Universities in Hong Kong tend to organize many extracurricular activities for their students. As a student at CUHK, I had an opportunity to join a Service-Learning Trip to Sri Lanka and in this post, I will be sharing my own experience.
As said, I study at CUHK and the student body of my university is divided into several colleges. I am from Wu Yee Sun College, and this college is quite active in organizing extracurricular activities (other colleges may be less or more active). The trip that I joined was 11 days long and was sponsored and organized by Wu Yee Sun college.
The theme of the trip was to visit a war-affected area in Sri Lanka, Paranthan, and organize activities for kids, elderly, widows, and orphans. The aim was to build up commitment to service and social awareness of college students, as well as extending a sustainable impact to the service targets.
Before leaving Hong Kong we (there were 17 of us) had several group meetings regarding our activities that we will be organizing. We made a detailed daily plan for our time in the service location. When we reached Paranthan, the first group that we met were war-affected kids. We organized many entertaining DIY, games, and learning activities. Our time with kids was exciting and at the same time tiring but it was a worthwhile experience.
After Kids’ service, the next service target was Elderly. The main focus was to teach them some exercises and give them general health information. We had great conversations with the elderly and they also enjoyed sharing their stories with us.
After Elderly service, we moved on to serve war-affected widows and our aim was to improve their basic knowledge of healthcare and nutrition. We had several meaningful activities regarding healthcare and also, we had DIY sessions.
We also visited an orphanage house. This was perhaps the best part of the trip for me because seeing the conditions in which orphans live in, affected the way I look at my own livelihood and made me more thankful for what I have. Overall it was really great to spend time with kids in the orphanage and I believe all of us enjoyed it.
On top of working with the aforementioned service targets, we also had an opportunity to do some fieldwork. We planted seeds and watered the field and by doing so, made a lasting contribution to the service camp.
In conclusion, HK universities provide opportunities for their students to join volunteering trips. If you want to experience something completely new and want to add another dimension to the way you look at life, joining Service-Learning Trip could be a great idea for you.
Written by: Rustami U.
A 3rd-year Computer Science student at The Chinese University of Hong Kong