New GIN Club's First Event is a Smashing Success

Daniel Sheremeta

February 1 saw the inaugural event of the Global Issues Network Club (GIN): The GINcredible Charity Carnival. For two hours after school, the Carnival transformed the Island. Service organizations sold goods; live music lifted spirits; and the clubs of HKIS connected. Students likened the experience to the World’s Fair.


What is GIN?

GIN was born out of the International School of Luxembourg as a platform to solve the most pressing global issues.
The idea quickly spread. In 2006, over 28 schools attended the first GIN conference in Luxembourg. Since then, GIN has spread around the world, and there are now regular conferences on every continent, inviting students and speakers around the world.
Students Gracie Chung (12), Mehek Jain (11), Sarah Dong (11), and Weilyn Chong (11) decided to weave HKIS into this global movement, refounding the GIN Club at HKIS this year.
Their goal was simple but certainly not easy. According to Mehek, the club’s main purpose is to “connect service [clubs] at HKIS with each other, as well as the local and global community.”

The Carnival
The carnival primarily spoke to the first of these goals, aiming to launch collaborations between service clubs.
“Service clubs at HKIS are so competitive these days,” Gracie said. “And we wanted to promote cooperation among the clubs, so they create the best possible results.” 

To this end, GIN invited all clubs to the carnival, hoping that the environment would drive greater numbers to each club, as well as promote connections among clubs.
GIN provided setup for all clubs by organizing the tables as booths around the island and designing posters and printing them for every club. All the clubs needed to do was show up.
Fifteen service organizations took GIN up on its offer. Established clubs such as UNICEF, as well as up and coming organizations like the Nyaka Foundation Initiative, set up booths.
Carnival goers enjoyed everything from brownies to bubble tea to tteokbokki to metal straws. Musical performances drew administrators out of their offices and students out of classrooms. Even the Games Club joined in on the fun, hosting a Super Smash Bros. tournament.
By all accounts, the event was a smashing success. UNICEF Service Officer Alexander Du (11) said that their fundraising efforts were “more successful than a regular bake sale,” due to the fact that the number of clubs attracted more people. He applauded the music and atmosphere that allowed students and teachers to “[mingle] in a casual way.”
Sons of Pitches leader Guinness Chen (12) appreciated “the opportunity to share [their] music with the community."
Sons of Pitches performance during the Carnival at the Island. (Ryan Morris / Junto)
All in all, the event was a hit for service organizations, performers, and attendees.


Difficulties
Such a large event, however, doesn’t come without its difficulties.
Because so many clubs were involved, logistics were consistently challenging. Liasoning with each club about their needs was time consuming. Some clubs dropped or came on at the last minute as well.
However, thanks to the GIN subcommittee leaders Moqiu Cheng (11), Sophie Robertson (9), Anahita Kaman (11), Joy Chan (11), Nicole Tan (11), and Nikki Yuen (11), the event was a success.
Looking ahead
The GIN leaders aren’t satisfied to be one hit wonders. Already, they’re planning out the future of the club. A big priority is to attend one of GIN’s many conferences because that’s the “core of what GIN is,” according to Gracie. Most promising is a conference in Kellett School on March 29.
They are also looking into collaboration opportunities with the GIN Club in the Middle School. Students can expect to see GIN’s carnival to run again next time, likely to even greater success.
Already, the club is reflecting on ways to improve the event and incorporate feedback from participating clubs for next time.