CUHK Students Serve the Underprivileged in Neighbouring Regions
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), with a generous donation from Chau Hoi Shuen Foundation, has launched the ‘Love Your Neighbour Service Learning Programme’ which encourages students to serve the underprivileged in Shatin, Taipo and Ma On Shan, by organizing or participating various service projects. The first Distinguished Service Award Presentation Ceremony cum Sharing Session of the programme was held earlier, officiated by Co-Chairmen of the programme’s steering committee, Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor of CUHK and The Reverend Prof. Lung-kwong Lo, Director, Divinity School of Chung Chi College.
The ‘Love Your Neighbour Service Learning Programme’ is initiated by Prof. Joseph Sung and orchestrated by the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, in collaboration with various social service agencies and schools in Shatin, Taipo and Ma On Shan. The participating CUHK students were trained by experienced social workers and were given the chance to organize various service projects or to participate in projects offered by the NGOs. In the past year, the programme joined hands with 20 faith-based social service centres, schools, churches and hospitals to conduct 43 service learning projects. Over 520 students participated in the projects and more than 2,500 underprivileged people were served. The total number of service hours was over 6,200. The service projects are of great variety, including cooperating with South Asian children to promote South Asian culture; leading underprivileged children to serve the singleton elderly; music therapy sessions for elderly with dementia or requiring social support; and promoting family harmony through adventure-based activities for underprivileged families.
During the ceremony, Prof. Joseph Sung thanked the Chau Hoi Shuen Foundation and the collaborating NGOs for offering valuable learning opportunities to CUHK students. He believed the programme has helped the students develop sense of social responsibility.
Rev. Lung-kwong Lo encouraged students to treasure the values of life through the services. He explained, ‘The biblical meaning of “Love Your Neighbor” is not just to love those we know, but also to love those we do not know and those neglected by society. Students are encouraged to extend their love and care from neighbouring regions to the wider community.’
Sue Lau, one of the participating students shared, ‘The programme has boosted our organizational skills, team spirit, as well as the abilities to listen and express. We also learned to appreciate others’ qualities and be empathetic towards others.’ Some of the benefitted elderly, families, children and ethnic minority children were invited to join the Distinguished Service Award Presentation Ceremony cum Sharing Session and share the fruitful results.
In 2014, ‘Love Your Neighbour Service Learning Programme’ will enhance the training for students and recruit more CUHK students to join. A carnival will be held in Shatin Park and riversides of Shing Mun River on 15 March (Saturday) to promote communication and mutual understanding in the community.