Featured on the Hong Kong Economic Journal (October 4, 2018)
Last week, we had the honour of hosting Character Day in Hong Kong for the third year in a row as a citywide event. We hosted the event at Telford Plaza and had the privilege of having the Secretary of Education, the Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs, the Executive Director of Charities and Community of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, school principals, representatives from charities and members of the press with us. It was a very emotional moment for me as I spoke on stage and highlighted some things that we have accomplished in the last three years.
Since bringing this global movement to Hong Kong in 2016, we have seen over 230,000 people participate in Character Day. This year was particularly exciting because our event was featured on the global platform of Let It Ripple, the founder and organizer of the global Character Day. They had seen our momentum and progress over the last three years and this year, they put a spotlight on our city and I was so thrilled that our tiny little city has been internationally recognized because of how we are standing together and highlighting the importance of character and character education.
Every year we choose a character theme to focus on and we started with gratitude and kindness the first two years. This year, we highlighted the theme of hope as we want to see each Hong Kong person carry hope for their own lives and to then bring hope to others. Hope can seem like an abstract concept but social scientists have defined it as having a goal along with perseverance and tenacity to see the goal realized.
Character Day Hong Kong started as a hope. We had a hope that our city would come together in unity to celebrate the importance of character. We had a hope that character education would be put in the spotlight so that education wouldn’t just be about grades and knowledge but about character and values. We had a hope that our city would become one of character - 品格傳城。We’ve come a long way but we still have a long way to go.
On our backdrop at 2018 Character Day Hong Kong, we created a skyline of Hong Kong and it was made of a collage of hundreds of‘ hope cards’. Over the past few months, we asked Hong Kong people to write down what hope means to them on the cards. And on the day, our officiating guests added to the skyline collage and the skyline lit up – representing how we can light up our city with hope. To share with you what some of our guests wrote:
Mr. Kevin Yeung, Secretary for Education, “Hope is the drive to keep us moving ahead.”
Mrs. Cherry Tse, Permanent Secretary for Education, “Hope is perseverance in face of adversities.”
Mr. Leong Cheung, Executive Director, Charities and Community, The Hong Kong Jockey Club, “Hope is having the courage to run!”
CDHK Ambassador – Ms. Shelley Lee, Community Godmother, “Hope is giving someone confidence to overcome all problems and face the future.”
CDHK Ambassador – Dr. Connie Wong, Three-fingered pianist, “Hope is a force that pushes us to move towards success.”
CDHK Ambassador – Mr. Ricky Yu, Founder and CEO of Light Be, “Hope is even when you feel hopeless, you still choose to believe and take actions.”
CDHK Ambassador – Mr. Arnold Chan, Founder and CEO of Teach For Hong Kong, “Hope is relentlessly believing in people and the world.”
And mine was:“Hope is believing in a better future and playing a part to make it happen.”
What is hope to you and how will your hope light up our city?
Visit our website (characterday.hk) and Facebook (品格教育協會 Character Education Foundation) to get the latest news on ‘Character Day Hong Kong’.
從二零一六年起把這個全球性活動帶到香港，我們估計參與「香港品格日」的人數已超過二十三萬。今年品格日為標誌性的一年，因為全球品格日發起組織Let It Ripple看到我們三年來的發展，決定今年把焦點放在香港，首度邀請我們在其國際平台上轉播當天活動。我為此感到非常激動，這個小小的城市因為我們集結一起、重視品格及品格教育的重要性而獲得國際認可。