|25 June 2011||
Social Responsibility has not only been a core value at HKU for many years, but also has had a great influence on my personal development. Remembering my first volunteer work as a campus tour Green Gown Guide at my alma mater six years ago, I found it very innovative and meaningful.
Today, I have also extended my passion for working in the community, in particular with our brightest minds of tomorrow – children. Growing up as a single child like many of us in Hong Kong, I treasured my peers as my second most-valued asset besides family. Since we can only walk our path once, I believe the best way to move forward would be to learn from our peers or even our seniors; more important is to share our decisions and choices with the young generation. Shortly after graduation I joined the “Growing Partners” (GP) project, which is organised by the Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs Association of Hong Kong.
Originally a pilot mentorship scheme initiated by a group of senior yet passionate alumni of my alma mater in 2005, GP aimed to bond 300 pairs of alumni with financially challenged children over three years. Unlike other programmes, we focused on building a mutually influential relationship between our Blues (mentors) and Greens (mentees) for the official one-year duration, echoing a traditional Chinese saying "青出於藍勝於藍". I became a Blue as well in 2007.
Throughout the year with my Green, I learned to treasure the most fundamental elements of what I already own, such as parents, health and friendships. On the other hand, I also tried sharing my thoughts but avoided casting my shadow upon him because I realised there is never a “wrong decision”, as long as we have no regrets in making them.
Towards the end of our project, I was invited to join hands with the GP Steering Committee, working behind the scenes as an advisor to monitor its overall development, including recruitment, budget approval and project effectiveness review. After achieving our initial goal of 300 pairs of Blues and Greens in 2008, we decided to carry on our legacy by sourcing sustainable funds and expanding the scope of mentors to include the general public. Last year, we successfully secured funding support from both the Bank of China and the Government, through its Child Development Fund.
To allow GP to evolve and blossom in 2011, the GP Steering Committee has agreed to pass the leadership on to me as the co-Chairman of the new cabinet from this past April, together with our other young alumnus, Eugene Wong 黃宇正 (LLB 2002; PCLL 2003). Meanwhile, I continue to contribute to our latest GP project as a Blue with my new Green, in order to verify its effectiveness from within.
In closing, everyone deserves an equal opportunity to develop, especially our children. Like all people, I only have 24 hours each day but I strongly believe the key is how to utilise your every heartbeat and make a difference every day. As long as you enjoy what you do, Chaos Theory will prove that such random events will always lead to something bigger, better and brighter. Same as the movie INCEPTION, if HKU had not planted the idea of “social responsibility” in me from the very beginning, I would not have the chance to my experience on HKU SERVICE 100 today.