Participating in charity work has always been important to my family. Each of my family members takes volunteering seriously, and it has always been something that I care deeply about. 10x10, the Australian-based philanthropy group, has recently branched out to Hong Kong and using the format of the British television show Dragon’s Den, judges listen to pitches and choose the three best ones to allocate their money to. I am a firm believer in this initiative, as 10x10 gives the younger generation a chance to do their bit for the community.
For this round I will be partnering with the Chicken Soup Foundation. Their mission is to provide support to students living in extreme poverty in Hong Kong by focusing on three major aspects: education, healthcare and inspiration. Working with these students, they hope to build their confidence and provide a better future for them. The other two dragons, Sean Lee-Davies and Ali Bullock, will be working with Mother's Choice and Food Angel, respectively.
One problem that my husband, Chris Owen, and I find with some charity organisations is that there is no due diligence. 10x10 does this extremely thoroughly, ensuring that they are allocating the money to the people in need rather than the bureaucracy or infrastructure. We fully trust that the money and items that are donated will be used wisely.
I believe that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have a huge impact on raising awareness of charities. We can use these platforms to have discussions and debates regarding issues that need to be addressed. Also, instead of having large amounts donated by one or two people, social media can aid in more people participating on a smaller scale, leading to almost everyone being able to leave their own mark.
Social media will really help progress awareness of issues, especially issues that affect the world globally. I feel that environmental topics will be up for discussion more often because with the Internet, we are becoming aware of our cities and environment. I feel that initiatives such as 10x10 will aid in showing what is really beneficial to helping others.
I have heard stories in the past of charities using donated money just for food purposes, when the money can clearly be used elsewhere to make a difference. When I went to Sri Lanka, I was told that donating £100 here and there will not make a difference because the items that are needed cannot be purchased locally. Instead, they asked us to bring pencils, crayons and batteries for lights, so that these children can get an education. These are basic essentials that people sometimes take for granted.