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STOP POVERTY! STOP CLIMATE CHANGE! HONG KONG: One Change Leads to Another CHINA: I Want More Rain PHILIPPINES: Not for Granted

FOOD PRICES CRISIS: Every Fridge Tells a Story

08 20 er ob ct O

When I led a group of Hong Kong

poor place, the ones who smiled with

warmer weather or more plastic bags.

teenagers to the Philippines, I kept

me are many. I really didn’t under-

It ruins people lives, let alone hopes.

thinking we were one – a unity of

stand why, even though they do not

We could understand this in the torn-

people, substance, and poignancy. We

have enough food each day, they feel

up roads, houses with leaking roofs,

went to an island named San Miguel

so happy…” I read from Bryen’s eyes

and battered fishing boats. It takes

to witness how people are becom-

that he was starting to think whether

only 8,000 pesos (about HK$1,300) for

ing poorer due to climate change;

money was the most important thing

people to be able to relocate to higher

we went to build up momentum for

for well-being. Could something else

land – a good precaution when waves

Oxfam’s campaign against climate

compensate? Do poor people only

and flooding come – but they can’t

poverty. It is all connected. We are

need money and other resources?

afford it, and the government doesn’t

one, someone, everyone.

Annie shared some sparkling thoughts after a clean-up. “Before

Susan, after talking with a man

Kong youth already knew that cli-

the trip, I wondered how coast-

on the island, told us about his goal:

mate change had something to do

al clean-ups and tree planting are

“to finish university and be a good

with global warming + being green +

related to climate change. Being here,

governor”. She said, “I was wrong

saving the next generation. Then they

I have learned how the preservation of

before. I used to think that poor

attended Oxfam’s pre-trip training

the coastline helps preserve the live-

people have no aspirations.” The

which tried to instill more knowledge

lihoods of people who fish, and that

islander told Susan that poor people

and awareness to unlock more truth.

tree planting prevents soil erosion. I

also have hopes and are willing to con-

They came to see that climate change

have learned that, to reduce poor peo-

tribute to the community. Frankly, we

is not only about the weather being

ple’s vulnerability to climate poverty,

witnessed a lot of poor people giv-

warmer than before. It is not only

mitigation work must include preven-

ing much of their lives to help others,

about the lives of polar bears. Climate

tion, preparedness and adaptation

while some rich people do not.

change is not just an environmental

altogether.” Annie seemed very clear

Maybe these points by these four

issue: it cannot be ignored even if

about what livelihood is and what

teenagers seem slight and subtle, but

they do not want to follow the green

sustainability is, and that both should

to me, they indicate substantial, mem-

way of life. Now, through the expo-

be equally treated. It’s easy to say, she

orable changes in the values of young

sure trip to the Philippines, the youth

said, but not easy to achieve.

people, bit by bit, over the whole trip.

Yvon shared this during a debrief-

who have to live with the problems

ing session. “Am I helping people

of climate change. The youth would

here? I am not sure. I have discovered

see, feel, and experience more of the

that in fact, I am someone who has

truths about climate change, and I, as

made their lives worse.” Yvon realised

their group leader, witnessed some

the impact of such habits as over

remarkable moments. One teenager

consumption, over logging, mining,

named Bryen, after staying with a host

and over air-conditioning. She saw

family, said, “Although I was in a very

that climate change is not only about


seem to do anything to help them.

Even before the trip, these Hong

would have direct contact with people


Learning never ends. It is one unified process. Spencer Lou is a member of Oxfam’s development education team and manages the Oxfam Club, an experiential educational project. Every year, since 2007, a new group of youth is formed.

To see Oxfam Hong Kong's 30-second trailer against climate change, visit:

One Change Leads to Another What comes to mind when you

Only 38.8 per cent of respondents

think of climate change?

see climate change and poverty as

A. Polar bears

being interrelated. However, when

B. Glaciers

asked whether or not climate change

C. Malnourished children

is threatening the livelihoods of poor

D. Rising sea level

people, 80 per cent said yes, but do

E. Income loss

not necessarily understand how.

Most people think of ecology first:

As for a sense of responsibility,

receding glaciers, melting icebergs,

56.8 per cent of respondents agree

the endangered habitat of polar

that the Hong Kong lifestyle has

bears, rising sea levels, disappearing

contributed to global warming and

beaches, and so on. Actually, all five

greenhouse gas emissions, and 40.8

answers are ‘correct’: climate change

per cent agree that we have helped

is also linked to, and is leading to,

cause climate problems in mainland

more malnutrition and less income.

China. Yet, only 36 per cent agree that

Millions of farmers are losing huge

Hong Kong residents should be held

parts of their harvest due to strange,

responsible for the problem.

unpredictable weather, such as ear-

When asked what the Hong Kong

ly floods and prolonged drought.

SAR Government can do to tackle cli-

Millions of people by coastlines have

mate poverty, 71.2 per cent agree that

less fish because water temperatures

setting a mandatory emission target

are higher and typhoons are disrupt-

would be helpful, and 25.5 per cent

ing animal life. The loss of people’s

see financial support to be helpful for

harvests – on land or sea – means less

poor people to cope better.

food and less money, so less school-

When asked what an individual

ing, less health care, and so forth.

can do, 83.2 per cent of the respon-

These people are already some of

dents show a willingness to take

the poorest people in the world, and

action, among which 30.5 per cent

climate change is making their pov-

see this being for the sake of the next

erty even worse.

generation, 28.4 per cent for conser-

“I want more rain.” This is the wish

here that our land is particularly dry.”

of a wheat farmer named Li Zhuang and

In Gansu, the average rainfall is only

probably 20 million other people in the

240 mm a year while the evaporation

very arid northwest province of Gansu,

rate is 1,775 mm.

all of whom are dependent on water for their lives and their livelihood.

Thanks to a Gansu-wide water conservancy project carried out twen-

Li and his family live in Jingyuan, in

ty years ago, the farmland around Li’s

the centre of Gansu. The county, up-

village is connected to an irrigation

stream on the Yellow River and perched

system which draws from the Yellow

high on a sandy plateau, is officially

River. Yet, Li’s land is one of the plots

designated as ‘poor’ by the national

farthest from the pump, so he often has

government. Residents here, a mix of

less water than others. One way that

Han Chinese and ethnic minority, are

he and other farmers are adapting to

used to drought and sandstorms, and

the drier climate is planting less wheat

the lack of trees and rain, but they say

and more potato, which is much more

the drought has intensified. Over the


past three decades, streams have been

The rainy season in the region is nor-

drying up, and a trend is emerging for

mally in August and September, and the

those who can afford it: migration away

rain is for crops as well as for people’s use

from the drought. Yet building a house

in their homes: rain is the major source of

elsewhere and preparing other land for

the domestic water supply in Gansu.

farming is not an option poor people can even begin to consider.

By Fiona Shek

the sandstorms. Unpredictable, they strike anytime, though most frequently

severe droughts, the first one in 1983

between March and May, and without

when he and his parents had to rely on

rain and humidity, they are becoming

food aid. “The second extremely dry

more and more common. Li’s family lost

past five years have been very dry, with

I Want More Rain

There is another season in Gansu:

Li Zhuang, 41, has experienced two

year is right now - 2008,” he said. “The


a third of their wheat crop this year because of the sand.

Technology: in 2006, JCAST trained farmers in planting wolfberries (fea-

no rain at all this year. The wind is so

After the Spring planting, Li had to

tured on the cover). Drought-resistant,

strong that it drives away the rain clouds.

work in a coalmine for a month to support

the small red berry is used in treatments

Without rain, farming is difficult.” Li‘s

the family. “I know it’s dangerous work,

for the eye, kidney and liver. It is also

family farms 7 mu (just over one acre) of

but I had no choice. One day of work in

an ingredient in making soups and

land which only brings in a little income,

a mine brings in as much as 100 Yuan –

wine, and the bush can function as a

so they receive a monthly allowance of

at other jobs, it’s only around 40.“

sand barrier and fixer.

30 Yuan from the government.

Another way to increase people’s

In 2007, Li’s family invested 750 Yuan

“I don’t know much about climate

income has been introduced by a local

to plant wolfberries on 1.5 mu of their

change,” Li says. “I guess it is main-

non-profit organisation, the Jingyuan

land, and a year later, it is full of bushes.

ly because evaporation is so intense

County Association for Science and

Yet, there are no berries! “We just didn’t

Who and what has caused climate

vation and sustainable development,

change? People in wealthy, industri-

20.4 per cent for reducing the impact

alised societies are the major contrib-

of natural disasters on poor peo-

utors to the historical as well as the

ple, and 20.3 per cent for stopping

People often say that Hong Kong

current greenhouse gas emissions that

climate change from undermining

youth are too spoiled, uncaring, and

have brought global warming and

the achievements of poverty reduc-

other climatic changes. Meanwhile,

tion efforts.

it is people in poorer countries who

“Climate change is undermining

have been the least responsible for

Oxfam Hong Kong’s work against

climate change, but who are the ones

poverty. It is deepening poverty,” says

paying the consequences. With few

Stanley So, a policy officer with Oxfam

financial resources, it is very difficult

Hong Kong. “As a poverty alleviation


unwilling to assume a real sense of responsibility. Yet, when forty teenagers

Not for Granted

and twenty-something’s stayed for six days in a poor village in the Philippines, they demonstrated maturity and took nothing for granted. Each youngster stayed with a local family, who welcomed them as their

By Nicole Lee

for them to cope with and recover

and humanitarian agency, Oxfam is

from climate disasters. (Oxfam esti-

helping at-risk people in develop-

own, smiling readily, often hugging,

mates that, in total, poor people in

ing countries to cope with climate

and serving their best food: sometimes

developing countries need at least

change through adaptation, sustain-

crab and lobster, even for breakfast. For

US$50 billion every year to be able to

able development, and disaster risk

fishers, this is the everyday fare, though

adapt to the climate crisis.)


not usually for the morning meal as

In Hong Kong, how many people

Now, with our Stop Poverty!

well! The youth wanted to return the

are aware of these links between

Stop Climate Change! campaign,

warmth and kindness; they wanted to

the climate and poverty? As part of

Oxfam calls on world leaders and

reduce the poverty gap; they wanted to

Oxfam’s new Stop Poverty! Stop

the United Nations to agree on a

contribute to justice. Could

Climate Change! campaign, Oxfam

climate deal that is fair to poor people

they? They felt real anxiety

Hong Kong recently commissioned

– the next UN meeting is in Poland in

about whether they could do

a sur vey to find out . In August

December 2008. Oxfam calls on the

anything or not.

2008, 515 people aged 16 or above

wealthier industrialised societies –

The 40 members of Oxfam

were interviewed, by telephone, in

including Hong Kong – to financially

Youth Club and Oxfam Youth

Chinese, in a poll conducted by the

support adaptation projects in poor

Campaign Partners travelled

Public Opinion Programme of the

countries: this is in line with the pol-

to the small non-touristic

University of Hong Kong. The find-

luter pays principle. Oxfam also calls

island of San Miguel (no rela-

ings of the Oxfam survey confirm

on the Hong Kong SAR Government

tion to the brewery!) as part

what we had suspected: Hong Kong

to adopt proac tive measures to

of Oxfam’s campaign against

residents have a low awareness of

reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On

climate change and the pov-

how climate change is affecting poor

average, each Hong Kong resident

erty it brings. Residents of

people’s livelihoods. Oxfam has to

consumes 5,700 units of electricity a

change that before we can reduce

year and emits 5.5 tonnes of carbon

climate change.


San Miguel told the Hong San Miguel, Philippines - with climate change, there are more typhoons and smaller harvests of fish and crops.

Kongers that typhoons are stronger now, and more frequent, and the damages of the 2006 super typhoon are still evident: roads remain torn up, trees uprooted, buildings stand in mud. With

Oxfam Hong Kong is working along-


side JCAST on a series of anti-poverty programmes in Gansu. Together, we are providing emergency support to endure the drought, introducing

Every fridge Tells a Story

drought-resistant crops, supporting vocational training with farmers, and promoting various eco-friendly technologies in rural communities, such as biogas and solar energy. Farmers are saving money as they do not have to spend much on charcoal, which emits

By Tung Tsz-kwan

carbon, and they do not need to cut

In July, Hong Kong’s food prices

place even though it does not always

cern. They do not look for bargains

down as many trees, which contributes

reached a 27-year high. The price of

work very well, sometimes gets too

when they shop for food. “What we

to erosion, deforestation and thickening

rice increased by a record 66.3 per cent,

cold, and has to be sealed up to make

care about is eating what we feel like

sandstorms. Women, who are typically

and overall, food cost us 19.7 per cent

sure it closes completely. Ah Lin, who


responsible for cooking, benefit a lot, as

more than last July.

receives welfare, says, “in case I fail to

In another home, there is beef

make ends meet, at least I will still have

from the United States, fish from New

something to eat.”

Zealand, carrots from Japan, chili from

they save time and labour: the sun is free for cooking and boiling water.

Li Zhuang, a farmer in drought-stricken Gansu, is growing wolfberries - the drought-resistant fruit featured on the cover of O.N.E / photo: Tang Kong Fai

Ah Lin's refrigerator

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United

JCAST is totally reliant on support

Nations, more than 925 million poor

Her fridge has food in different

Thailand, mint from Australia, most is

from NGOs such as Oxfam Hong Kong,

people - up 75 million from last year -

packages and containers. A rule of

organic food… It is only through the

foundations and the government.

are struggling to feed themselves and

thumb for her is to buy food in bulk:

logos of high-end supermarkets and

JCAST President Zhang Keqin says, “the

their families in the crisis, as the three

the unit price will be lower. If she buys

prices marked in Hong Kong Dollars

local government here is burdened

main staple grains – rice, wheat and

perishables, Ah Lin makes them last as

that we know that this fridge is in

with a deficit, so we receive little

corn – all hit record highs. According

possible. For fish, she will sprinkle it

Hong Kong.

funding from them for implementing

to The World Bank, rice was at a 19-

with salt, dry it in the sun, package it

In fact, the fridge is in the Mid-lev-

these adaptation programmes. It would

year high in early 2008 and wheat at

up for the fridge, and eat a little at a

els, a middle-class neighbourhood of

be good if funding came through from

a 28-year high.

time. Ah Lin has also come up a ‘cook

Hong Kong. It belongs to a Russian-

other sources.” With more support,

Poor people in developing coun-

and freeze’ method that saves her

Korean couple who have lived in many

JCAST and other groups can imple-

tries – primarily farmers and fishers

some money. She makes dried duck

places around the world because of

have money to buy a net to protect the

ment more anti-poverty projects across

– typically spend anywhere from 50 to

leg this way, cooking the whole leg,

their work. They say it always takes

crop from birds,” Li sighed, but seemed

Jingyuan and the region.

80 per cent of their income on food, so

drying it, slicing it and then freezing it.

time to adapt to a new place, and the

to take the setback in stride. “People

“I want more rain,” Li repeats, “and

the increase in prices means that they

For soups, she prepares a pot at a time,

wife elaborates, “coming to a new

say that the first harvest of wolf berries

a bigger rain storage tank.” During our

are eating less and less. In Hong Kong,

makes it highly condensed, as a soup

place, I don’t have any idea of the

is usually unsatisfactory anyway. I will

visit to Gansu, it rained for the first time

too, poor people are being hit the

base, and then stores it in the freezer.

local prices. So when I shop for food, I

work harder to make more money this

all year.

hardest. Their limited income, in one of

For meals, she will shave a few slices of

don’t care about the price. I am more

Fiona Shek is a member of the communications team of Oxfam Hong Kong. She visited Gansu with the artist, Lau Gukzik, as part of our campaign against climate poverty.

the most expensive cities in the world,

the duck leg, scoop a small amount of

interested in looking out for organic

is being stretched even further in the

the soup base, add water, and bring it

products since they are healthier.” The

face of inflation. About 18 per cent of

all to a boil.

beef in their refrigerator costs HK$65

year so that I can buy a net. We will get prepared for a big red harvest of wolf berries next autumn.”

Hong Kong’s population is poor, and

Another refrigerator in the exhibi-

per 100 grams.

the gap between rich and poor people

tion belongs to a married couple who

Earlier this year, Oxfam International

is at its widest ever.

rarely cooks at home. It has no ingre-

released a report, The Time is Now,

and how urban living habits can con-

Do we see people’s poverty? Do we

dient for making a homemade meal at

which made recommendations about

and sea, the fish are fewer and smaller,

tribute to global warming and other

see the inequity? One way to visually

all. Much of the space is taken up by ice

what governments and internation-

and people’s income less and less. San

changes in the climate.

communicate the reality and the

cream, pastries, soda and other sweets.

al agencies need to do to alleviate

There is one bowl of leftover soup.

the food prices crisis. Immediate aid

the warmer temperatures, of both air

The trip is over now – the youth are

disparity in Hong Kong is through ‘You

lems because it is situated right at sea

home. Yet their determination, pas-

Are What You Freeze’, an exhibition

Both the wife and the husband

was needed to prevent hunger and

level – much of Albay Province is.

sion and commitment remain. The trip

(and future book) of people’s refrig-

work during the day and take courses

malnutrition, as well as more small-

m e mb e r s have s e t up a blo g to

erators, an appliance which reveals a

in the evenings, so they rarely eat

scale agriculture. Since then, the Food

sure trip for all of these reasons, as well

share what they have learned in the

lot about a person’s taste, lifestyle and

dinner at home on weekdays. They

and Agricultural Organisation has

as for the fact that it is the first province

Philippines, and will host a big pub-

income status.

Miguel is at severe risk of further prob-

Oxfam selected Albay for the expo-

eat most of their meals out, or they

approved US$21 million to provide

bring take-away food home. Their fully

assistance for farmers in 54 countries.

in the country to begin climate adapta-

lic education-awareness event soon in

Refrigerators in the Mid-levels

tion work: the San Miguel community

Causeway Bay, one of Hong Kong’s busi-

tend to store imported food. Fridges

equipped kitchen is put into use only

Oxfam will continue to support com-

alone has carried out needs assessments

est shopping areas. They are doing what

of young middle-class couples may be

on weekends and holidays, sometimes

munity projects with people affected

they can to change.

filled with ice cream and other things

to prepare soup.

by the food crisis, and we will also con-

for their plans, which include reforestation, waste management, and devel-

The passion has not yet died down

sweet. Fridges in poorer homes are

“Life can be so hard – we’ve got

oping alternative ways of earning an

from an Oxfam trip held a full three years

usually filled with self-prepared food,

to have some sweet stuff to brighten

about policy changes.

income that are not so dependent on

ago, to Iloilo, also in the Philippines,

dried vegetables, herbal medicine, and

it up,” the couple says. After a busy

the climate. They have wanted to build

but focussing on issues of trade and

bulk items.

day, they long for some comfort, or

The ‘You are what you Freeze’ exhibition, supported by Oxfam, runs from 7-31 October at A-Link, 302-308 Hennessey Road, in Wanchai, Hong Kong. The exhibition is also online:

a sea wall for protection, and started

poverty. When the Youth Campaign

Ah Lin’s refrigerator is second-

construction, but had to stop due to a

Partners 2005 heard that people in

hand, donated by a social service

with snacks, what they see as instant

lack of funds.

Iloilo were hit hard by Typhoon Frank/

organisation. She sees it as a wonderful

life sweeteners. Price is not a con-

During the trip, the youth met

Fengshen in June 2008, they decided

with staff from the Philippine Rural

to fundraise among themselves. They

Reconstruction Movement. They did

raised HK$9,300 (about US$1,200) and

physical work under the hot sun such

transferred the money directly to the

as planting jackfruit trees and clean-

organisation that worked with Oxfam

ing up the beach, which is not just for

to arrange the exposure trip. The

beautifying the scenery: when sand is

amount may not seem like a big sum of

clear of rubbish, it can better absorb

money to some people, but it reveals

the heavier rain and bigger waves of a

that the youth are more ready to give,

typhoon. They lived a low-carbon life,

than to take.

with no mobile telephone signal, no

To join Oxfam’s campaign against climate change:

Internet access, and limited electricity the island just got it two years ago, and not all homes are hooked up yet. Not all of the homes had running water either. Oxfam guided the youth to reflect on their ‘normal’ lives back in Hong Kong,

compensation, so they fill their fridge

Nicole Lee is a campaigner with Oxfam Hong Kong and manages the annual Youth Campaign Partners project.

Tung Tsz-kwan is the editor of Mokung, Oxfam's Chinese-language magazine, where this article first appeared.

TEN THINGS that people in Hong Kong are doing to save money on food 1. Eat two meals a day instead of three 2. Buy frozen meat, not fresh meat 3. Eat less meat 4. Freeze meat so that it can be easily, and thinly, sliced for use at more meals 5. Eat less steamed rice, more congee and noodles 6. Buy more food from Mainland China, especially rice 7. Purchase rice at rice retailers, instead of at super-

To visit the youths’ blog about their San Miguel trip: ( php) (only in Chinese). For more about Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, an organisation that Oxfam has supported: (only in English)

tinue to lobby world leaders to bring

markets, where the size of packages is fixed 8. Buy food in bulk together with neighbours Ah Lin’s fridge contains a lot of beans and other dried food, homemade soup stock, and herbal medicine she can take instead of paying to see a doctor / all photos courtesy of Hong Kong Community Museum Project

or friends 9. Buy canned food products in bulk from wholesalers 10. Buy soon-to-expire food at supermarkets

With the help of June Tsoi and Ken Wong, two interns from Hong Kong Design Institute, Oxfam has created two

The games are for all ages, but

one month of working – discussions,

Oxfam is especially targeting youth and

research and designing on the computer

have duly uploaded the games onto

– I understood more about my strengths

facebook and other sites.

and weaknesses, I should learn to


Here is what the two designers have

express my opinions to the fullest, and

Six action groups call for carbon dioxide emissions to be capped in the Air Pollution

to say about creating the games with

explore different drawing styles. It was

Control Ordinance: right now, the Hong Kong SAR Government does not regulate


a valuable working experience.

CO2 emissions of its two power companies, which account for about 70% of all CO2

JUNE TSOI, Oxfam game illustrator:

KEN WONG, Oxfam game programmer:

emissions. Please add your voice to this campaign (http://write-a-letter.greenpeace. org/407) – if action is not taken soon, now, Hong Kong winters may disappear within just 20 years, according to The Hong Kong Observatory.

When I do design work, I often

I have heard a lot of people talking

Oxfam Hong Kong is also calling to stop climate change, to stop the poverty

rely on my personal interests and feel-

about climate change, but I had not

it is bringing around the world : http : / /w w / public / contents /

The first game is an animated

ings to develop it. When making these

realised the seriousness of the problem.


quiz. The second, inspired by a popu-

climate change games for the public,

During the time I worked with Oxfam,

lar Japanese game called Taiko Drum

I had to think from several different

the weather was so bad and that made

Master that has two large drums at its

angles during the creative process. What

me feel even more uncomfortable. I do

five-foot-high console, goes through

kinds of games do people like? Should

love Hong Kong, and I’m afraid that

the steps that farmers are taking

I draw some cute characters to attract

I will lose this beautiful city, if life as we


to adapt to the different weather

people to play? What outfits are suit-

know it comes to the end because of cli-

able for the characters to wear? After

mate change.

new online games about poverty in the face of climate change.


OXFAM BOOKS Oxfam International recently published “Joining

For more than a year, Oxfam has been running a campaign to institute a minimum wage for all workers in Hong Kong. Currently, we are giving many interviews to the press, setting up educational booths on the street, securing space in newspapers, placing large posters in the subway stations, printing pamphlets and postcards – all to gather support. Stephen To and Rush Cheung are students from Hong Kong Polytechnic University Department of Applied

HUMANITY AND ECONOMY: The Minimum Wage in Hong Kong

we interviewed them about their vision

the World Trade Organization: A non-government

of Hong Kong as a fair society, each of

perspective in the accession process” for least-

them reflected that one basic prerequisite is that people should be able to support themselves and their family with a decent salary. Hearing them share their ideas invigorated us to keep striving to legislate the minimum wage. “We did not only seek support

developed countries. The publication discusses the membership process of the WTO, step by step, and the lessons learned by five developing countries: Cambodia, Nepal, Tonga, Vanuatu and Vietnam. (The negotiations to become a member can take fifteen years, as in China’s case.) Oxfam offers an assessment on the technical assistance available to applicants, and suggests ways that countries can negotiate beneficial entry conditions. The 59-page

from celebrities. We recruited people

publication was financially supported by Oxfam Hong Kong and Oxfam Australia.

from all walks of life, including our

To order books:

own friends and classmates. Some of them were reluctant at the beginning:


Social Sciences who have been working

they saw the minimum wage as a con-

as interns on the campaign for the past

troversial issue, worrying that it might


four months. These are their reflections

weaken the competitive advantage of

away, the huge floods in Bihar present a massive amount of work to do! The new

on the experience.

some lower-income groups. We replied

On the first of September, Oxfam India was founded. Straight

agency brings together resources from several existing Oxfam members: Oxfam Hong Kong, Oxfam Australia, Oxfam Great Britain, Intermon Oxfam (Spain), Oxfam Novib (in

“Working on the campaign has re-

to their concerns with evidence from

ally broadened our thinking about

other countries which have benefited

employment poverty. Deciding how to

from instituting the minimum wage.

convey the advocacy message to the

We provided Oxfam’s statistics and re-


public has been a particular challenge.

search on the issue. Such solid informa-

national Literacy Day, the UNESCO Confucius Prize for

One way to attract attention to Oxfam’s

tion was effective: many people in our

Literacy 2008 was awarded to Operation Upgrade,

campaign was through inviting 10 well-

circles agreed to support the cause and

an Oxfam-supported NGO which works with adult

known public figures including Lee Kin-

join Oxfam’s campaign.

learners, mostly women, in KwaZulu-Natal, South

wo (football player), Li Pang-fei (policy

“The minimum wage is not just

analyst), Chong Chan-yau (anti-poverty

about the economy, but humanity.”

activist), Cheung Chuiyung (journalist) and Anthony Wong (actor) to support the cause and join a media blitz. When

Tam Yuen-yan, a security guard who calls for the minimum wage

For more information on Oxfam’s campaign for the minimum wage: public/contents/article?ha=&wc=0&hb=&hc=&revis ion%5fid=86266&item%5fid=86103)

the Netherlands) and Oxfam Trust. Please see for more.

On 8 September, Inter-

Africa. UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuuro said, “Operation Upgrade’s KwaNibela Project in South Africa offers an innovative approach to integrating knowledge about HIV and AIDS into literacy

Itumeleng Lebajoa (left) of Operation Upgrade receives award from Koichiro Matsuuro, of UNESCO

programmes.” Many residents in KwaZulu-Natal have little water and food (the area is sand veldt), little money, little education and only basic infrastructure. Operation Upgrade runs 28 adult literacy classes alongside food projects, seedling nurseries, HIV and AIDS and human rights education, and crafts projects.

Coral Development Education Workshop

(DE) as a key tool for reaching urban youth, teaching the youngsters more

This organisation is so new that

about poverty, urban development and

its name is still being processed. They

globalisation, and encouraging them to

will certainly use the word ‘coral’: the

take action as they can.

For more about Operation Upgrade and the award: ev.php-URL_ID=57417&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

MOKUNG Oxfam Hong Kong publishes this quarterly magazine in

sea animal relies on interdependence

Currently, however, there is not

Traditional Chinese. Mokung, which means both “no poverty”

to survive, and the concepts of ‘living

enough training on DE for educators

and “infinity”, highlights a different aspect of development

side by side’ and ‘space for growth’

in urban China: materials are limited.

in each issue. The Editor is Tung Tsz-kwan. The latest edition,

are what this organisation values. They

As Oxfam Hong Kong is one of a few

in a new format, looks at food and inflation in Hong Kong.

believe that all people, of whatever

organisations supporting DE in China,

To subscribe:

race, sex, age, religion, education,

Coral proposed a project to create more

nationality, income level, are strongly

teaching materials, run three intensive

Every day, Oxfam Hong Kong works

interconnected, and as an organisation,

workshops with educators, develop a

alongside hundreds of groups around

Coral expects to make room for all of its

core team of facilitators, mainstream

the world, from small NGOs to inter-

partner groups to grow through train-

DE concepts and approaches, work

national bodies, from government

ing and networking on development

with youth on social development,

departments of developing countries

education – and Coral itself will grow

create a website and publications,

to community groups based in Hong

as well. For the past few years, three of

and overall, build a stronger DE net-

– it is free.

Kong. Here are 3 ‘partner organisa-

the Coral founders had been working

work for a stronger civil society. Coral’s

To subscribe:

tions’ that we are supporting for the

with other educational organisations

application was successful: the Oxfam-

first time.

that Oxfam Hong Kong had partnered

supported project started in Beijing in

with in the past.

September 2008.



• Coral Development Education Workshop • Beijing Siruijiyuan Social Economy Counseling • Indie Film Workshop

In the metropolises of China, there is a wide disparity between the middle class and migrant workers, between

Mokung is online at gory?cid=1017&lang=big5

ONE O.N.E – Oxfam News E-magazine – is uploaded monthly at To receive a copy in your inbox, please subscribe

Hong Kong

17th Floor, 28 Marble Road, Northpoint, Hong Kong

rich and poor people. Some academ-

O. N .E is also on-line:

ics regard development education

Editor: Madeleine Marie Slavick (

COVER: Wolfberries in Gansu, China / Tang Kong Fai


O.N.E - October 2008