The ferryman for mainland middle-school students
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Twenty-one students and three teachers from Shanxi Kangjie Middle School and Hebei Hengshui Middle School took part in the Hong Kong Tertiary Education Touch Camp at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) from 11 to 17 July. The camp, which was organised by the City-Youth Empowerment Project, let mainland students experience university life in Hong Kong and understand the culture of voluntary work.
My CityU fellow students—Yao Chenpeng, Xie Yanting, Zhang Lingfeng, Xu Zhe, Liu Zhongwen and Zhang Dongchen—and myself organised this camp. Nine volunteers also helped: Cao Chengyu, Jiang Tianying, Zheng Boyuan, Zhu Qian, Guan Jian, Chan Na-ching, Leung Chai-chung, Xiong Zhen and Wu Wange.
We were like ferrymen, transporting mainland students cross the Shenzhen River to Hong Kong where they could experience the culture of local higher education institutions and sample the local lifestyle. These students then become ferrymen themselves, passing on their wonderful experience about Hong Kong back to their families and friends at home.
Social responsibilities, team spirit, and independence were the themes for the camp. Instead of going to theme parks, we went to the public housing estate in Shek Kip Mei; visited children living with disabilities at the Hong Kong Red Cross Princess Alexandra School and took part in the “Dialogue in the Dark”. We also brought the students to join classes at CityU and helped to prepare them for group presentations.
Personally, I gained a lot from organising the camp. We took the mainland students to visit the CityU campus and the communities nearby, which gave me a deeper understanding of the University and Hong Kong. It made me realise how lucky I am to study here. Moreover, I received training in leadership, assigning and arranging tasks, and boosting self-confidence.
Our volunteers contributed a lot to the camp. While they needed to complete their own course assignments, they spared time to accompany the mainland students during the programme. Leung Chai-chung spent several nights staying up with mainland students until midnight to help them finish their group projects.
It was an unforgettable experience, especially for those who were doing volunteer work for the first time. Zheng Boyuan said, “It didn’t think I would have such a wonderful experience. Every moment and every person from these past seven days are in my heart. It is hard to describe in words. Just like a candle in my heart, giving me warmth and energy. I will definitely to take part in more voluntary work so I can help light up candles for more people.”
The camp was a wonderful experience and has left me with precious memories. I will keep in my heart forever the spirit of the ferryman.
I would like to express my gratitude to Dr Cheung Chor-yung, Dean of Students, Dr Anna Hui Na-na, Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Social Studies (SS), and the staff of the Mainland and External Affairs Office and SS for their support and assistance in making the camp a success.