#KIDsforSDGs

KIDsforSDGs

By KENNETH KWOK and RELENA SEI

Jumpstarting Asia’s next-generation leadership in impact and sustainability 

Representing the beginning of the ‘Decade of Action’ and marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN), 2020 is a significant year on many counts. However, due to COVID-19, many meaningful events for children throughout the year have either been postponed or canceled. 

Although Hong Kong was experiencing its third wave of the virus, Jumpstart was determined to find a way to run its annual Summer kids’ program. The team reached out to two other organizations in the city, Family Mask and the MXA Group, to turn the crisis into an opportunity to make a difference. 

The Jumpstart Kids: Young SDG Leaders (Junior Edition) program went live on July 27, 2020. Participating students went through a three-week program covering the UN’s role and the pressing importance of working toward its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

An essential tenet of the program was that age was not a barrier to achieving purposeful impact in less- and least-developed countries. As such, the kids were empowered to complete tasks that would support at-risk communities around the world with medical-grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They had the opportunity to visit a face mask manufacturing facility and personally prepare and package their donation to a foundation that aligns with their personal SDGs. 

We had the chance to interview three families who created a multi-generational legacy, to understand why they were involved in the Young SDG Leaders program and what impact means to them. 

The Chungs: Teddy, Faye, Jessie and Jayden

Family Mask, a homegrown Hong Kong impact startup, was founded by Jessie Chung to fulfill a simple mission: to end the critical shortage of PPE to create a safer and healthier world. 

Teddy Chung, Jessie’s father, says that Jessie had just returned from a trip to China and Japan when shortages of PPE were becoming dire. She approached her father with an “almost-wild plan”: to get a mask manufacturing facility up and running within a few weeks and start filling the demand gap. 

Family Mask was founded to cater to the Hong Kong demand gap initially, but soon extended its reach globally to address shortages in the most severely affected communities. So far, Family Mask has donated over 1 million face masks to communities in need, with the help of partner organizations in the UN Global Compact Community as well as members of the Global Shapers Community and the Forum of Young Global Leaders, both initiatives of the World Economic Forum.

The family’s commitment and engagement with UN activities led them to all choose a unique SDG that reflects their own life experiences. Teddy, Faye, Jessie and Jayden chose SDGs 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption), 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), 5 (Gender Equality), and 14 (Life under Water), respectively. For Jessie, this decision was particularly personal.

“My path as an entrepreneur wasn’t paved with roses as a girl in a male-dominated world. We must work towards ending discrimination against women and girls everywhere,” she says.

Following the Jumpstart Kids: Young SDG Leaders program and all that Family Mask has done in line with the SDGs, Teddy believes his children have been equipped with all they need to make impactful contributions to the world.

“I guess I’ve done my part of providing them with quality education,” he says. “Now it’s their turn to use that knowledge to explore possibilities.”

The Kwans: James, Joanna, Lauren, and Alyssa 

umpstart Media is a leading ecosystem builder for entrepreneurship, with a mission to make innovation matter. The company operates at the intersection of technological and sustainable development, and has been an advocate for corporate social responsibility since its founding. 

Its social enterprise, Jumpstart Kids, has been running for three years, but the pandemic led the company to pivot to partnering with Young SDG Leaders. The Jumpstart Kids: Young SDG Leaders program educates students aged between 6 and 13 on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. 

Lauren and Alyssa, daughters of Jumpstart’s Executive Chairman James Kwan, were also part of the Jumpstart Kids program. The 13-year-old twins were most passionate about ‘SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth’ and ‘SDG 13: Climate Action,’ respectively. They felt an immense sense of satisfaction knowing that they were helping a community organization that aligned with their SDG. 

As a father of three girls, James is passionate about ‘SDG 5: Gender Equality.’ 

“I want [my daughters] to have equal access and opportunities to their male counterparts, and not be treated as inferiors,” he says. 

With a magazine that’s distributed in over 1,500 locations in 11 countries, Jumpstart Media hopes to leverage its broad reach to set a precedent for other organizations in the Asia-Pacific region in sowing the seeds of social responsibility in young minds. The company aspires to increase the program’s geographic scope and involve more participants in the following years. 

James is conscious of how a mentality of giving back must be ingrained in the global populace. 

“We are all citizens of the world, and helping one another should be something natural,” he says. “The journey to lend a hand never ends.”

The Wongs: Fian, Joe, Jace, and Jake

Innovation is a primary pillar and passion of the MXA Group. With its name inspired by Newton’s second law of motion, which describes the relationship between an object’s mass and the amount of force needed to accelerate it, the Group’s focus is to create a force of sustainability by leveraging technology, logistics, and healthcare to bring about tangible improvements to day-to-day life. 

Its companies include Hong Kong-based logitech service, GOLS HK, and Seoul-based technology platform developer, nNtuple. 

The forces behind MXA Group are the husband and wife duo, Fian and Joe. As investors and serial entrepreneurs, they have witnessed firsthand that a truly sustainable initiative must be measurable, scalable, and be innovation-driven–values they will undoubtedly imbue in their children, Jace and Jake. 

Jace is the youngest participant of the Young SDG Leaders program; his chosen SDG is ‘SDG 5: Gender Equality.’ His younger one-year-old brother Jake claps in excitement when Jace teaches him the word ‘equality.’ 

“Jace is very just-minded and soft-hearted, so he looks for a fair outcome in everything. The soft-heartedness, especially about gender, comes from his love for the influential women in his life,” says Joe. 

While Fian and Joe look forward to guiding their children and inspiring them to make a positive impact to “better the planet,” they are also mindful of giving them the space to explore and pursue their own ambitions. 

“As they grow, I hope to see how they each develop in their personalities and use their beliefs to guide them on their unique journeys,” says Joe. “It will hopefully allow them to make a positive impact.”

About the Authors

Kenneth Kwok

Kenneth is the Founder and CEO of Global Citizen Capital, and the Co-founder of the MXA Group and Family Mask. He is an advocate for sustainable development toward a high quality of life through ESG and impact investments. Kenneth received a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Relena Sei

Relena is the CEO of Jumpstart Media. She is experienced in several industries, including PR, fashion, law, and property development. Relena served as the Interim COO of NY Silent Models prior to joining Latham and Watkins. During her time as a capital markets lawyer, she focused on IPOs, debt issues, and cross-border M&As. Relena received her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

This article was written in partnership with Jumpstart and Family Mask.

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

RELATED POSTS

How Can Entrepreneurs Overcome Loneliness?

How Can Entrepreneurs Overcome Loneliness?

Starting your own business is a project that will take over most of your life. You are straying away from the typical 9-5 jobs that your friends and family may have. The sheer effort you have to make to get a business up and running will leave you feeling lonely. While it might seem almost expected to feel lonely during your startup journey, loneliness is a slippery slope to several health conditions.

8 Techniques to Get Readers Rolling Right into Your Content

8 Techniques to Get Readers Rolling Right into Your Content

We’ve all been there. We’ve spent hours crafting the perfect blog post, article or white paper, but no one is reading it. Why? It could be for a million reasons, but often it’s because we’re not doing enough to get people to come to our content. In this article, we’ll learn about the eight techniques that will help you draw in readers and get your content read!

Amazon vs Flipkart Who Will Win Festival Sale War in India

Amazon vs. Flipkart: Who Will Win the Big Festival Sale War in India?

Amazon India and Flipkart, the two biggest ecommerce giants in India, have always been in a neck-to-neck competition for supremacy in the country. There is no better occasion to showcase their strength and take advantage of people’s shopping mood than during the Indian festive season, which begins in late September featuring various festivals, like Durga Pooja, Dussehra and Diwali.

Reviewing Top AI Boyfriends on Google Play Store

Anima vs. Replika: Reviewing Top AI Boyfriends on Google Play Store

Finding your perfect match can be a long and tedious process. You can go on date after date and still have a long way to go before you find your soulmate. In the meantime, you can curb your loneliness by speaking to an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.There are dozens of AI chatbots on the market today that give you the experience of having someone to vent your issues to and discuss your daily lives with.

Shrinkflation

What Is “Shrinkflation” and Why Opting For It Isn’t Companies’ Only Choice

You might have noticed grocery prices are soaring, or your usual go-to pack of chips is shrinking in size—all thanks to massive inflation. As of August 2022, the U.S. consumer price index (CPI), which measures the change in consumer prices for a specific set of goods over a period, has increased by 8.3% (year-on-year). Although it has gone down slightly from 8.6% in May, the highest it has ever been since 1981, it remains high and worrying.