Monday, 28 November 2011

Hands of Action Children's Art Project - Preview


We've just received the pictures from Uganda, but couldn't wait to share a quick preview with you.

More paintings will be added in the coming days!


Artist: Enayaly John Pius
Lunganga Primary School
14-years old



Artist: Enayalu John Pius
Lunganga Primary School
14-years old


Artist: Enayalu John Pius
Lunganga Primary School
14-years old

Artist: Wamono Henry
Lunganga Primary School
13-years old



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Saturday, 26 November 2011

Peace International Foundation / Harmony House

One of the major projects we've been working over the past several months has been a 20 minute feature about the Peace International Hong Kong - Hong Kong Peace Festival 2011, Music and the Planet.



Packed full of amazing music and performances by local artistes, intermingled with quotes from some of the most widely respected figures in the field of sustainability and the environment.

We were honoured and delighted when PIF invited Shirley and I to become their official video producers for the 2012.

It means a year of diverse video projects culminating with the next Hong Kong Peace Festival in September, 2012.

This past week was also important for Shirley and I. Our work to raise awareness about domestic violence and child abuse was rewarded with a Certificate of Appreciation by local non-profit, Harmony House.



Let's be clear, it is not about awards or recognition, it is about the impact you can make on society, on your community. But from time to time, when work is piling up and sometimes things are not going exactly to plan, it is nice to be recognised for the effort you put in. Our heartfelt thanks to the good folks over at Harmony House, and all the other grassroots non-profits here in Hong Kong and around the world who devote their energies - often on a volunteer basis - to protect the vulnerable in their own homes.

Remember, hitting someone on the street is a crime. Hitting someone in the home, is also a crime.

A busy week ahead. The paintings will arrive soon from Uganda and our Hands of Action Children's Art Project will enter its next phase.

Please look out for our updates, they're coming thick and fast - almost on a daily basis.

There's always one thing we'll never be able to complain about at Ridealist - and that's not having enough to do!

Thank you all for your kind support,

Chris & Shirley



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Monday, 21 November 2011

Hong Kong Unison 2011 Hikathon



(For higher quality select 1080p on YouTube)


Ridealist was delighted to be invited to participate as videographers for the 2011 Hong Kong Unison Hikathon - an event designed to bring people from all backgrounds and ethnicities together for a fantastic day out of hiking in some of Hong Kong's most magnificent countryside.

More than 700 people participated in the event, choosing the short or, the for the ambitious, the long course, depending on their experience and ability.

Out of every twenty residents of Hong Kong, there is one ethnic minority living here. Surveys show over 40% of them are suffering from unemployment or unstable job security due to the language barrier and a lack of resources in access to quality Chinese language education.

In order to promote racial equality in the territory, Hong Kong Unison, a public charitable institution, organizes an annual hiking event named "Hikathon" to fight for equal education opportunities and quality Chinese education for all Hong Kong residents, especially the ethnic minorities.

For more information on Hong Kong Unison, please visit their website at www.unison.org.hk - it's bilingual, so everyone can participate!

After the fun of the presentations, the foot-slogging began!

And at the end of it, the hikers were rewarded with refreshments and that particularly hard to describe sense of satisfaction that they had done something for their community, their society. For a multi-ethnic Hong Kong.

Really, you have to get out there and do something, volunteer for a day, to really understand what it feels like.

And once you've felt it, you will always want to go back for more.

Guaranteed!

Congratulations to Hong Kong Unison for a supremely successful and enjoyable Sunday hike, and many thanks to the dozens of wonderful people who made our life as videographers so easy!

We hope so see you again next year!

Chris & Shirley Gelken





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Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Hands of Action Art Project Donation Page


Uganda through the eyes of a child



The Hands of Action volunteer team in Uganda have done a magnificent job of organising, distributing, coaching, collecting and collating 600 pieces of artwork created by the children from four primary schools and orphanages in the Bududa district of Eastern Uganda.

They've now completed the process of selecting the the best 400 of those pictures and they ready for shipment to Ridealist in Hong Kong. Frankly, if it was possible, I would like to get all 600.

Some paintings have been described by the volunteers as just simply "awesome" - but aren't all creations from the imagination of a child "awesome" in one way or another?

They were painted by children from all age groups and backgrounds.

Many were orphans, in full time care. Others live with their family, but their situation is dire.

Life is a day to day struggle, but you don't see it in their faces.

What you do see is intelligence, ambition, pride.

They are not looking for a hand-out. They understand that they need some support, but their underlying determination to be independent means they insist on giving something back.

They are not beggars. In this project, they are your partners.

Their paintings and their dreams will now travel thousands of miles to Hong Kong, where they will be scanned and put into an online gallery to be admired by countless numbers of people from countries all around the world.

About 50 or 60 will also be framed for a physical exhibition and auction.

All funds raised from the online and physical auction will be donated to the participating schools.

If we could find a business generous enough to do the scanning and provide the frames, we'd be delighted.

In the meantime, we need to look for donations to take this project forward.

You can make a contribution by clicking on the button below.

If we exceed the amount requested, or if we don't spend it all, then any funds left over will be sent to the Hands of Africa team in Uganda to help support their programmes.

Ridealist is a legally registered society in Hong Kong. All our services are provided on a strictly volunteer / pro-bono basis.

On behalf of the children, thank you.





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Uganda through a child's eyes

Uganda through a child's eyes

The Hands of Action Art Project - Uganda through a child's eyes - is now moving to the next phase. The volunteers in Uganda have parceled up 400 paintings ready for shipment to Hong Kong.

Six hundred children from four schools and orphanages in the Bududa district of Eastern Uganda submitted drawings and paintings, and the volunteers say it was a tough job selecting the 400 to be considered for inclusion in an online gallery and auction.

In their words, the standard of the work is "awesome".

Now the Hong Kong team need to scan the prints, and select about 50 for framing so they can be exhibited at a physical location for auction.

We estimate costs to be around US$500 to complete this part of the project.

All proceeds from the sale of prints will be returned to the participating schools and orphanages to fund their programmes.

If you would like to contribute, please click on the button below.

On behalf of the children, thank you for your support!















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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Joshua - by Leigh Thorsen

What does it cost to save a child's life? In this case, $3,500.

That's what's needed for heart surgery for four year old Joshua Khaukha of Uganda.

Joshua's dad, Moses, is Executive Director of Hands of Action Uganda, an NGO that works with farmers and orphans in eastern Uganda. Moses has dedicated his life to providing education, training and material support to a community that barely gets by on $1 a day.

Now it is Moses and his family who need help. Joshua has had a heart defect from birth, and urgently needs an operation called a PDA ligation. In the meantime, he is getting weaker by the day.

HOA supporters have launched an online appeal to get Joshua the medical attention he needs - fast!

Please click on the link below 'Joshua of Uganda Heart Surgery' to make a donation, no matter how small. We've already raised $600 this way.


http://www.gofundme.com/9tlfg

Please tell your friends about Joshua. It's easy to donate online, and we will account for every dollar spent.

Your help is much appreciated!

Leigh Thorsen

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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Hands of Action Art Project - Action Plan


Uganda through the eyes of a child


The volunteer team in Uganda have done a magnificent job of organising, distributing, coaching, collecting and collating 600 pieces of artwork created by the children from four primary schools and orphanages in the Bududa district of Eastern Uganda.

They are now in the process of selecting the the best 400 of those pictures. Frankly, if it was possible, I would like to get all 600.

Some paintings have been described by the volunteers as just simply "awesome" - but aren't all creations from the imagination of a child "awesome" in one way or another?



They were painted by children from all age groups and backgrounds.

Many were orphans, in full time care. Others live with their family, but their situation is dire.

Life is a day to day struggle, but you don't see it in their faces.


What you do see is intelligence, ambition, pride.



They are not looking for a hand-out. They understand that they need some help, but their underlying determination to be independent means they insist on giving something back.

They are grateful for what they get, but they are not beggars. In this project, they are your partners.

That is why the Hands of Action Art Project caught their imagination in a huge way.

Their handiwork, their efforts, their paintings, the fruits of their imagination, would travel thousands of miles and be admired by countless numbers of foreigners from countries around the world.

To a child, that is huge. Can you remember how proud you were when your parent attached your latest masterpiece to the refrigerator with a magnet? Try for just a second to imagine the excitement in the heart of one these youngsters thinking their effort might actually find a home with a family far, far away, where it will be looked at and appreciated.

Frankly, I doubt many of us have felt that level of excitement in a long, long time.

These children were doing something practical to change the course of their future, something positive. They were trying to take control of their lives. They were engaged.

When they look at those parcels of drawings being loaded on the back of the postal van, they are saying "bon voyage" to their dreams. Not goodbye. They were wishing their "hopes" a safe journey, and a safe arrival.

And for all of this, we should support them. If we have a shred of humanity, we should not disappoint them.

Frankly, Ridealist/Hands of Action needs are not huge.

We need access "pro bono" or for a much reduced charge, access to a high quality scanner. Obviously in Hong Kong.

We need frames. They don't need to be grand... IKEA sells basic frames for about U$8 each..

We need the help of a volunteer web-designer to help create our online gallery / auction site..

And the understanding of the ISP host who will give us a special rate..

We at Ridealist are also on a very steep learning curve, so if anyone out there can see some flaws in our plan.. hesitate not to bring them to our attention!

And we need the owner of a gallery or suitable location here in Hong Kong, and maybe in China, and maybe elsewhere... London, New York, San Francisco.. who will give us the space to hang these pictures for a few days to auction them off in public.

If I can't find someone to donate the cheddar cheese and California wine, I'll use my coupons at Park'n'shop and buy it myself!

For the sake of children we have a responsibility to make this work.

I have described it in the most simple terms I can so you will understand that we are not holding out our hands for a huge donation in order to send a small amount of money back to Uganda. That is not the way we work.

If we approach this in the way we first perceived it - a bit of a guerrilla fundraising campaign - then we'll actually be sending back more than it cost to put it together. And at the end of the day, isn't that the point?

We're counting on you, and look forward to your response.

Chris & Shirley







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Ronald wants to be a medical doctor


Uganda through the eyes of a child

Ronald is a 16-year child from the Lunganga Primary School in the Bududa district of Eastern Uganda. His teachers describe him as a smart young man who particularly enjoys Mathematics and science subjects. His ambition is to one day become a medical doctor, and work to help improve the health system in his immediate area.

Ronald is participating in the Hands of Action Art project in the hope that someone will like his drawing enough to buy it, and allow him to buy some of the school books and materials he needs to continue his studies.

Like most of the students in Ronald's class, he isn't looking for a hand-out. He isn't begging. But he does realise that sometimes we have to ask for help. Asking for help, is not a sign of weakness, in fact, it is a sign of strength.

Some 400 artworks are currently being prepared for shipment to Hong Kong where we will scan them and prepare them for display in an online auction.

We'd also like to display them physically, in a gallery or other location, and have a live auction for some of the prints..

All the funds raised will be returned to Uganda, to the 600 children and four participating schools to help them fund their ongoing and future programmes.

For more information please visit the blog posts below.

If you would like to become involved - either through a direct donation, or goods in kind (we need picture frames for example!!!) please do contact us through the email address on this page or via my twitter account @chrisgelken

On behalf of Henry, who you met yesterday, and Ronald, and their 598 brothers and sisters, we look forward to hearing from you.








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Friday, 4 November 2011

Henry wants to be a pilot


Uganda through a child's eyes

Thirteen-year-old Henry Wamono is an orphan from the Lunganga Primary School in the Bududa district of Eastern Uganda. He enjoys drawing and loves mathematics. His ambition is to become a pilot. But his dreams to fly may be grounded because of a lack of scholastic materials, school fees etc. Seen here working on his contribution to the Hands of Action Art Project, Henry hopes that you like his drawing and will consider buying it for your home or office. The proceeds will help Henry and his friends take wings and fly.

Some 600 children from four schools and orphanages in the Bududa district are participating in the project. The pictures are now being sorted and prepared for transport to Hong Kong where we will scan them and work on building an online gallery and auction site.

We'd also like to hold a physical display of the best pictures in a gallery or other suitable venue, and possibly even send it on the road so people can see the dreams and the realities of these children's lives through their eyes.

If you would like to get involved or make a contribution to the Hands of Action Art Project, contact Ridealist through any of the links on this page - the email button is off there to the right - or follow our project on twitter @chrisgelken











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Thursday, 3 November 2011

A picture is worth a thousand words


Uganda through the eyes of a child


A picture is worth a thousand words, and primary school teacher Muwando Peter says a good picture is one that can convey a message. He says it can attract the viewer through the creative use of perspective, light and colour; even if they are not familiar with the subject matter.



The paintbrushes are back in their pots and the winning pictures are ready for passage to Hong Kong. The first stage of the Hands of Action children’s art project is complete.

Last week more than 600 children from the Bududa district in eastern Uganda composed pictures of life in their country for the project, an initiative of the Hong Kong-based Ridealist in cooperation with Hands of Action Uganda.

The best pictures will be sent to Hong Kong for one or more exhibitions and later sold internationally in an online auction. The money raised will go back to Hands of Action Uganda to promote the programmes of the participating schools and orphanages.

The project was made possible by an initial donation from Mr. Simon P'ng of Malaysia to cover the costs of the materials.

The Hands of Action Uganda Art Project now needs further funding or sponsorship in kind to cover the expense of high quality scanning, picture frames, and promotion of a physical exhibition of the paintings in Hong Kong.


It is our ultimate ambition to send this exhibition "on the road" where people from around the world will get the chance to see Uganda through the children’s eyes.


If you would like to join us, please contact Ridealist through the links on this page. You can also keep up to date with developments by following us on twitter @chrisgelken


Claire George

Ridealist Project Manager

Hands of Action Art Project

@slaurencecowley







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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Meet Nina - Volunteer Teacher Uganda


Seeing Uganda through a child's eyes

Volunteer teacher Nina likes to draw cartoons as an education tool in her classes. "It attracts the students, and they often try to copy what I have drawn, and frequently actually do a better job of it!" she says. The impact, Nina told us, is that it helps to develop the creative and observational skills of the student which can certainly benefit the child's future.



The paintbrushes are back in their pots and the winning pictures are ready for passage to Hong Kong. The first stage of the Hands of Action children’s art project is complete.

Last week more than 600 children from the Bududa district in eastern Uganda composed pictures of life in their country for the project, an initiative of the Hong Kong-based Ridealist in cooperation with Hands of Action Uganda.

The best pictures will be sent to Hong Kong for one or more exhibitions and later sold internationally in an online auction. The money raised will go back to Hands of Action Uganda to promote the programmes of the participating schools and orphanages.

The project was made possible by an initial donation from Mr. Simon P'ng of Malaysia to cover the costs of the materials.

The Hands of Action Uganda Art Project now needs further funding or sponsorship in kind to cover the expense of high quality scanning, picture frames, and promotion of a physical exhibition of the paintings in Hong Kong.


It is our ultimate ambition to send this exhibition "on the road" where people from around the world will get the chance to see Uganda through the children’s eyes.


If you would like to join us, please contact Ridealist through the links on this page. You can also keep up to date with developments by following us on twitter @chrisgelken


Claire George

Ridealist Project Manager

Hands of Action Art Project

@slaurencecowley





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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Meet Namahumba - Hands of Action Art Project


Seeing Uganda through a child's eyes

Teacher Namahumba Deogratious of the Bukari Primary School collects the paintings from young students participating in the Hands of Action Art Project. He says joining the project has been a great pleasure, especially since it will give the children an opportunity to offer a picture of their daily life to the wider world. He added that the children feel quite proud of their efforts to create a better understanding and relationship between Uganda and people overseas.


The paintbrushes are back in their pots and the winning pictures are ready for passage to Hong Kong. The first stage of the Hands of Action children’s art project is complete.


Last week more than 600 children from the Bududa district in eastern Uganda composed pictures of life in their country for the project, an initiative of the Hong Kong-based Ridealist in cooperation with Hands of Action Uganda.


The best pictures will be sent to Hong Kong for one or more exhibitions and later sold internationally in an online auction. The money raised will go back to Hands of Action Uganda to promote the programmes of the participating schools and orphanages.


The project was made possible by an initial donation from Mr. Simon P'ng of Malaysia to cover the costs of the materials.


The Hands of Action Uganda Art Project now needs further funding or sponsorship in kind to cover the expense of high quality scanning, picture frames, and promotion of a physical exhibition of the paintings in Hong Kong.


It is our ultimate ambition to send this exhibition "on the road" where people from around the world will get the chance to see Uganda through the children’s eyes.


If you would like to join us, please contact Ridealist through the links on this page. You can also keep up to date with developments by following us on twitter @chrisgelken


Claire George

Ridealist Project Manager

Hands of Action Art Project

@slaurencecowley


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