700 CUHK Students Demonstrate ‘I•CARE’ SpiritNumber of Students Participating in Social Service Programme Doubled
In the past academic year and summer, around 700 students of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) initiated or participated in more than thirty student-led social service projects supported by the I•CARE Social Service Programme. Both the numbers of participants and service projects have doubled over the previous year. Since its launch in 2011, the I•CARE Social Service Programme has spent over HK$3,000,000 on various educational, health, legal and architectural projects around the world, and extended its aids to more than 20,000 disadvantaged people. The students have also shown higher spontaneity in observing the needs of the unprivileged people and developed solutions or service plans with higher originality and wider perspectives.
Last year, Ivan, a year 4 student from the Nethersole School of Nursing at CUHK, paid a preparatory visit with other volunteers to Cambodia to gain a better understanding of the hygiene problems caused by frequent flooding at Kampong Chhnang. This summer, 11 CUHK students and the Pathfinder team worked with the local NGO, Clear Cambodia, to build new sanitary facilities and a water filtration system there, and to share hygiene tips with primary students and local families.
At the same time, another 10 CUHK students joined the programme Connecting Myanmar to help the refugees at the Thai-Burma Border. Their tasks included school renovation, assisting an NGO in conducting a survey on human rights and organizing classes on journalistic techniques and legal theory and practice that would lead to a better understanding of human and constitutional rights.
Closer to home, another group of students worked on the Golden Dreams project that encouraged the elderly to pursue their dreams and empowered them to live to their fullest. The dreams of the elderly ranged from taking a medical class at the University, experiencing the joy of travelling to giving back to society by helping those in need. The project has recruited over 20 university students as volunteers and helped close to 100 elderly so far.
About I‧CARE Programme
With the slogan ‘Aspiration through reflection; Renewal through civility’, the I•CARE Programme aims to promote students’ holistic development through social and civic engagements in Hong Kong, mainland China and overseas countries, and to raise their humanistic and civic awareness. Led by the Steering Committee for Promoting Personal Development through Social and Civic Engagement, the programme adopts an integrated approach and supports students to participate in six programmes, including: 1) Social Service Project Scheme, 2) Research and Study Scheme, 3) NGO Internship Scheme, 4) Social Enterprise Scheme, 5) Local Poverty Alleviation Initiative, and 6) University Lecture on Civility.