What Did the Students Do in the Winter Break?

Text & Photo:UM Reporter Hong Xuancu, Trainee UM Reporters Alice Zhang & Clara Wu

Many students spent the winter break travelling, binge-watching TV drama, playing video games, or sleeping all day. But some students experienced a different holiday by participating in service learning programmes organised by their residential colleges. Jack Fong, a first-year student in the Faculty of Business Administration and a member of Lui Che Woo College (LCWC), provided volunteer teaching in the 800-year-old Bizhou Village in Fujian province through a service learning programme organised by the college. He says, ‘There are many children left behind by their parents in the village. When I was young, my parents were also absent a lot because of work, so I wanted to do something for those children. I’ve also learned how to do more for my team when contributing my part.’

Students provide volunteer teaching in Bizhou Village, Fujian province

 Cooper Zhu, a first-year student in the Department of Sociology and a member of the LCWC, and Jerry Chen, a second-year student in the Department of Mathematics and a member of the LCWC, joined a trip organised by their RC to Karen Village in Chiang Rai, Thailand, where they helped build a road and provided volunteer teaching. Chen says,‘In the beginning, there was no system to speak of. We were each doing our own work in a disorganised way, but gradually we fell into a line and worked more efficiently as a team.’ They also had the job of teaching local children the basics of geography and Chinese greetings during the day, and dancing at night. Zhu says, ‘The villagers and children had this smile on their faces that radiated happiness, which transcended linguistic and geographic boundaries. The sight of their smiles gave me a great sense of satisfaction. ’

Students provide volunteer teaching in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Rocky Wong, a first-year student of English education and a member of Cheong Kun Lun College (CKLC) and the Honours College (HC), participated in a volunteer teaching activity in Lingshui, Hainan province, which was co organised by Henry Fok Pearl Jubilee College (HFPJC)、 and HC. The volunteers’ job was to teach students in a local middle school. Because of the students’ lack of background knowledge, the volunteer teachers put a lot of thought into making the classes more interesting. Classes taught by Wong included ‘The Culture of Macao’, ‘Fun English’, and ‘Little Inventors’. He says, ‘The service learning programme not only helped me become more patient with children, but also enhanced my understanding of my own major.’

Ansel Teng provides volunteer teaching in an orphanage in Kenya, Africa

Volunteer Teaching in an Orphanage in Kenya

Ansel Teng, a second-year student in the Department of English and a member of the LCWC, and Amy Niu, a third-year student in the Department of Sociology and a member of CKLC, went to Kenya, Africa, and provided volunteer teaching for two weeks in a local orphanage. On the weekends they visited residential areas to chat with locals or drove across the prairie at sunset in an all-terrain vehicle. At night, they stood on the prairie and watched the blinking stars in the sky. Niu says, ‘The natural scenery in Africa is more stunning than what others have described.’ Teng recalls, ‘When I first arrived in Africa, I was in awe, and also pleasantly surprised by the local children’s hunger for knowledge. Life here is difficult, but this volunteer teaching experience gave me a new perspective on life.’