It is a bilingual charitable organization in Hong Kong that provides a range of harm reduction services that tries to inform, empower, and build peer support in young people. Its approach is to encourage young people to help themselves by providing peer support through positive contact with other young people.
KELY was founded in 1991; it started when a schoolgirl who was overcoming her addiction to drugs realized that she had found support by telling her story to her peers. She eventually set up an informal self-help group which offered help to individuals with addiction problems.
Since 1991, Kely Support Group has been providing drug education and counselling support in schools in Hong Kong following the model of peer support. Between April 2005 and May 2006, the organization has collected 391 surveys from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Drug InfoCentre (DIC) (香港賽馬會藥物咨詢天地/香港赛马会药物咨询天地) workshops. 89% of students surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that the program made them more aware of the negative effects of illegal drugs.
The mission of KELY is to help people find the necessary guidance to explore the many concerns facing adolescents today, which include peer pressure, drug-related problems, eating disorder and body image issues, and relationship issues. KELY also wants to help young people help themselves so that they can live happy fulfilled lives and realize their full potential.
Other than four patrons and seven board members, Kely Support Group has eight paid staff. This small group environment helps to build a tight-knit community which better serves the youths in Hong Kong. Apart from its staff, KELY also has a large number of unpaid volunteers.
In 2005 and 2006, KELY has recruited 93 volunteers with Lara Rogers being the Volunteer Coordinator. These unpaid volunteers contribute to the local community by devoting 1,021 hours to KELY.
The Kely Kafe is a café, meeting place, or counseling/drop-in center, where young people can go and experience a safe and supportive environment.It provides food and beverage, internet connection and an alcohol- and smoke-free environment. The KELY staff are available at the site for counseling as well as other support services. The facility would also serve as a place for vocational training to gain practical experience for young people rehabilitating out of the correctional services institutes in Hong Kong and those returning to mainstream community after overcoming dependency or other problems.
KELY incorporates Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) in all of its programs, which emphasize on learning by doing real tasks that have real consequences and then reflecting on these experiences over time through CAS. CAS is a framework for experiential learning, designed to involve students in new roles. All the programs organized by KELY aim to follow this principle. KELY's services aim to help young people gain a better understanding of the adolescent issues and build positive attitudes towards these issues.
This propram aims at developing the youth into a positive and independent individual. It normally has 8 to 10 sessions, each lasting up to 2 hours. Instead of giving lectures or seminars, the programme consists of a great variety of experiential learning such as role plays, exercises and discussions which are all highly interactive. Most important of all, the program is conducted by a group of well-trained peer support members. These peer helpers possess additional insights into life as well as valuable skills in developing positive relationships. Through interactions with the peer team, the attitudes and behavior of the participants can be influenced positively.
The program has been expanding due to the effort made by older students who have gained the skills and knowledge from it. They pass on their skills and knowledge to the younger peers by conducting workshops and organizing campaigns in their schools. In 2005, KELY offers 145 training sessions to 2,951 pupils.
As KELY has established a wide network in both local secondary schools and international schools, it makes use of the network to offer workshops which focus on major adolescent concerns, for instance, drug abuse and eating disorders. The workshops can be on one single topic or a combination of several topics, depending on the students’ needs.
Similar to the Peer Support Training Programme, the workshops are composed of interactive activities such as role plays, case studies and games. Students learn about the topic and acquire positive attitudes towards it through experience and enjoyment.
Peer Talk is a casual peer gathering which provides the opportunity for young people and the KELY staff to interact. Discussions surround topics like teen/adolescent problems, relationship/family issues, sexuality, etc. The gathering is conducted in a fun, relaxing manner, and its participants are free to contribute, join in or just listen at their own will.
KELY provides counselling, hotline calls and E-hotline services for young people aged between 12 and 25. It offers 75 client sessions and referrals on common adolescent concerns such as bullying, drug-related problems and eating disorders etc. Basically, there are three main features which make their counselling and hotline services popular among the youth:
Other than providing services, KELY Support Group offers a variety of well-designed and interesting projects, which help the youth to develop into an all-rounded individual by providing fun, educational and challenging activities.
The KELY Circus School aims at developing the non-academic skills of the youth. It teaches young people circus skills such as juggling, stilt walking, unicycle riding and plate spinning as well as magic tricks. The School operates in the forms of regular workshops and summer projects, which enable students to engage in artistic performances and later pass on their skills to other students.
In 2005-2006, a programme named "Get Active! Be Empowered! Social Circus Programme" runs in 30 local secondary schools, providing training of circus skills to more than 600 students. More importantly, the project outreached well over 70,000 participants. Through performing the circus skills learnt at school and in the community, participants promoted the message of active and healthy life style to their fellow schoolmates.
This program lets participants express themselves and build up their own positive self-identity by integrating intuitive dance and movement, visual arts, oral and written words, and sound and touch as a means to widen and deepen ways of self-discovery and expression.
In Jan 2006, KELY led a series of workshops called ‘Movement-based expressive art therapy’ in the Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival. Through art and movement, participants understood more about themselves and further developed their self-expression. First, participants gained a better understanding about themselves by drawing oil pastel pictures and writing words to reflect on themselves. Besides, participants developed self-expression by discussion each other’s pictures. Finally, participants drew again to express their feelings at the end of the session. Teachers of the participating schools claimed that children with behavioral problems seem to benefit from the workshops.
KELY runs the project on topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, sexuality and depression etc. It consists of a series of Harm Reduction Workshops as well as the delivery of specially-designed Harm Reducation Cards.
KELY runs Harm Reduction Workshops in English on common adolescent topics. So far, KELY has been providing a total of 378 Harm Reduction Workshops in 27 schools and organizations, involving up to 12, 547 participants.
Since 2004, a guided study tour of the new Drug Information Centre has been incorporated in the workshops. The study tour is composed of two sessions – debriefing and sharing – which try to raises pupils’ interests in knowing more about drugs and related problems. Just in 2005, KELY succeeded in organizing 20 visits to the Centre.
In addition, talks with guest speakers from the Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are also incorporated in the workshops. These speakers were drug users or alcohol addicts before and they shared their real-life experiences with the students. After listening to the speakers, students become more aware of the risks of drug and alcohol abuse.
The project is jointly organized by the Samaritans (S), KELY (K) and Outward Bound Hong Kong (O). It is a bilingual project composed of CSKO (conducted in Cantonese) and ESKO (conducted in English), hoping to meet the needs of both local and international schools. The SKO Project is comprised of a series of interactive workshops and seminars on the topics of depression, suicide and other adolescent concerns. In the project, young people are taught ways to cope with stress and pressure and are encouraged to seek peer support in face of depression and stress. In addition, participants are given many opportunities to build their leadership, teamwork and communication skills, helping to boost their self-confidence and widening their peer network.
This project makes good use of peer influence in asking the participants to run projects in their schools so that they can pass on the skills and knowledge they acquired in the project. It is hoped that through peer influence, young people's awareness of the problems of depression and suicide can be raised, and hence they could provide support to each other.
In 1998, the KELY Support Group, the Samaritans Multilingual Branch and Outward Bound Hong Kong jointly organized the ‘Youth Suicide Prevention Programme’ for students in both CMI (Chinese as the Medium of Instruction) and EMI (English as the Medium of Instruction) local secondary schools as well as international schools. The programme adopted the approach of peer support – young participants were encouraged and trained to listen to, care for and help each other.
In 2002, 45 secondary schools took part in the programme with nearly a hundred senior students helping to bring the issue of suicide up to their peers. Other than interactive workshops, senior students tried to educate their peers by devising projects and dramas and running teacher training sessions on depression and suicide. As the programme enabled contacts among various secondary schools, students were able to widen their peer connection network and build up confidence so that they can provide support to their peers and family.
KELY hopes to hold YSPP in every local secondary school. The funding needed to facilitate these programmes comes from places like the Outward Bound Trust, the Jackie Chan Foundation and the Matilda Sedan Chair Race Charity Fund, to cover the costs in training each participant to recognize and handle despair, hiring coordinators and training volunteers.
KELY has held a total of 19 friendship programs, out-reaching 876 participants from both primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong. This program mainly aims to make promotions of a friendly and caring school environment. It also helps to improve the friendship among students with different characteristics and personalities.
During the summer holiday in 2005, KELY organized three Summer Programs to raise the youth’s awareness of the environment through experience and enjoyment. They were specially designed by two internship students from an overseas university (Yale University) and a local university (Chinese University of Hong Kong) with the help of 26 young voluntary workers.
There were 109 youth participants in total from four organizations, namely Christian Action, Hope Worldwide, Parents of Autistic Children in Mainstream Education and the Caritas Hong Kong (Community Centre in Aberdeen). While enjoying the programs, the participants also build friendships with each other.
"The Coca-Cola Project" was successfully held on 30 December, 2005. It was held mainly for enhancing the awareness of 'Get Active Be Empowered' among students from 30 secondary schools, educating them about healthy and active lifestyle and encouraging them to lead such a lifestyle. The programme was run by KELY Support Group in partnership with Swire Coca-Cola HK Limited (SCCHK), supported by Hong Kong School Sports Federation. The programme included regular physical exercises, workshops and interactions with youth ambassadors.
In order to help the youth from minority ethnic groups to get used to staying in school, KELY launched the Skateboard Project which provided after-class-training on skateboarding and rollerblading. It also included team building activities, anger management, problem solving and conflict resolution skills. Besides, participants were given opportunities to perform in the local community and provide training to their peers at schools.
The aim of this In-Sense project was to give the youth an opportunity to reflect on their self-identity and body image instead of only accepting those thrust upon them from the society. At the end of a series of summer workshops, the participants put on a theatrical performance which they designed, planned and organised all by their own.
This project enables the participating youths to reexamine their values and look at how external forces can have an impact on their views of themselves. It also helped them to explore their creative, dramatic and cinematic skills.
Kely Supprot Group launched a "Dress Up Your Bear Bear" Campaign which was organized by Ho-Sum Organization, and joined with Hong Kong society for Protection of Children, Hong Kong Family Welfare Society, Hong Chi Association,in April 2004.
KELY and other 4 charity partners held 5 events together. This project attracted the attention and received the support of over 100 members from various professions, from students to housewives. Therefore, over 100 bears were sent out to the kids who need to express their gratefulness to those who care about and love them.
KELY Support Group created 3 enormous murals on 7 May 2005 with the help of students from schools across Hong Kong. The three murals defined different characteristics in young people- Friendship, Teamwork and Support. No matter seen alone or together, these paintings show the world the best side of us, and the little things we can do to make this world more beautiful.
The paintings are now on-the-go travelling around different schools in Hong Kong for display.
KELY has been receiving generous donations in the annual charity ball. The ball aims at providing financial support to enable KELY to continue its valuable service to the youth of Hong Kong.
In the year 2001,a concert was held to celebrate Christmas - a splendid tree lighting ceremony and the performance of Starlight Capriccio.Also in that year,KELY Support Group became one of Operation Santa Claus’ beneficiaries and received a donation of HK $3.6 million.
The Peak put up an outdoor fund-raising concert with local bands. Booths selling food and beverages were also set up in order to raise fund for KELY. The event was complemented with the KELY Circus School members, who encouraged the youths to participate and experience the unique and powerful KELY spirit.
KELY's Have A Hug Day took place on December 14, 2001, which was a special occasion for heartfelt hugs amongst young people and their peers. The Hug Day project was aimed to raise awareness of a more positive communication attitude among young people in Hong Kong.
On that day, participants wore badges which would light up when they received a hug. Each badge was sold for HK $10.00, half amount of which would be directly dedicated to the charitable body. The event succeeded in raising a total amount of HK $63,337.90.
What's more, the world's largest group hug was formed at South Island School on this meaningful Hug Day.
The Matilda Bazaar and Sedan Chair Race is held annually in November. It raises money for needy charitable organizations in the local community. Since 2000 (from 2000 to 2006), the KELY Support Group has been one of the beneficiaries of Matilda Bazaar and Sedan Chair Race.
In order to provide professional and quality services, KELY’s staff and volunteers receive specific training.
KELY Circus Skill is the most popular among all services provided by KELY. To provide professional training to the young participants, KELY staff received training on circus skills from two main institutions: Cirque De Monde and the National Institute of Circus Arts.
KELY believes that Peer Support is one of the solutions to solve adolescent problems. To learn about the peer support, KELY invited Dr. Trevor Cole to provide workshops on peer support to the staff and board members.
KELY staff have been working hard to enrich their professional knowledge on common adolescent problems. The following are some of the training received by KELY staff in 2004 to 2005:
As a full member of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (香港社會服務聯會﹝簡稱社聯﹞/香港社会服务联会（简称社联）), KELY receives no financial subsidy from the government or The Community Chest of Hong Kong (香港公益金), relying instead on the generosity of the general public and corporate sponsors.
The list updated sponsors of Kely Support Group is a long one which includes American Women's Association, Classic Car Club of HK (1989) Ltd, Environmental Protection Agency, Hard Rock Cafe, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Hong Kong Bus Shelters, German Swiss International School and even Yoga Society of Hong Kong.
As a non-governmental organization, Asia Foundation aims at helping to develop a peaceful and wealthy Asia-Pacific environment with the experience of over 50 years.Being classified into the category of Children and Youth, Asia Foundation provided KELY Support Group with financial support.
As a leading global investment banking, Goldman Sachs makes contribution to the local community by setting up the Goldman Sachs Foundation The Foundation aims at educating excellent and innovative youths. It also aims at improving the lifelong productivity of young people worldwide. To help the youth in Hong Kong, Goldman Sachs (Asia) Foundation has been sponsoring KELY to provide Peer Support Projects.
In 2004-2005, KELY provided a self-defence programme for girls, namely ‘Power Tough!’ The programme aimed at training ‘tough’ girl, and therefore, self-confidence and self-esteem building formed the crucial part of the programme.
Goldman Sachs supported the youth by sponsoring a graduation outing to Treasure Island on Lantau. Participants from the Delia Memorial School were invited to the outing in which they had to take part in ‘tough’ physical activities such as hiking, kayaking and swimming. Besides, Goldman Sachs staff also volunteered to be the mentors of the students.
OXC stands for Origin X Creative Ltd, an "advertising, design and production company", which provides support for communities through social services. It provides KELY Support Group with "sponsorship, volunteers, consultation and design services".
In 1996, the HKSAR Government has established the Beat Drugs Fund As suggested by the name, Beat Drugs Fund provides financial support to local organizations to beat drugs in the community. As one of the grantees, the KELY Support Group has been receiving government funding to design and run projects on Drug Preventive Education.
In 1997-1998, KELY was granted HKD 75, 125 to run the project ‘The Low-Down on Drugs’. KELY used the funding to produce a booklet on drugs. In order to attract more youth to read up on drugs, the booklet is bilingual and color-printed. Moreover, the booklets are handed out to schools, libraries, agencies that work with drugs problems and any one who made a telephone enquiry about drug-related information.
In 2002-2003, KELY was granted HKD 112, 000 to run an anti-drug programme, namely ‘Hop Hop Hoops’. The programme was conducted in English, hoping to reach out to international school students and ethnic minority youths who do not speak Cantonese.
The programme aims at helping young people to build healthy interests so that they would stay away from drugs. Hence, ‘Hip hop Hoops’ offers workshops on two healthy and drug-free interests: basketball and hip-hop dance. More importantly, the programme consists of a series of drug education sessions in parallel with the dance and basketball sessions.
In 2004-2005, KELY continued to run ‘Hip Hop Hoops’ in the Sear Rogers International School
MATCH is a publication of KELY Support Group. It is a youth magazine produced by secondary school students in Hong Kong, aiming at promoting free expression, creating interest in current affairs and providing learning experience in the media field. MATCH helps teenages deal with issues such as sex, relationships, drugs, and eating disoders throughcreative writing. It also delves into local issues including education, employment, environoment and pop culture.
The magazine is distributed at no cost to over 500 secondary schools, youth agencies and various public libraries in Hong Kong.
KELY has published a series of controversial harm reduction cards to promote the healthy and positive lifestyle in young people. In 1999, KELY outreach workers had distributed 10,000 ‘harm reduction’ cards printed in English and Chinese on the topics depression, sex and alcohol. Frequent party-goers became the target group in the distribution of the cards, and hence KELY staff attended rave and dance parties on a regular basis to hand out the cards.
The cards are specially designed. They are pocket-sized with colorful cartoons on one side and information on the other.
Some of the card designs are as follows:
KELY wished to persuade young drug users to reduce their dosage. However, the 'harm reduction' warnings on the cards (see above) received criticisms from the public. For instance, director of Christian Zheng Sheng Association, Jacob Lam, commented on the cards negatively, "If there is no definite message to tell them about drugs are drugs no matter how little is being taken, it won't cut craving. Young people might also think it is acceptable to do it within a certain limit." In response to the criticisms, KELY argued that each card still ends with a warning that ‘not to do them at all’ is the best way to be free of the side effects of drugs. It also stresses that possession of drugs are illegal and could mean jail.
Regarding the criticisms over the issue on KELY's harm reducation cards, spokesman from the HKSAR Narcotics Division showed a neutral attitude, "We do not comment on private initiatives but we do welcome different approaches."