Following a discussion at a Board meeting about the conditions in children’s psychiatric awards in the Hong Kong public hospital system, we decided to explore possibilities for co-operation with the FarGo Foundation, an NGO which works with at-risk youths by channeling their energy into street art. The objective was to use street art to brighten up the children’s psychiatric wards. This was seen as a win-win-win-win situation: to brighten up the children’s wards; to provide an opportunity for at-risk adolescents to work with children who have other challenges; to provide an outlet for children under psychiatric care in the hospitals to work with other kids; and to provide a low-cost way of gaining some exposure for Variety.
After several months discussions with the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, which administers the public hospital system in Hong Kong, it was decided to proceed, and on 14 January 2017 a team of volunteers from Variety and FarGo Foundation completed a project in a newly renovated children’s psychiatric ward at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, a major port and industrial area in Hong Kong.
Variety provided the paint and several volunteers; FarGo provided the designs and artists. Early feedback from the Hong Kong Hospital Authority has been extremely positive, and a second project at another public hospital is planned for later this year.