Stage Right in Sai Kung has been developing a love for theatre in children since 2011. By focusing the extrovert and empowering the introvert, their workshops are designed to create confident, expressive and joyful performers, with a focus on teamwork, social interaction, creativity and imagination. Stage Right offers after-school and summer programmes for children from four to 11 years of age, and teaches performance skills and theatre techniques, with the opportunity to put it all into practice in third term with a live performance on stage. 21 Hoi Pong Street, Sai Kung Old Town. 9199 5900
Whether you make your own baby food or buy it, weaning can be a messy and expensive process. Amy Ward and the team at Homemade Foods makes things easier, tastier and better for the whole family. All of their babies and children’s meals are freshly handmade every day in small batches from organic, seasonal produce, and delivered to your door. The food is free from additives, preservatives and other nasties, and prepared under the guidance of chef and nutritionist Priscilla Soligo, and it comes in specially made reusable BPA-free containers. Among the big hits with the taste-testers at Expat Living were the spaghetti bolognese, chicken nuggets and oatmeal chocolate chip. 6779 2377
Making Parties A Breeze
Eezy Peezy Parties has added more than a dozen new collections to its online store, making it undeniably Hong Kong’s go-to website to create the perfect celebration – from children’s birthdays and wedding anniversaries to garden parties and baby showers. The new themes include stunning prints and patterns, perfect for outdoor occasions, and a new blue and white porcelain style range. Also newly available are dynamic metallic gold and silver prints, a nautical theme, moustaches (great for Movember parties) and Eezy Peezy Parties’ first licensed character, Hello Kitty. 2580 2530
With many schools still out until September, there’s still time to squeeze in a family trip or two. And the perfect accompaniment for children aged eight and up is the Leap and Hop series of travel books, written by Isabelle Demenge and illustrated by Emilie Sarnel. These interactive books turn a “grown-up” trip into a fun adventure through local history, geography, religion, currency and food, as well as activities including “I Spy” games in the Angkor temples and scavenger hunts in Maharajah palaces. Kids play along by drawing and writing, and collecting items of interest on the journey, resulting in a unique travel scrapbook to keep. Books on Hong Kong, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and India (Rajasthan) are available now, with Thailand, Beijing and Myanmar to follow.
Seeing is Believing
In preparation for the Standard Chartered Arts in the Park Mardi Gras 2014, Hong Kong’s largest community arts event, the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (HKYAF) kicked off a summer of fundraising with the Seeing is Believing Fundraising Exhibition in June. Over 8,000 young people from 84 primary, secondary and special needs schools created more than 8,000 art pieces, raising HK$320,000 for the visually impaired. The initiative has partnered with ORBIS International, with all fundraising proceeds going towards eye restoration and treatment, eye-care education and training medical professionals in mainland China. A series of Arts in the Park activities will be rolled out in the coming months to raise funds before the event in November.
Save the Panda!
In June, the city fell under the spell of 1,600 adorable papier-mache pandas as they made their way around town before finally taking up residence at PMQ. A range of eco-friendly merchandise designed by the creatives at PMQ was available, plus there was a make-your-own panda workshop, a “Hug a Panda” area, and a panda adoption programme. The tour came with a serious message, too: 1,600 is the total number of giant pandas remaining on Earth. For more information on how you can continue to support this initiative, visit wwf.panda.org.
Amelia Wong is a full-time student and part-time jeweller, designing under the label Amelia W since 2013. Amelia uses gemstones, precious metals, and Swarovski pearls to create pieces you can mix and match in your wardrobe. Highlights include a new line of tassel earrings and anklets, and an expanded range of necklaces. All proceeds from sales currently go towards the Society for Community Organization, an incorporated, non-profit and non-governmental organisation. SoCO believes that everyone should have basic human rights, and that the most effective way to achieve social change is through grassroots action, outreach and education. Find Amelia W’s jewellery at the Handmade Hong Kong Fair in Discovery Bay or on her website.
Leading the Way
Hong Kong Junior Leaders is a new English speaking, non-profit, youth development group that offers UK-style army cadet and leadership training to international school students aged 11 to 17. Their founders include former military personnel from the UK, Canada and Switzerland and they’re currently recruiting new cadet members for their Discovery Bay and Sai Kung detachments. Adults with or without military or cadet experience are very welcome to join as instructors, for training on Saturday mornings and occasional camps during long holidays.
School Fees Update
For many expats in Hong Kong, this time of the years marks the start of school. For some families, the decision to educate locally or abroad can be a difficult, emotional and financially trying one.
In June, the English Schools Foundation (ESF) announced a non-refundable Capital Levy (NCL) for new students starting school from August 2015 onwards. The NCL begins at HK$38,000 for children entering Year 1. In the UK, meanwhile, fees for private education have increased by an average of 68 percent in the past decade – a rate significantly higher than the rate of inflation.
Reports estimate that it costs approximately HK$2.5 million to send a child to private school between the ages of five to 18. On that assumption, parents need to allow HK$140,000 a year, per child, from the day their child is born until they turn 18, to cover school fees (not including university or college). It’s easy to see why education savings requires planning.
There are a number of ways to approach savings for education; one good option is flexible savings that invest in markets, funds and stocks but allow you to withdraw money if and when you need to. Whatever choice you make, do start the planning process early and be sure to seek professional financial advice.
For more about how to prepare and save for your children’s education, contact The Fry Group for a no-cost initial consultation. Room 2005, Tower 1, Lippo Centre, 89 Queensway, Admiralty. 2526 9488 | firstname.lastname@example.org