CityU students perform community service in UK

Zoey Tsang

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Eight business students of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) served as voluntary workers and helped remodel a charity shop in Canterbury, UK, in a bid to raise funds for the needy.

 

The students were among the participants who joined the Summer Study and Work Abroad Scheme organised by the Faculty of Business. They went to the University of Kent in Canterbury last summer for a six-week English training course and each of them rendered about 50 hours of community service during their stay. CityU develops the global mindset of the students through overseas activities.

 

They were assigned to help manage a small charity shop of The Scrine Foundation, a local charity organisation. The shop raises fund for the needy by selling donated clothes and household products. After the shop’s manager told the students the store business was not satisfactory, the students decided to remodel the store.

 

They sorted and labelled the inventory and did a stock-take before taking photographs of the goods and advertising them with online retailer, eBay. To make the shop more presentable, they painted it and redecorated the display window. The students also visited a number of shops run by other charity organisations on the street and discussed on how their store could be made to stand out. The students also promoted the store with posters and flyers distributed in town to attract the attention of local residents.

 

Vince Chan Wai-shun, a Year 2 Economics and Finance student said, “The voluntary work gave us a chance to apply our business knowledge to operations, management and sales in an actual situation.” He added that they all spent a half-day during weekdays, talking to customers and answering phones. Their confidence and English communication skills were significantly enhanced.

 

The Scrine Foundation arranged for the students to visit the Foundation’s service centre to gain some insight into how their voluntary work contributes to society. The centre mainly serves homeless, unemployed and alcoholic people as well as the school drop-outs and youngsters of drug addicts.

 

“We were shocked that they were around the same age as us yet our lives are so different,” said Lam Kam-pui, a Year 2 Accountancy student. “The visit allowed us to have a deeper understanding of the social issues and problems in the United Kingdom,” she said.

The Summer Study and Work Abroad Scheme was first launched by the Faculty of Business in 2006, with the objective of enhancing students’ language skills and leadership through voluntary work and exposure to different cultures. With an overwhelming response from students, the Faculty expanded the quota of the scheme this year. Besides the University of Kent, the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom and the University of Auckland in New Zealand joined the scheme in collaboration with CityU this year.

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