History

VARIETY HONG KONG

Variety – the Children’s Charity Hong Kong Limited (Variety HK) is a registered charity (91/14278) and the local chapter of Variety International, an international charitable organization, which operates in 14 countries with 45 offices.

Variety HK was established in 2015 by a group of business professionals working in Hong Kong. They come from a diverse background but all shared the same vision: that every child deserves a future without limits, irrespective of the barriers that may be placed in their way! We leveraged the franchise of a well established international charity Variety International, and built a local “tent” here in Hong Kong.

Our goal is to identify the gaps in unmet needs of disadvantaged children, to provide access to opportunities, to empower them to develop and live to their full potential. We raise funds locally in Hong Kong, all of which are used on programs that serve local beneficiaries.

Our very first initiative, the Butterfly Program, was launched in 2016 to address the long-waiting time for Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services in Hong Kong public health system for children from low-income families. Butterfly Program provides timely assessment to these children who are suspected of mental illness and offers free medical treatment during their long waiting period, thereby capturing the important “golden window” of early intervention. To date, the Program has helped over 1600 cases and their families; yet the scope of and demand for clinical mental health services continue to grow (Details of Butterfly program can be found here).

The years of 2019 – 2021 have seen unprecedented challenges facing our youths and the most disadvantaged young people are often the hardest hit, both financially and emotionally. In 2019, recognising the growing needs of youths from low income families, we launched the Falcon Program which aims to empower these young people to “dream big” and to reach their potentials (Details of Falcon program can be found here).

Our beneficiaries do not live in a vacuum and sustainable changes require holistic support around them. So in 2020 we launched the Youth Ambassador Program whereby school children are invited to be “Ambassadors” in their schools to advocate for those who are less fortunate than themselves. In 2021, we piloted the Care Giver Program in recognition that those who give care also require caring in order to sustain their strengths to continue their responsibilities. (Details of Care Giver program can be found here).

We continue our journey to identify and fill the gaps in unmet needs of those denied access to proper opportunities. Their needs will change and our programs will endeavour to evolve to meet these changes.

We have grown to serve thousands of children across Hong Kong, and in 2019 added a second program to raise young adults' aspirations and nurture soft skills, which are essential for their self-actualisation. Through our programs, our partners and volunteers form a community which steps in to save, transform and enrich lives, from medical support to training and education and beyond."

How it all began

As an international institution, Variety sprung from a single act of kindness into an ambitious, transformative philosophy.

Initially founded as a social club in 1927 by a group of 11 theatre owners and showmen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States, the so-named Variety Club evolved into a charity during 1928 after an infant was found abandoned in a theatre. ​

When all efforts by the police and local newspapers failed to locate the parents, the club members decided that they would underwrite Catherine’s support and education and the Variety Club was born.

Almost one hundred years later, their inspiration has given rise to organisations across the world, who identify opportunities for intervention at the heart of children’s needs. We develop transformative changes that evolve with local dynamics, and we aspire to release the maximum potential of children everywhere.

​For more details on the story of how we came to be, please click on the video, or visit the Variety International website.

GET INVOLVED

Make a difference today.

Never before have so many kids needed so much help and support. Join us in improving the lives of children living with disabilities, disadvantage or illness in Hong Kong.