007 by three then-seniors at Hong Kong International School (HKIS) who wanted to make a difference in society before they graduate. Having grown up in a privileged environment, the three students -- Gary Chan, Mercedes Chien and Brian Li (HKIS ’07) -- were dismayed to learn that, just across the border, there are students who got accepted to a top high school but would drop out because they cannot afford the tuition of 3000 RMB/year. Together with their mentor and teacher, Dr. Marty Schmidt, the students decided to start a project that would In recent years, there have been two major changes to our support these girls to attend high school. They partnered with the project: Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation (CWEF)*, a Hong Kong based non-profit organization, to create the CLC scholarship - In 2010, we introduced university scholarships to our program. program. In order to facilitate the transition, we decided that the HKIS students would continue to fundraise for high school scholarships, In the first year, the founders raised enough funds to support 100 while the HKIS alumni, who were in university, would be respongirls to attend Xiang Shan High School, the best school in the sible for the university scholarships. In addition, we established district of Deqing in Northwestern Guangdong Province, China. In career counseling sessions as well as a college counseling the following year, Jasmine Lau, Jennifer Wu, Daniel Chan and workshops for the scholarship recipients to help them navigate Kai Leung (HKIS ’08) took over and expanded the program. This the stressful and challenging college started a trend: in subsequent years, a new batch of HKIS seniors application process. would commit themselves to the project, allowing more and more girls to go to school. - In 2011, we reached out to different high schools in Hong Kong to invite them to join our initiative with the English & Leadership In the past years, we have raised over HK$1 million through Summer Camp, fundraising for the scholarship recipients and student-led fundraising events such as variety shows, fashion establishing a campus-chapter club in their high school. We also shows, charity presentations, rockathon, etc. To date, there have changed our name to EMBER. The creation of Ember reflects been over 300 students who have benefited from the EMBER our wish to consolidate our existing work with a single scholarship program. Apart from coherent framework, an overarching student-led initiative, addressing the girls’ financial needs, EMBER hopes to provide encompassing a) our various high school branches- HKIS CLC other sources of support. Our annual English & Leadership camp, high school branch, our Little Ember high school branch, and run entirely by student volunteers from Hong Kong and the US, university scholarships branch; b) our support network of career attempts to develop the scholarship recipients’ skills sets and counseling and English and leadership workshops; c) a peer-tobroaden their social exposure through interactive activities and peer mentoring system cultivating cross-cultural developments community outreach excursions. Our aim is to empower the girls in Hong Kong and China. It is our wish and vision to continue so that they can see themselves as individuals engaged in the expanding Ember for years to come. community rather than mere passive recipients of our charity.
* CWEF is a Hong Kong based non-profit organization dedicated to improve the lives of impoverished rural communities in Asia through education and service.
EMBER | 7
Our program initiatives in
In the past 5 years, we have provided more than 300 high school scholarships and 15 university scholarships.
English & Leadership Camp
Every summer & winter, a group of student volunteers travel from Hong Kong up to Xiangshan High School in Deqing to lead a 3-day English and Leadership Camp. Activities include: drama, writing, songs, leadership games, community outreach and more.
College & Career Counselling
Taking place twice a year, the college & career counseling workshops offer professional guidance to students and cover useful topics such as alternative education outlets, job opportunities and information about various university scholarship application processes. We have hired a professional college counselor to lead these workshop sessions, as well as invited past university scholarships recipients also actively lead this workshop with the counselor, sharing their experiences on the university application and university life.
High School Branches: Every year we nurture a new generation of high school students to take on the project and to fundraise for high school scholarships. In the past 3 years, four groups of HKIS students have fundraised and helped out the program. In 2011, EMBER decided to expand to other schools, as we believe that this is an invaluable opportunity to spread the word and to train students to become leaders who can make a difference.
During an English & Leadership
program we organized for the scholarship girls, we discovered to our surprise that they were more than willing to talk, without reservation, about their turbulent lives – about their passions, hopes, and dreams, aspects of which the mere application of words on paper can never fully give justice to. Nevertheless, here is an attempt... I’m a girl from a family of six people. Because we are very poor, my parents are unable to pay for my school fee. From the very first day I started school, my father, who was in his mid-thirties, did everything he could to borrow money to pay for my tuition. Every time I see him come home from work, I would see an exhausted man whose life and energy were draining away. My father’s hair gradually turned silver white and his hands became horribly rough. I really could not bear anymore as I saw how much my father was suffering for the sake of his children. I still remember vividly the day when my dad came home and I saw the state he was in; he looked so feeble and old that I couldn’t control my tears. As the tears blurred my eyes, I silently made a vow and swore: I will work hard to gain more knowledge and help my family.
In order to gain acceptance into the best high school in Deqing, I worked day and night and toiled endlessly in my room. The day finally came when I opened my letter with my high school acceptance notice. I had never been so happy in my life! All the hours spent under the dim light, all the days spent dreaming about getting into this high school have finally paid off. I danced with joy as I told this news to my dad. However, he gave me a look of despair. He helplessly apologized that my brother is already attending high school and he could not afford to pay for my tuition fee. He said that I would have to work outside the village to earn more money for the family. I cried loudly with all my heart and with all my soul. The dream that I worked so hard for all my life had been crushed in a single moment… It is the CLC scholarship program that gave me my dream and re-illuminated my hope again. I promise myself that I will work very hard to get excellent results so that I can repay my parents for all that they have done too me. I will also be forever grateful to you and for your kind heart, and also do my best to repay my country!
-Luo Ying Xing
A TRUE STORY
HOW YOU CAN HELP
EMBER | 11
Donations Step 1 Step 2
If you are interested in donating to our program, please email EMBER.Inquiries@gmail.com and indicate which sponsorship package you would like to commit to.
A. Sponsor a Student
Send a girl to school for an entire year with $10,000 for university or $3,000 for high school. I’d like to support ___ HIGH SCHOOL / UNIVERSITYstudent(s).
B. Build a Relationship
With a commitment of $30,000 (UNIVERSITY) or $ 9,000 (HIGH SCHOOL), we can match you with the same student throughout her years of university or high school education. You will be able to track the progress of your student through letter correspondences and form a friendship with her. I would like to support ___ HIGH SCHOOL/ UNIVERSITY student(s).
Choose your paying method.
Please make checks payable to “Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation” and specify “To the attention of Ember Scholarship Program”. Mail to the following address: Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation - Hong Kong Flat C, 6/F Han Yee Building, 21 Hankow Road TST, Kowloon Hong Kong
You can donate via PayPal done online (www.cwef.org.hk). All donations are Hong Kong tax-deductible. Please include name and address for official receipt. For other donation amounts, or if you are interested in contributing to our high school scholarships, please email EMBER.Inquiries@gmail.com
JOIN OUR TEAM Volunteer for our Service Trips Create a Branch at Your High School
Every summer, we launch a 3 days English and Leadership Camp for the scholarship recipients at their high school in Deqing, China. We invite you to join us and to be the change in these girls’ lives. If interested, please email EMBER.Inquiries@gmail.com
High school coordinators receive a workshop on fundraising techniques and mentoring from the original founders. They also have a chance to meet with students from other schools and learn from each other. Email EMBER.Inquiries@gmail.com if you are interested in bringing EMBER into your high school!