CityU’s Happy Carnival for a harmonious world
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The Happy Carnival 2014, as part of the City-Youth Empowerment Project (CYEP) organised by the Department of Applied Social Studies at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), was held on 26 April at CityU’s student hall.
Themed “Global Village” this year, the carnival promotes the commitment of CityU’s volunteers to serve the community and foster the integration of all people in the world.
CYEP is a non-credit bearing, voluntary service learning programme that aims to develop CityU students into competent volunteers in support of the University’s long-term and regular community services.
Since its inception in 2005, the project has achieved more than 60,000 service hours for over 30 community organisations. Its service targets encompass all walks of life, ranging from elderly people, parents, children and young people as well as the youth from ethnic minority groups. Its service scope has also expanded to environmental protection, gender equality and the protection of animal rights.
Among the 1,000-strong student volunteers, the one with the highest service hours has a record of more than 400 hours in a short span of one year. Last summer, over 10 CityU students did voluntary work with local orphans as well as adults and children in poverty for three weeks in Cambodia.
This summer, under the theme “Exploring the World”, CYEP will send more than 30 volunteers to New York, Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar and Taiwan to render various social services and exchange ideas and experience with local social service organisations.
Aiming to create a “harmonious world” that has no boundaries in terms of languages, ethnicity or ages, the carnival enabled all participants to enjoy the fun of visiting booths and playing games together on 26 April. The objective was to help them understand the principles of equality, mutual respect, harmony and sincerity that encourage volunteers to serve the community.
Around 500 participants from different sectors joined the carnival, which has set up many booths displaying collective art works of large paintings and performances of African drums and other music. Participants enjoyed indigenous South Asian snacks, a football game, henna tattoos, and music and dance performances.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of CityU, CYEP and the University’s Student Residence Office jointly organised the “Village Communal Super Bowl Feast” which followed the carnival. Thirty tables of poon choi were arranged to let guests, service recipients and student volunteers enjoy indigenous food of Hong Kong. It was hoped that people of different backgrounds, ages and ethnicity in Hong Kong or other countries in the world could live harmoniously together and help each other, just like poon choi, which is a mix of different kinds of food.
Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, CityU’s Chief-of-Staff, Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing, Vice-President (Student Affairs), Professor Lo Tit-wing, Head of the Department of Applied Social Studies, Dr Elaine Au Liu Suk-ching, Convenor of CYEP, and Ms Rebecca Chan Po-yu, Director of the Student Residence Office, jointly announced the start of the feast. They also took part in booth games and had fun with the participants.
The social service organisations taking part in the Happy Carnival 2014 were:
Hong Kong Red Cross Princess Alexandra School
Mental Health Association of Hong Kong－Cornwall School
E.L.C.H.K. Hung Hom Lutheran Primary School
The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong
Shamshuipo Central Integrated Children & Youth Service (Shamshuipo Central Happy Teens Club), Hong Kong Christian Service
Kwun Tong Integrated Children & Youth Service (Kwun Tong Happy Teens Club), Hong Kong Christian Service
Society for Community Organization
Yan Oi Tong
Caritas Ngau Tau Kok Social Centre, Caritas Youth & Community Service
Shamshuipo District Elderly Community Centre, the Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council
Teng Hoi Conservation Organisation
Alliance of Ex-mentally Ill of Hong Kong
Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women