“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” fundraising event

Eleanor Zhang

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A famous song goes: Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue / And the dreams that you dare to dream really come true... These words rang true at CityU on 20 February, when over 250 people participated in “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – a T-shirt design fundraising event co-presented by the Professional Communication Project Group of CityU’s Department of English and Communication (EN) and the Art with the Disabled Association (ADA). I’m Eleanor Zhang, a third-year EN student and co-organiser of the event in which children with disabilities, children from other countries, primary school, secondary school and university students, along with the general public and art tutors, experienced the joy of art while raising money for charity.

 

When my group mates and I brainstormed event ideas, we hoped to promote harmonious relationships among people with and without disabilities. We achieved far more than that—children without disabilities learned to appreciate the talents of those with disabilities, and they had so much fun together that it seemed their disabilities no longer existed.

 

Under the guidance of professional art tutors, groups of participants were invited to draw anything they liked on a plain T-shirt. Some expressed their love for people by drawing hearts and smiling faces; some expressed their dreams on the T-shirt; and others used their imagination and creativity to depict a rainbow in a unique and personal way. Participants then presented their T-shirts to the audience for judging based on their applause. Two groups were presented with “Best Visual Effect” and “Most Creative” awards.

 

During sharing sessions with Mr Ko Nam and Ms Liu Tung Mui, two renowned international artists with disabilities, they said they were very happy to share friendship with the participants and pleased to see no difference in the attitude of people there towards children with disabilities and different nationalities.

 

The most valuable thing I learned from my involvement in the event was not about communication or organisational skills, but about the loving spirit of human nature. I was touched by the innocent children for whom there is no such word as “discrimination”. And from the art tutors and volunteers, I learned to be grateful for and content with what I have.

 

Of course, through organising such an event, I could apply communication skills, concepts and theories I learned in class. And this comprehensive project was, for me, a celebration of the final stage in my journey to becoming a professional communicator. It wasn’t easy to coordinate an event while attending university full-time, however, I appreciate the EN for giving me this opportunity. Its impact will inspire me for years to come, and I will always remember my alma mater as an exciting environment for whole person development.

 

For more information on the Department of English and Communication, see: http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/en/.

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