PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 November, 2014, 7:11am
About 500 young children and their families brought Christmas to Discovery Bay early yesterday during the ninth annual Discovery Mind charity walk.
Under sunny skies, parents shepherded their children into Discovery Bay’s Central Park for a clown show and a mini-carnival after the 4km hike to help raise funds for Operation Santa Claus.
Michele Fernandes, play centre supervisor at the Discovery Mind school, said the concept of charity might be hard for younger children to grasp, but there was no harm in small steps.
“The concept of sharing and giving is what they understand,” said Fernandes. “It’s a perfect lesson for anyone in any age group to receive.”
As the number one sponsor school of Operation Santa Claus last year, Discovery Mind raised HK$120,000 with 600 walkers.
“The walks have been very successful for the past nine years,” said Jane Wilson, the head of the school’s international section. “Operation Santa Claus will benefit a lot of children who aren’t as fortunate as our students,” she said.
“It’s also good to put something into practice, for the children to actually help someone.”
Wilson said students’ families were a major source of donations each year. “In the end, without their support, the walks would have never been this successful.”
Cynthia Chow, the director of all Discovery Mind schools in Lantau, said the project started in 2006.
“We wanted to be part of the community,” Chow said. “When we started, we were a small school with students from 15 months to six years old.
“Now that we have expanded from Discovery Bay to Tung Chung, we wish that the walk could extend further into Hong Kong in the future.”
Hannah Hebburn, whose daughter attends Discovery Mind kindergarten, took part in the walk for a second year.
“I think it’s great to do something when we’re so fortunate. It’s very easy to get stuck in the Discovery Bay bubble when you’re detached from the rest of the city.”